I was working as a substitute at a neighboring high school. While there I met a true friend who was filled with resources. She was a retired Special School District teacher who was asked to become an Occupational Therapist. She would constantly say I should return to school to obtain my certification, to which I would constantly reply, I really don’t have time. I have a daughter graduating college, a daughter in 3rd grade, and a preschooler who keeps me busy. Plus I have responsibilities at my church as Assistant Treasurer and Assistant Youth Coordinator, and at the time I was the PTO president at the High School, Early Childhood Center, and I was PTO secretary at my middle daughter’s school. However, my new friend continued to say, you have a gift for working with children, as she constantly urged me to obtain my certification.
After her constant requests, I began researching various schools and teacher certification programs. When I met the Director of Graduate Programs in HES, I was excited and ready to begin. So in the Spring of 2009 I began, but unfortunately, I had to have surgery so I wasn’t able to complete the semester. Feeling discouraged and frustrated I met with the Director of Financial Aid who was another wonderful resource who gave me a lot of options. During the Summer of 2009, I changed majors and entered the Pathways program, and although I’ve had numerous problems and situations, thanks to my fabulous advisor, I’ve been able to continue, and I am so thankful that I chose Fontbonne.
After my senior year of high school, I was a little lost on where I wanted to go for college. I knew that I wanted to study art but I hadn’t found a place that felt right. My high school art teacher recommended me for a summer art camp hosted at Fontbonne University. I hadn’t seriously considered Fontbonne before then. My older brother had attended FBU for a year, and I didn’t think much of it, but there was a lot for me to learn that summer, and not just about art.
While attending the 4-week camp, I got to meet a handful of graduate students who also sang praise for Fontbonne. They claimed the biggest hallmark of the Fontbonne Fine Arts Department was the emphasis on classical training. They lamented friends who had graduated from other art programs but still couldn’t draw. Fontbonne, they told me, would give me a strong foundational education on the formal elements of art to better prepare me for the incredibly competitive art world. I took their recommendation under advisement.
The campus was charming and easy to navigate. A smaller student body appealed to me, having come from a very small high school. The location in the Clayton/University City area was prime.
But here’s what really sealed the deal for me. Everyone in the art department seemed to know each other. It wasn’t clique-ish, but it was neighborly. People walked in and out of the building all the time during the summer camp, and they always were saying hello to somebody. But they never referred to Misters or Misses in the faculty. It took only a little while to figure out that everyone was on a first name basis with the teachers, and that is an excellent selling point.
Now in my third year as an art student, I can vouch for all these things. The teachers are very personable and almost all of them go by their first name. Victor, Hank, Keith, Tim, Cat…. the informal atmosphere makes going to class a pleasure: an opportunity for self improvement, not a chore. As a student who wants to spend their life doing what they love, Fontbonne was an excellent choice to find a way to do just that.
For the first time ever, I’m going to write along the lines of the weekly theme, which for this week is “Why Did You Choose Fontbonne?” (Proud of me?)
Honestly, it all came down to, as the real estate agents say, “Location, location, location.” I knew I wanted a school in Saint Louis so I could hold a job year-round and save money by living at home. This narrowed things down considerably, so I next considered the scholarships and financial aid the schools in the area had offered me, and Fontbonne was tied with another school as the best deal.
From there, I started thinking about how distance and school environment would affect my on-campus involvement. One school was about 40 minutes away from my house, while Fontbonne is only 20, and I knew that a 40 minute drive compared to a 20 minute one could end up hindering my social life because, frankly, I’m rather lazy and I knew I would be less likely to haul myself up to school for weekend events if I had to travel 40 minutes to get there.
Hence, Fontbonne was my school of choice. Picking a college to attend is a really difficult decision to make, and I wish all you future-freshman the best of luck!