As college counselors, we have the opportunity to participate in programs called Counselor Fly-Ins. Essentially, these fly-in programs are designed to give us a better understanding of the admissions processes at each school, the campus culture, the school’s missions and values, etc. Because we provide college counseling services to two high schools, in addition to our independent advising work with students around the globe, we have the luxury of being invited to these programs and taking advantage of them because our schedule is far more flexible than most in-house school counselors.
It’s not often that I have the opportunity to spend so much time learning about one institution, and Lynn University really set the bar high for future extended college visits. To be clear, I already loved this institution before visiting, but spending two entire days meeting students, faculty, and staff on campus confirmed my feelings and highlighted several more reasons to recommend Lynn to students.
What Makes Lynn Unique:
With a small and beautifully manicured campus in Boca Raton, FL, Lynn University is nestled in a safe enclave a few miles from the beach and not far from several airports. It’s an incredibly diverse campus, largely due to the fact that about 17% of the undergraduate student population is international students hailing from over 100 countries.
At the height of the pandemic, Lynn proposed to its student body a new block schedule, wherein students will take one course at a time (similar to the block plan models at Quest, Colorado College, and Cornell College). Students and faculty voted to keep the new block schedule post-quarantine because it was such an effective model for both teaching and learning. Students typically take one course per four-week block, but some courses are actually taught over a longer period of time through multiple blocks (ranging from 8-16 weeks).
While it’s true that there is often a lot of material to cover in a short period of time, there are numerous benefits to receiving an education on the block schedule. Lynn has retained incredible faculty with real-world professional experience to share with students instead of the stereotypical long-winded and daunting college lectures. Because students are typically taking only one course, they are afforded the freedom to dive deeper into a subject without trying to juggle multiple unrelated classes of a core curriculum.
Another benefit to the block scheduling is that there are no classes on Friday! Instead of class, Fridays are reserved for experiential learning such as field trips, internships, job shadowing, and other relevant pre-professional opportunities. And it’s not just Fridays where experiential learning takes place at Lynn—most courses are designed to be interactive and engaging beyond a simple lecture. I think this educational philosophy is a testament to the faculty at Lynn who genuinely are passionate about their fields, their students, and teaching. Another integral part of the Lynn experience is a clear and campus-wide emphasis on intellectual curiosity and academic engagement.
In addition to providing this unique learning opportunity for students, Lynn sits at the forefront of modernized learning with an emphasis on technology. For example, every student receives an iPad when they get to campus, and these iPads house everything they need to be successful academically. In fact, Lynn has made a concerted effort to have their faculty design textbooks specifically to be utilized by Lynn students on their iPads, so they tend to be more interactive and engaging than the standard textbook. Oh, and did I mention that these books are free for students?
Like most institutions, Lynn provides students with access to several unique learning opportunities and special programs, and a handful stood out to me above the rest:
The Watson Institute, where students earn a BA in Social Impact and Entrepreneurship. Students have the opportunity to develop their own focus and mission.
The College of Aeronautics, where students can engage in all things aviation, including incredible flight simulators and obtaining their flight hours to become licensed pilots. Students are often hired once they meet the hour requirement to be a flight instructor, so that they can get paid to earn additional hours toward their commercial pilot license. There is also a new pilot pathway program between Spirit Airlines and Lynn University that you can read about HERE.
The Dialogues: Lynn’s core curriculum, where instead of courses being “required”, they are integrated into the student’s education at Lynn. Foundationally, the dialogue courses focus on three main themes (self and society; justice and civic life; and belief and reason). All students who graduate from Lynn build a strong foundation in critical thinking, scientific literacy, and quantitative reasoning, regardless of their major.
Most of the degrees at Lynn can be completed in three years, reserving that last year of their merit award to pursue a master’s degree on campus if desired.
All students admitted to the music conservatory receive a full-tuition scholarship!
The Institute for Achievement and Learning is an incredible resource for students with diagnosed learning disabilities where they can access additional support services beyond the typical classroom accommodations.
The College of Communication and Design merged with an art school in recent years, and as a result, students have access to a unique set of majors (BFAs in Graphic Design, Animation, Game Art, Film, Illustration, and Photography). The best part is that these degree programs do not require a portfolio for admission! When I asked about a potential portfolio requirement, two of the professors in the department confidently affirmed that they can train any student in these artistic endeavors.
There are way too many reasons to love this institution than I can list within the confines of this blog. Lynn is filled with incredibly driven and motivated students who are passionate about leaving an impact on their communities and the world. The students and faculty love the institution as much as the admission representatives. In the same way, Lynn takes an individualized and unique approach to higher education and learning, they also provide that individualized approach to prospective students and families. So when you plan your visit to Lynn, make sure to complete their inquiry form to the best of your ability so they can tailor your visit experience and match you with a current student with similar interests and/or someone from the same general area from which you hail.
Good luck (but I know you won't need it),
Jessica Chermak, LPC, CEP
Independent College Counselor
Co-Founder of Virtual College Counselors