The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach—they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Luke is a Philadelphia tutor and 2005 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and tutors several subjects, including English tutoring, history tutoring, and writing tutoring. Check out what Luke had to say about his time at Indiana University of Pennsylvania:
Describe the campus setting and transportation options.
Luke: The campus setting at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is quite picturesque. Indiana, Pennsylvania is a small, rather quaint town surrounded by rolling hills and forest. Although the town is located in a rural area, the campus is centrally located and accessible from almost anywhere in the area by bus, bicycle, or even on foot.
How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants at Indiana University of Pennsylvania?
Luke: The professors and academic advisers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, on the whole, are very available and dedicated to the needs of their students. This is achieved largely through the relatively small class sizes at the university, which average 25-30 students or less per class.
How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Luke: Dorm life was also very pleasant at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The rooms and dining options were very adequate and accessible to the average needs of a student, and there was ample opportunity for socialization due to the small, close-knit atmosphere of the campus.
Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?
Luke: Indiana University of Pennsylvania is well known across the state of Pennsylvania as a top-notch teaching-oriented institution. It has a strong liberal arts background, and is also well known for its nursing and criminology programs. I majored in history and minored in political science as these were, and still are, my main areas of expertise. The university did a superb job of supporting me in my studies, and our history department had a wide assortment of top-tier professors with doctorates from Harvard University, Yale University, Georgetown University, and Cambridge University, to name just a few.
How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?
Luke: I’m a rather gregarious person, so it wasn’t very difficult for me to meet people and make friends as a freshman. But even for those who are less naturally extroverted, Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s relatively small, tightly-knit campus and diverse student body easily facilitates socialization and cultural exchange. Greek life does play a large role in campus social life, but it didn’t for me.
How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services at Indiana University of Pennsylvania?
Luke: To be truthful, I didn’t utilize the Career Center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as I instead planned on attending graduate school. However, I can attest to the reliability of the faculty and student support services in helping me make the transition to graduate study.
How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?
Luke: Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Stapleton Library is perhaps not of the highest caliber, but it was rarely overcrowded and reasonably spacious. The latter can certainly be said for the much larger and more modern dormitories and student union center.
Describe the surrounding town.
Luke: If you enjoy a quiet, quaint, small-town environment, then Indiana, Pennsylvania is the place to be. If, however, you are more accustomed to a fast-paced urban environment, you may find Indiana quite boring, or even stifling. Despite this, there is a lively nightlife in the small downtown area on evenings and weekends, and quite a few good restaurants to partake in. In my experience, students typically spend more time off-campus.
How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes at Indiana University of Pennsylvania?
Luke: Indiana University of Pennsylvania has a good-sized student body—about 15,000-20,000 students in a town of only about 12,000 people. As I mentioned before, I was extremely pleased with the generally small class sizes, and I definitely felt this translated to a richer, more personal experience with curricula and professors alike.
Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Luke: I’ll never forget Classical Political Thought taught by Dr. John Sitton. Despite being a 6:00-9:00 p.m. course, the class was extremely dynamic and enthralling, and the time flew by. Students were encouraged to speak their minds with questions or comments whenever applicable. I knew Dr. Sitton really cared about his students when he shared with us his attendance policy on the first day of class. He told us he worked his way through college and graduate school and, therefore, would never fault a student for missing class, as he gave us “the benefit of the doubt” that if we had to miss his class, it must be due to something of greater importance, such as perhaps a job or some personal emergency, and penalizing someone for something that may have been out of his or her control (i.e. “life interceding”) was not something he felt to be morally justified.
Check out Luke’s tutoring profile
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.