Profile: Lycoming College (PA)
Last month I was invited to visit Lycoming College, a small (around 1,300 undergraduates) located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
If you’re a baseball fan, you might know of Williamsport as the home of the Little League World Series. However, it is also a college town with two colleges. Lycoming shares the community with the Pennsylvania College of Technology, an affiliate of Penn State that has approximately 6,000 students. Williamsport is also a seat of county government as well as judicial courts. Lycoming, under the leadership of its president Dr. Kent Trachte, is playing a significant leadership role in the economic development of the community. I had the opportunity to write a thorough profile and collected pictures for a Pinterest page.
Lycoming is located in the state that has more private liberal arts colleges than any other in the US. Founded in 1812, it is one of the oldest private colleges in the country. Yet it is easy for a college’s name to become lost among some famous names such as Bucknell, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg and Lafayette as well as the Pennsylvania schools (Allegheny, Juniata and Ursinus) that are Colleges That Change Lives.
Under Dr. Trachte’s leadership over the past three years, Lycoming has made significant advancements in academic support and opportunity for its students.There are some interesting approaches in numerous majors and programs as you will find in the profile. The college has several signature and scholarship programs in areas such as archeology, business, education, environmental studies and the sciences, among others.
More recently, the four-year graduation rate improved from 52 percent for the class that entered in 2008, to 57 percent for the class that arrived the following year. These numbers will only get better as the programs continue to get better. The college is already more generous than most when it comes to assisting its students. It can also house virtually all of its students, though it needs more house and apartment-style options for juniors and seniors.
Lycoming is an attractive option for a good-to-very good student who might ordinarily be directed towards choosing a state school in Pennsylvania or elsewhere, but would benefit more for the more personalized approach of a smaller college. There are many such students in high schools today. My visit reminded me of what I continually believe: Colleges are a collection of services performed by people, and the people matter the most.
Report Card for Lycoming College:
- 4-year/6-year graduation rates: C+/C+
- Freshman Retention: B
- Costs: A
- Curriculum: A
- Community: B+
- Comforts: B+
- Connections: B