The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences, as well. Ene graduated from Ithaca College in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. She tutors Biology tutoring, Chemistry tutoring, Physics tutoring, and many other subjects. Check out her review of Ithaca College:
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?
Ene: The Ithaca College campus is safe, a bit secluded, and of medium size. On-campus housing is very close to campus classes, and in the summertime, I would advise students to walk, instead of drive, to their classes. The winters are very cold, however. The college is about 20-25 minutes from the Ithaca Commons by foot. Buses arrive every thirty minutes on the weekdays, and they run until a little after 1:00 a.m. The campus is secluded from the town, and it is kept safe by public safety officers who drive around, especially at night. Only residents of a building have access to the main entrance with their IDs. In the event that a student is afraid to walk alone, there are escort services available free of charge. A car or bike is not necessary, especially if you live on campus, but a car can be useful after the buses stop running (if you live off campus and during the winter).
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Ene: The professors and advisers are very easy to reach, especially during office hours. But most times, I could just stop by a professor’s office and have a chat with him or her. Most teaching assistants (TAs) are students, and they provide their email information to students. They are available through TA sessions and by appointment.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Ene: There are numerous socialization opportunities, especially for freshmen. The First Year Experience introduces students to various student organizations and provides a list of fun things to do in Ithaca. The resident assistants are also very supportive, and they always come up with activities that students can do together. Collaborations between student organizations provide another way for students who are not freshmen to socialize.
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?
Ene: Ithaca College is known for its Music, Theatre, and Television Radio majors. I studied Biochemistry because I love both biology and chemistry, and I wanted a chance to study both. The department is small when compared to other departments, and this made it easier to get to know my fellow students and teachers in the department. Professors had time to answer my individual questions, and I was able to do research with a professor who supervised and advised me.
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?
Ene: I was an international student who enrolled in the spring semester, and the friends I made were mostly exchange students who left in following semesters. It was a bit rough for me to go out and meet people, but once I started to join clubs and take classes outside my major, I had more chances to socialize. Ithaca College has no Greek life of its own, but students can join fraternities and sororities at Cornell University.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Ene: Career Services offers walk-in sessions for tasks like resume and cover letter writing. They also provide opportunities for students to complete mock interviews. Every semester, there is at least one job fair with between 80-100 recruiters. In addition, there is an alumni mentorship program that allows students to contact and seek advice from alumni of the college.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Ene: Dorm lounges are hardly ever used unless there is a floor event or when students want to watch shows together. There is only one library, which can get crowded during exam periods. But there are multiple computer labs and study lounges where students can study. The library is open 24 hours a day on weekdays. The computer labs are open until late at night.
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?
Ene: Ithaca also houses Cornell University, and students from Ithaca College have the chance to join clubs at Cornell University and to take classes there. It is a great way to meet other students. Ithaca has many gorges and parks that are fun to explore in the summer, and there are many restaurants downtown to explore, as well.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Ene: The largest classes are typically introductory classes of up to 100 students (in the sciences). But once you move from 100-level classes, class sizes usually fall to between 10 (for small classes) to about 40 (for the larger classes). I was pleased with the class size because there was more room for individual questions and discussions.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Ene: I went into college as a Biology major. At that point, I hated chemistry. I remember my first chemistry class with a certain professor and immediately falling in love with chemistry because he taught it so well and enthusiastically. So after that class, I changed my major to Biochemistry.
Check out Ene’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.