Academics... Well, last I heard Bradley ranks number 6 in top schools in the mid-west. This doesn't surprise me. I could ham it up, but i'm not going to lie. Bradley was HARD!!!!!!! Not just hard, REALLY hard. I busted my ass and barely managed C's. It's the complete and polar opposite of anything that my highschool was. Things are not handed to you on a silver platter. In highschool, your teachers have degrees in education, they know how to teach. In college, you're teachers have masters and doctorates in their fields of study, they have probably never taken an education course in their life. This holds true for many colleges and universities. The reality is, in college you will have to teach yourself. I learned this after first semester, unfortunately. I did have a few good professors, but I also had some of the worst. My Biology classes have been the largest with I would say a maximum of about 80 people. You will find that your general education classes are the largest because everyone is required to take them at some point. In my other classes though, my teachers do know my name, and that is partly because of class participation. As far as studying at Bradley, it's a wise choice. Although you may not always want to, when you are just sitting around watching TV or something, just keep in mind there is probably something that you could be studying for. Bradley is a very competitive school, a minimum GPA of a 2.0 is required by the University, and for specific departments such as nursing or business or engineering these usually have their own specific GPA requirments that tend to be above a 2.0. You may be thinking to yourself that a 2.0 is easy, not so much. My freshman year I took 17 credit hours and ended up with a 2.43. I graduated with a 3.5 from highschool and 26 on my ACT. A 2.43 for me was a shock. If I have any advice it's to never take more than 16 credit hours your freshman year and to take as many of your general education classes at a community college. Coming into school I thought I would be fine with 17 credit hours, but it was just too much. And what really brought my GPA down was general education courses that I did not do well in. If you take them at a community college they do not affect your GPA at Bradley, and they will generally cost you around a quarter of what you would pay at Bradley.
The professors at Bradley make an effort to get to know you personally. But if you go to their office hours and get extra help if you need it, they will definitely know you. Has for how often students study, it really does depend on the major. My friend who is a criminal justice major only studies when it comes times for tests and things of that nature. But my friend who is a mechanical engineering major and myself, being a health science major, have to study every night, no matter if there is a test or quiz the next day or not, because our 2 majors build on the material that is learned at the beginning. So if you don't master it, you don't master the material to follow. The health science major is the major you declare if you would like to go onto Physical, Speech, or Occupational therapy or a field like that. The department is very nice, and Sharon, the secretary is amazing! She has helped me through many problems. As for spending time with professors out of class, it depends on the class and if you personally want extra help. The education at Bradley is definitely geared towards getting a job. We have a Career Center on campus that is always having job fairs and internship fairs to let the student body know what is happening outside the Bradley bubble.
My favorite thing about Bradley is the Chemistry department. Every single teacher in that department knows my name. They really go out of their way to help you out and really care about how you're doing, both as a student and as a person. I missed a week of school last semester because I was sick. The week I came back I couldn't make it through a day without a faculty member stopping me in the hallway to ask me how I was feeling. The teachers post office hours, but most of them are willing to see you any time they're not busy. They'll sit and help you, many of them for as long as it takes for you to understand the material. The Chemistry department also offers opportunities to gain very valuable research experience. I've gotten to know my research advisor well and gained an idea of what research as a graduate student will be like. Earlier classes are taught in big lecuture halls, but upper level classes are small. Even though the classes taught in a lecture hall were big, I never felt like a teacher didn't have time to answer my questions out of class. Most of my negative experiences with a class at Bradley have been in the general education courses. Many of them are poorly taught and I gained little knowledge that will ever prove useful.
Classes are pretty small-- even lectures are barely 100 kids and professors do know your name even in those. They are pretty flexible and have a lot of office hours for your convenience and will set up any time you need extra to meet with them. Bradley also pays for two and a half hours of tudoring for anyone who wants it on campus every week so thats really nice. The library is kind of old and sucky but everyone studies there-- no one checks out books from there though. Not that anyone checks out books these days anyway. Classes can range from pretty tough to pretty easy it really depends on your major. Engineering is what bradley is known for and thats really really really tough. But education is one of the easiest majors on campus. The nursing school is pretty good too. DO NOT TAKE MATH AT BRADLEY! there are only a few english speaking teachers on campus and chances are you will not get them. it is impossible. I'm in the health science program with a minor in marketing and i love it. The science teachers are really good at Bradley. Classes are definately hard but the teaching staff is very good.
Bradley provides a great academic environment. While there are a few classes that are conducted in lecture halls which may have over 100 people in them, the majority of classes have around 20 students. As move into the 300 and 400 level classes they become more seminar style- having closer to 10 students. This enables professors to give individual attention to the students. People at Bradley study as much as they want to. You can usually get by without it, but if you want to do well then you need to work hard. Class participation is encouraged and sometimes will affect your grade. The Department of International Studies is fairly small. The professors are incredibly smart and very friendly. It is easy to build a relationship in which you are on a first name basis with them. You can be as involved in the major as you want to be. Some people just go to classes, others hang out in the main department office and chat with one another and the professors about school and the world and fun random things. There is always coffee available in the IS office.
Class sizes are usually small...if it's in your major then usually 12-25 students per class, and you get to know the people in your major really well! There are the big lecture classes, and the biggest one that is offered is 150 people, and that's for a gen ed. called Music appreciation (it's one of the fine arts requirements) I feel that there is a great group of professors and they all seem to know you by name. I had one professor for every semester since I've been here. Ted Fleming (BIOLOGY) and he's one of the best teachers I've ever had, ever. Instructors are required to have mandatory office hours, and they are always willing to meet with you outside of class if you are having problems, or just want some extra help. We do have one professor that we are pretty sure is going to cure cancer. (Dr, Cady--neurophysiologist) Bradley has a 95% job placement rate. Obviously that will be higher for majors such as nursing, and engineering.
Two of the best things about Bradley are its class sizes and the student-professor relationship. Usually only the gen-eds (and just some) are found in one of the three lecture halls on campus. These are not the normal classroom settings found at Bradley. Most classes have around 30 students enrolled and the professors are very good about knowing names and having class involvement. Students usually do participate, some of the drier classes (beginning economics, operations management are a couple of examples) are a little more lecture oriented and less student participation. Overall, Bradley is known for its academic excellence. I think Bradley is ranked #6 nationally for academics - that may not be the correct ranking but it is definitely up there. People know about Bradley and it has a very high reputation. Most students - business college and nursing college especially - have jobs lined up before graduation.
The professors become your friends as well as instructors. They truly care about you as students and your successes. They are always available for more help as well as counselling. Personally, I am in advanced nursing classes and I spend most of my free time studying. Bradley is a very studious school. Most days, the library is packed with students hiding away to study for their classes. The education that I have received thus far from Bradley, has prepared me for my future career as a RN. I work as a CNA now and the theories and skills I have learned at Bradley have helped me tremendously for my job. I do not feel as though I lack in education.
I think its great that the class sizes at Bradley are small. The average class size is 23, with only 1% of classes being held in lecture settings. (as I said, I work in admissions and give tours, so I'm full of all sorts of little facts) Even in a lecture setting the teacher can still get to know your name, since a lecture setting might be 100 people, which compared to a larger school is nothing. Some larger schools have lecture classes of 700-1000 people. I think the professors at Bradley are the best of the best. They are hired not to lecture to their students, but to create a learning environment. Not a note taking environment.
I love the class sizes. I've been in classes of close to 70 and had a class of 6, including myself. The size of the class really depends on the type of class it is. Gen Eds are typically bigger classes and classes focused on your major and higher level classes tend to get rather small. Most of my teachers would remember me if I approached them and said hi, semesters after having them. I try to make it a point to talk one on one with my teachers at the beginning of the semester and I have no problems asking them for help in any way. Teachers are extremely understanding in all situations and teachers, in general, are extremely fair.