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Educational Consultant on the Sense of Community on Small Campuses


Many students trying to find the right college view small campus size as a drawback. But when college admissions expert Mark Montgomery visited Trinity University, he was struck by the sense of community and neighborliness he found at this small institution.


I’m here on the campus of Trinity University and it’s a small place. It’s only 2,400 students or so, and I just want to highlight the advantage of going to a small place where people recognize you. I was in a session this morning with an academic dean who was presenting on the curriculum and I went up to him afterwards and introduced myself and said hi, asked him a couple quick questions, and then left, had lunch. And I was wandering around the campus later and I’m just walking down the path and here comes that same academic dean. He walks right up to me and says, “Hi, Mark, how are you? How’s your day been?” Starts asking me a few questions and I start asking him questions, we have a little 15 minute interchange, I learned a lot more about Trinity.

Small but Big Community

That would not happen on a very large campus. I’ve been on this campus maybe five or six hours, and already, somebody like him notices me. What would it be like for a student who is on this campus every day for a semester, how many people would they run into like that, whether it’s students, whether it’s faculty, whether it’s administrators? They’re going to see you over and over and people are going to say, “Hey, hi, how are you?”

People worry sometimes about a small school, that everybody’s going to be all up in your face because you can’t be anonymous. You know, one of the problems with American society today is we’re all kind of anonymous, and I don’t know that that’s a good thing. I think that these kinds of environments where people would come up to me after five hours, meeting me for a few minutes and then coming up to me five hours later and saying, “Hi, how are you?” That’s the kind of thing that would only happen on a small campus like this.

So if you’re looking for that intimate experience where you really want to be somebody that people know, you don’t want to be just a number, come to a place like Trinity, it’s really awesome, it really feels great when people recognize who you are and take an interest in you as a person. So think about that.


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