This past weekend we had the opportunity to attend a "red carpet" event at Ms 17 yo's college of choice. It was quite a presentation. As we sat there and listened to them discuss with us the wonderful opportunities our daughter will have if she attends school there, I was struck by what a difference there was between this school, which is about 2500 students, and the large state university that my husband and I went to.
For about three hours we heard presentations from faculty and students about research projects and social events that occur between the students and their professors. They kept stressing how much the professors are involved in helping the students to shape and succeed at their education. They actually said that they care about their students! (okay, so I know it was a big rah-rah event to get these students to go to school there, but still....)
Contrast that with the large state university I went to where 1.) I was lucky if I had a professor for a class, 2.) I knew the professor's name and 3.) the said professor had a remote clue what my name was.
On another point, after listening to a few presentations, my husband leaned over and whispered, "It's like one big unit study here!" The way they described how students are allowed to work with their professors to design projects that interest them and allow them to draw upon many of their different classes did, indeed, sound like one big college-sized unit study. How cool is that. It got me excited again about pursuing more unit studies with these guys at home.
I can only recall one class in four years where we were allowed to design our own project and carry it through to completion. Of course, that was the class that: I remember the most about, I actually had a professor and I even remember his name. There must be a correlation here, don't you think???
For those of you still on the fence about unit studies, I'd say: pray about it some more and do a little bit of research. Try out a short one, even if you just design something simple yourself. I'll be talking more about them soon, as we hope to introduce a unit study that my daughters are working on for their Little Flowers club major work project. We hope to have it completed and ready to go in April or May, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can check out more info on unit studies here.