We've officially started our college touring for my son. We visited UNT last year with my niece, but it wasn't a school that was on his radar. This past week, we went down the street to the University of Dallas to check out their unique classical approach to higher education.
Since we started homeschooling, my perspective on the purpose of education has changed. While I want my son to become employed, I also know that if he receives a well rounded education, he'll have no trouble finding a job or creating a job to provide for his future. That is why I have loved the approach of Classical education, and it was really neat to see it in action on a college campus down the road.
We pretty much fell in love with this school. Although we are not Catholic, there were some very compelling elements of the way that this school operates that will make this a good choice for Classical students: the mission statement, a year abroad, and quality mentoring.
University of Dallas Mission Statement
When we arrived on the campus, we found the mission of UD very clearly announced throughout. Here is the official mission statement:
The University of Dallas is dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom, of truth, and of virtue as the proper and primary ends of education.
Every student that attends the University of Dallas is required to study the Core Curriculum which provides a unique culture on campus. Since everyone reads the same books, they have a strong foundation for conversation in an outside of class.
A Semester In Rome
While the Irving campus is actually more beautiful than I expected, they also have a sister campus in Rome. During their Sophomore year, all students are encouraged to study in Rome. Students get to study Art and Architecture in the center of some of the most beautiful examples.
While they are overseas, students will take three group trips: 7 days in northern Italy, 5 days in southern Italy, and 10 days in Greece. As they travel together, students learn how to travel internationally and towards the end of their time away, they're encouraged to do some exploring of Europe on their own. It offers an incredible opportunity for gaining confidence, independence, and perspective.
Professors Who Mentor
While we were there, we were able to sit in on two classes, as well as meet with the head of the Classics department. With small class sizes (16) and a low student-to-teacher ratio (10:1), students have the ability to get to know their professors as well as be known by them.
We met with Dr. Sweet, the chair of the Classics department, and he was such a humble and generous man. My son walked away from our time with him saying that he would love to attend UD just to study under men like that. I think that's a pretty great reason to attend a college.
A Beautiful Campus
Even though it's in the heart of the city, walking around the campus feels like walking around in a park. There are so many beautiful trees and quaint walking paths that students encounter while navigating to and from class.
The iconic bell tower rings every hour to help students get to their classes on time. The cafeteria below also has an outdoor patio for enjoying the weather when it's beautiful outside.
Even though we loved the University of Dallas, we are still going to visit a couple of more schools just to seek out the wisest choice for him. He's only a Sophomore though, so we have plenty of time!
If you're homeschooling with a Classical approach, you might enjoy this list of possibilities for your future graduate. We'll be looking through the list too!