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Old 08-20-2010, 10:07 PM
 
2,288 posts, read 5,630,991 times
Reputation: 1698

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muppet123 View Post
Wait... what?!?!?!?!?!?!?

According to this: Chicago crime data (formerly chicagocrime.org) | EveryBlock Chicago

Englewood is the 2nd worst area in Chicago... yes, I know Lakeview is on there, but I went there because I was pretty sure that Englewood was the crime infested hellhole I thought it was and wanted some data to back that up before calling it a crime infested hellhole
Yeah, I know. Sounds like a pretty exciting place to live, doesn't it!
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:41 AM
 
3 posts, read 4,085 times
Reputation: 10
Default How bad is Harold Washington College?

Hi

I was planning on earning my associate degree from Harold Washington College, and later transfer to a 4-year university wherever, but the more I read about the college the less I want to enroll.

The overall reviews circulating on the internet are plain horrible, the very few positive feedbacks seem to be inputs by a member of the school’s faculty.

Since I am a foreign student and not in the US at the moment my entire experience is based on email contact, which has so far been rather bad. Forth day and I still haven’t received an answer regarding the deadline for fall applications. (Whish hilariously isn’t even available on their website)

I read in more than one review that the staff is lazy and rude and that the whole process to register for classes is unbearable and that the school prepares you badly for “real” colleges.

I really want to live in Chicago, but now I’m even considering picking another city because of this crap I read.

The thing is it’s hard to relate to random reviews on the internet made by people you don’t know. Some people are very sensitive and as soon as it’s no longer a walk in the park they complain. On the other hand it could be as horrible as claimed, I guess…

What do you say?

I would also like to add a bonus question; if not Chicago, which city would you recommend for someone who doesn’t have a driver license?


Thank you
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 24,516,087 times
Reputation: 1761
Uhhh they are swamped right now with classes starting this week. Why don't you call?

I sure hope you did not just started looking to register for this Fall.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:12 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,085 times
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No, I am aiming for spring 2011, but I really need to know right now when the deadline for applications are set, so I know if I need to leave Spain and go back to my home country in order to start all the application procedures and also begin studying for TOEFL.

As said; I am not in the US and I really don't want to call across the Atlantic Ocean on my prepaid phone when it can be done over email.


Does anyone have any insight in Harold Community College? I’m not very greedy, I know I get what I pay for, and I’m fine with that as long as it’s not a total waste of money. I’m not into socializing or partying and that type of college life, I just want to get my **** together, study hard and transfer. Descent education with good preparations for college is all I ask for.

Ty
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:00 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 76,254,813 times
Reputation: 18535
Default You gotta realize the target...

The City of Colleges in general have very wide ranger of students, some of whom are horribly unfocused and basically abusing student loans, while others have solid plans to learn a skill. A veey small percentage of students truly have the discipline to utilize the schools as a path to a four year institution.

Like many politically run organizations in Illinois the concept of "merit" is largely pushed aside by "connections" (other wise known as clout...) so there are some VERY unmotivated employees that would not move fast if their lunch was on fire under their nose.

There are also some instructors that do work very hard to do a good job, many of whom have inspirational stories of coming from very modest beginnings ,to getting an advanced degree. That said, the general level of rigor in all but a handful of cases is pretty poor -- too many of the classes are kind of remedial.

A few friends that I knew from my high school teaching days have earned advanced degrees and tried to teach at the City Colleges. For the clout heavy theta can land a comfy job it works out OK, but for most others basically any other choice is better. I think it is safe to say that similar advice fro students is reasonable...
It seems hopelessly naive to think that this would be a good place to launch a journey that starts in Spain. Really . Some of the other City Colleges (further out in the neighborhoods) are almost certainly better academically, as are the many community colleges in the region. Being part of school's target demographic is something they tell you in many ways , one of which is that the poorly laid out web site...
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:00 PM
 
172 posts, read 402,950 times
Reputation: 64
I took many classes there before transferring to UIC. Some classes were very difficult (mostly the science classes) and some classes were an extremely easy A. There is a large varienty of students that go there. Like a PP said some people are just abusing the financial aid. In the evening classes many of the students are professionals who are looking to advance in their career or change careers. I don't know if I would bother getting an Associates. I didn't since I knew I was going to transfer. I only needed a few more classes but I didn't want to spend time or money on a class I wouldn't need for my bachelors. And yes...many of the people who work in the offices are rude and/or lazy. The lines at HW were much longer than the ones at UIC ever were.
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:03 AM
 
28 posts, read 80,078 times
Reputation: 37
Its not a bad college at all as far as city college is concerned. I've been to a couple of city colleges of Chicago and from my experiences the academic standards are held to a higher degree at Harold Washington(Though there are the easy classes). This is because the student body is very diverse, and comes from all over the city(Students coming as far north as Howard and as far south as 95th and State). You'll see every ethnicity here(White, Black, Latino) and I've even seen some foreign students.

Where the college falls short is people skills. Dealing with other people. Try to avoid it, as like others have mentioned you have office workers who have to deal with students and people trying to exploit financial aid and whatnot, and the college is in a desirable place since it pretty much is near the heart of downtown Chicago. This means to register as early as you can to avoid dealing with office workers who have attitudes and whatnot. I've had some mixups with tuition and whatnot, and from my personal experiences I haven't had any office workers try to cop an attitude with me or anything.

The academics are okay. I would say you definitely learn something, though like many other colleges and universities, what you learn could come down to your interest in the subject and the way your professor teaches you the information. I had 2 really great teachers last year, 1 teacher who was good at teaching the material, but not so good at engaging and keeping students interested. And 1 teacher who was pretty horrid. She was nice, but I felt I didn't learn anything. Whatever she taught in that class I could have just stayed home and read from the book myself.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: New York
40 posts, read 127,575 times
Reputation: 18
I am currently enrolled at HWC. As you said, some ppl are way too sensitive and others aren't. I think the same applies to dealing with administration -- some students go in and have a perfectly smooth encounter; whereas others go to the same office, speak with the same administrators, yet have a terrible drama episode. Go figure!

The security guards are not in their office as often as one may want them to be. There is an info desk on the first floor, and even though the guy is often on his cell phone, he will stop using it as soon as you walk up to him and will answer every question you have. There's a cafeteria in the basement, with vending machines and a cafe. You can also bring your own lunch if you wanna save money. The people in the library are very, very helpful. Unfortunately, printing and copying is not free -- 10 cents per page. Getting your ID is rather quickly. Signing up for courses, though, can be a hassle depending on when you do it. I advise you not to wait until the last week of the deadline because that's when lines get long. If you go earlier, you'll be fine. From Room 101 (Admissions), they'll send you to another room where you will take placement tests. Then you'll go to the computer lab where you will officially register for the chosen courses (with the help of an advisor). If I were you, I wouldn't wait until December. From what I read, I can't even tell if you are not a native speaker of English, so I wouldn't "prepare" so much about TOEFL. I think it might be wiser if you do more research on the institution where I want to transfer (because you don't wanna take courses at HWC which will not be accepted later)

Here's a website where you can check if a given course is still open: https://my.ccc.edu/servlets/iclients...languageCd=ENG You can also look up info about the required course material, where the class meets, prerequisites, etc.

As for your other question, nothing beats NYC when it comes to that. Boston, DC, and Chicago are also good picks though.

Last edited by vince85; 08-27-2010 at 12:17 PM..
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:15 PM
 
Location: New York
40 posts, read 127,575 times
Reputation: 18
UPDATE:
I just phoned HWC, and here's what they said: as an international student, you can mail your application but you need to be here in person in order to register for classes. That same day, you will be required to take the math and English placement tests, which are administered by the school itself. TOEFL is also required but is a test you can take elsewhere.

The woman in the Int'l Student Office was very helpful actually. I dont know where you got those negative reviews. Her name is Yolanda (312.553.6004).
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:26 AM
 
2,060 posts, read 5,312,365 times
Reputation: 1663
I assume you have looked into your student visa too?
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