What are the differences between a religious and non-religious college?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,132
    Jerome Cole, Director of College Counseling at the Edmund Burke School in Washington D.C., explains the differences between a religious college and a non-religious college.

    Jerome A. Cole, MA

    Jerome A. Cole, M.A., is the Director of College Counseling for the Edmund Burke school in Washington, D.C. and the founder of Cole Educational Consulting Services (Cole ECS.) He has worked with students and families for over seven years to help them plan and strategize for college. As a college counselor at Burke, an independent college preparatory high school founded in 1968, Mr. Cole oversees a program that is designed to support students and families as they go through the selection and admission process for college. Mr. Cole advises over 100 students each year in a small academically challenging environment where every senior is expected to apply to and enroll in college. Prior to Burke, he was a school counselor at Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has successfully counseled hundreds of students and helped them prepare for admission to a variety of schools such as: American University, Clark-Atlanta University, Davidson College, George Washington University, Harvard University, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Temple University, and the University of Maryland at College Park, to highlight just a few. He established the consulting firm Cole ECS to provide students and families with the necessary information and support to make the best choice for college. Cole ECS defines the best choice as the optimal learning and social environment to ensure a student’s holistic success, culminating in on-time or early graduation and desirable post-graduate options. Mr. Cole earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Catholic University, and then went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. He is certified as a school counselor and is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).

    Host: What are the differences between a religious college and a non-religious college?

    Jerome Cole: I think the differences between a religious college versus a non-religious college are the emphasis on a religion piece. The advantages to attending a school that s of the same faith as yourself is that, one- it is going to be something familiar, there are going to be students and faculty there where you share the same values, the same beliefs and so, for a lot of kids, I think that s very important. I think that as young people, we are preparing to leave home for the first time and going away to college and I believe that it is important that we have things in this new environment, if you will that are familiar to us, things that bring us comfort and for a lot of students, that is going to be religion, that is going to be your faith. So, I see that as something that student should consider. If you are of a particular faith you should be looking at institutions that promote that particular religion. Students often will downplay that and the parents will come and then say, You are being raised this way so, therefore, you should consider schools that practice that same faith. I think that something, that student should look at more closely and be more inclined and more open to look at those institutions that promote their particular religion or faith. When you are 19 year old and you are away from home for the first time, the idea of being in around folk like you, the idea of being able to worship in a place that is familiar to you, I think that can be very comforting and when you look a college, it is more than just the academic piece. It is the socio-emotional piece and that s when obviously, religion is going to come into place. So, I think it is very important.