The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Michael is a Dallas Fort Worth tutor specializing in Essay Editing tutoring, AP English tutoring, STAAR prep tutoring, and more. He graduated from University of Dallas in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in English. Check out his review of his alma mater:
VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or safe is the campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?
Michael: The campus is located in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas, and it is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Dallas. The physical campus is relatively small, as is the student body population, compared to large, public universities. However, students feel relatively safe on campus. There is a fairly new DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) station just next to campus and well within walking distance. The train is a convenient and inexpensive way to travel to many popular locations in Dallas.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Michael: Most professors and academic advisers are very available for students. Because of the relatively small class sizes, there are few teaching assistants. Most classes are taught directly by the professors. Many of the professors are truly respected and admired by the student body.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Michael: In the past ten years, the University of Dallas has made efforts to renovate existing dormitories. Several years ago, a massive new dormitory building was built on campus. The cafeteria offers many dining options, and there is a student cafe that offers other options of pizza, Tex-Mex, and sandwiches.
VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?
Michael: As a liberal arts university, the English program is often one of the best represented fields. I was an English major. Politics and Theology are also well represented. However, in the past few years, a new College of Business has opened up many other learning opportunities for students.
VT: 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?
Michael: For me personally, I met people and made friends primarily through working on university theater productions. The Theater department often relies on non-drama majors to audition and volunteer to work on productions, which creates an amazing and unique opportunity to meet students from other majors. Greek life does not play any role in the campus social life.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Michael: My experience has been very positive with the Career Center and student support services. Because of the relatively small student population, university employees are able to devote time and energy to students.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Michael: These areas are rarely over-crowded. There are many easily available areas on campus for socializing or studying. The main student building has a popular coffee bar with tables that are often occupied. However, there is always a quiet space available in and around the library.
VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments / things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus?
Michael: When I was a student, there was little public transportation available to get to Dallas. However, with the opening of a new train station across the highway from campus, students now have a convenient and inexpensive way to quickly travel to many popular areas of Dallas, including the West End and Deep Ellum.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Michael: The student body is relatively small compared to many public universities. Because of this, typical class sizes are relatively small. I was very pleased with the professor to student ratio. Each class provides an opportunity for students to discuss and share ideas.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Michael: I remember one semester I was late registering for courses, and I signed up for a Shakespeare class as an elective. This particular class was very popular and was taught by a very popular English professor. The class always filled up quickly. I was told by the registrar's office that the Shakespeare class was already full. When I talked with the professor, though, he told me that if I could fit in the room I was more than welcome to come. That made a big impression on me. Professors at UD are focused primarily on learning and are willing to work with students to make this happen.
Check out Michael’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.