NEWBURGH - Mount Saint Mary College’s recent winter open house was an event that more than 200 forward-thinking high school juniors and seniors didn’t want to miss.
Their geographic diversity – from the New York tri-state area and beyond – was matched by their varied career interests.
Jordan Hunt of Uniondale, N.Y. would like to be a high school science teacher. He enjoyed his introduction to the Mount’s nationally accredited teacher education program, and visited the college on the recommendations of several friends.
Tours led by student ambassadors showcased residence halls, classrooms, and the college’s state-of-the-art Kaplan Family Mathematics, Science and Technology Center.
"I was really interested in what the campus looks like, and I like the tour a lot," said Hunt, a senior at Uniondale High School. "On Long Island, we don’t have mountains like these. It’s pretty cool."
Mount Saint Mary College’s education program is distinctive, with top-notch faculty and fieldwork embedded in coursework starting in sophomore year. The program earns high marks in preparing graduates for New York State licensure in careers as teachers and administrators.
As Hunt evidences, the natural sciences are high on students’ lists of academic interests.
The college recently launched its new physician assistant program (pending Accreditation-Provisional). Students will be immersed in the Mount’s rigorous natural sciences undergraduate curriculum for three years. Following completion of the undergraduate requirements, successful applicants will complete their studies at the Mount’s physician assistant program in two years, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s in physician assistant studies.
In addition to the new PA program, the Mount offers nationally accredited nursing degree programs, and also pre-med, pre-veterinary, pre-dental, podiatry, and physical therapy studies.
At the Mount, more than 37 percent of freshman aim for careers in medical fields.
The college’s nationally accredited four-year nursing degree program features high-tech simulator labs, hands-on clinical experience, and an NCLEX pass rate that consistently outperforms the state average.
Mount grads are employed throughout the northeast and abroad.
Kaitlyn Kras of Newburgh, N.Y., a Valley Central High School senior, aspires to be an emergency room nurse.
he said that it was love at first sight when she visited the Mount for a basketball game several years ago.
"I love this campus," she explained. "I’ve loved it since that basketball game when I was a cheerleader."
Many prospective students gravitate toward communication arts.
Why focus on one language when you can learn two, says Emily Swartvagher of Wappingers Falls, N.Y. The John Jay High School student is looking into a double major in English and Hispanic studies. Her mother, Jennifer, also studied at the Mount.
Steven Scodes of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., a senior at Lakeland High School, has already been accepted to the Mount. He visited to learn more about the college’s media studies programs.
The result: "I’ve very comfortable here," he said. "The courses look like they’ll be just what I wanted."
Media studies are popular, with a three-camera studio, state-of-the-art nonlinear editing bays, radio studio and Mount Media crew for real-world experience.
Kiersten Ibe of Montgomery, N.Y. explained that the nearby college has what she wants.
"I want to do political science, and it’s offered here," said Ibe. "I have to say I’m really impressed with the college."
Michael Morano and Daniela Carr of West Haven, Conn. both attend West Haven High School. Carr is interested in the Mount’s growing sports management courses, while Morano appreciates the business management programs.
"The Mount is one of my top colleges," said Morano. "I really like the professors and the ‘small school’ feel."
Carr enjoyed the beauty of the campus, from the architecture to the Hudson River views. "I really like it here," she said.
Mount Saint Mary College also offers comprehensive areas of study in fields including math, information technology, social sciences, philosophy and religion.
The campus has well-equipped residence halls, many with river views and suite-style living. In addition to sports, students also enjoy participating in community service and clubs, such as Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
There are still plenty of opportunities to arrange a tour this semester for fall 2014 consideration. For more information, visit www.msmc.edu