What is the Return on Education? Or ROE.
We offer an educational experience that will uniquely prepare you for success.
That’s why The Economist ranked Wilkes 25th in the nation—higher than MIT—for economic value. This prestigious global news magazine determined a college’s value by comparing what a school’s graduates earn to what they might have earned had they studied elsewhere.
When it comes to being a true community, we walk the walk. Literally. It’s almost impossible to walk from one part of the campus to another without hearing students, staff and professors greet each other by name. You probably saw this for yourself during a campus visit. Older students help younger ones. Professors shout, “Bravo!” as the curtain falls on a campus musical and host dinners with students and invest time in their success. We are all in this together.
Hands-on, Active Learning
Wilkes encourages students to take full advantage of internships, to collaborate with faculty on research, and to explore potential careers in our cooperative education program. Often a college graduate’s first job is at the same company where he or she interned. In a highly competitive job market, that’s a nice advantage.
Hear From Our Students
Christine Bergey ’15
- Hometown: Kingston, Pa.
- Major: Biology/Pre-dental
- Involvement: Ecology Research, Health Sciences Pre-professional Society, Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society, Alpha Chi National College Honor Society
- Now: Student at University of Maryland School of Dentistry
Chrissy, of Kingston, Pa., plunged into research at Nescopeck State Park with Dr. Jeff Stratford. The results are helping scientists devise strategies for returning polluted ecosystems to health. She values her relationships with Wilkes professors, who still email to check in on her.
“Not only did biology professors know who you were and your career aspirations, but also teachers of other departments such as chemistry and physics.”
Lab courses in microbiology and mammalian physiology gave Chrissy baseline knowledge helping her excel in dental school. “The advanced skills I learned in my classes and labs at Wilkes have no doubt helped me to succeed at Maryland.”
Laurie Langan and David Bergey (Christine’s Parents)
The preparation Chrissy and her brother, Andy, received at Wilkes smoothed their respective transitions to dental school and a Ph.D. program in mechanical engineering, say parents Laurie and David. “The solid foundation she received in her science courses at Wilkes such as microbiology, biochemistry and physiology allowed her to master similar courses during her first year of dental school.”
“The positive feedback that Chrissy received from her Wilkes professors gave her additional confidence and opportunities to succeed.”
Troy Carey ’16
- Hometown: New Milford, Pa.
- Majors: Criminology and Sociology
- Minors: Political Science and International Studies
- Involvement: Bacchus, Sociology/Criminology Club, Admissions Ambassador, Phonathon, Homecoming Student Team, Alternative Spring Break
- Now: Management Development Associate at NBT Bank
Troy chose to dive right in and join some clubs at Wilkes, allowing him to soon take on leadership roles. As president of Bacchus, he advocated for student health and well-being, initiating an alcohol awareness walk with about 500 students, faculty and staff members participating. “That helped me gain some confidence and work with my team.”
“They really cared about my professional development and my personal development.”
Troy, who graduated in three years, attended three Eastern Sociological Society annual meetings, taking him to Baltimore, New York City and Washington, D.C. In his senior year, he presented with Dr. Andrew Wilczak and sat on a panel with an internationally published author. Troy and Dr. Wilczak studied how a student’s home life correlated with their likelihood to engage in destructive behaviors.
Ken Carey (Troy’s Dad)
Concerned about his sons taking on too much debt, Ken steered Troy’s older brother,
Shawn, to a state university. Shawn transferred to Wilkes after one semester. Once
Shawn showed his brother all Wilkes could offer, Troy’s decision was easy. Campus
jobs and grants helped offset expenses. Ken says the small university in a small city
was a nice transition. “Wilkes was a growth opportunity
but not too overwhelming.”
“It was really amazing how much the faculty and staff were so much a part of my sons’ lives.”
Anastasia English ’16
- Hometown: Columbia, Md.
- Major: Nursing
- Involvement: Tennis
- Now: Telemetry Nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Tennis drew Anastasia to Wilkes. Some of her fondest college memories are of national tournaments and annual spring break trips to Hilton Head, S.C. Coach Chris Leicht was “kind of another parent at Wilkes. He knew I was far away from home.”
The Columbia, Md., native liked the camaraderie of her nursing program. “We studied together, we’d go out together. It’s kind of like one big family.”
“I’m glad we started our sophomore year with clinicals, with hospital experience. It gave us an extra year of gaining skills and learning how to be a nurse.” “I was nervous being in such a big hospital, and my patients are really sick people. ”
I was nervous, but I had some confidence.”
Gail Little (Anastasia’s Mom)
Anastasia’s mom was impressed by the personal attention her daughter received even before she enrolled at Wilkes.
“It proved they wanted to make sure she would be comfortable living there for the next four years.”
Wilkes faculty and staff take the time to get to know students individually. “You’re not just a number at Wilkes, but you’re apart of a unit that cares about your all-around success, and they have the tools to produce success,” Gail says.
Nicholas Patricia ’16
- Hometown: Apalachin, N.Y.
- Major: Pharmacy
- Involvement: Soccer, Research,
- American Pharmacists Association, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Health System Pharmacists
- Now: Postgraduate Year 1
- Pharmacy Resident at WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Raleigh, N.C.
Nick wanted to study pharmacy at a smaller school where he could also play soccer—a place where “you could have a relationship with your classmates and the professors as well.”
The rigors of playing midfielder kept him focused. “It was never a problem” to mix his two interests, says the Apalachin, N.Y., native.
Knowing he wanted to pursue a residency after graduating with his Pharm.D., Nick sought the research opportunity he would need to compete. He reached out to Dr. Ed Foote, who “became a mentor and a friend.”
Drs. Patricia and Foote presented their research at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy international conference in San Francisco.
“Even though Wilkes is a smaller school, the pharmacy program is excellent and can compete with other top-ranked schools in the nation.”
Karen Patricia (Nick’s Mom)
Even before Nick enrolled as a student, his contacts with Wilkes convinced him it was a good fit, says mom Karen. “We knew immediately that the school was very hands-on and had a family-like feel.”
“The Nesbitt School of Pharmacy offered an excellent classroom and real-world experience. Hours required at local pharmacies, along with final-year rotations, provided Nick with an honest look at his chosen profession.”
Megan Powers ’16
- Hometown: Pottsville, Pa.
- Major: Accounting
- Minor: Management
- Involvement: Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, Volleyball, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Letterwomen’s Club
- Now: Audit Associate at BDO
Wilkes started preparing Megan for her career from her very first day as a freshman, when she and classmates launched a business selling tank tops. The Pottsville, Pa., native built on that by volunteering to complete tax returns for low-income families and then auditing tax collectors for a summer internship. Her beefy resume earned her a job offer six months before graduation.
Megan’s advisor, Dr. Marianne Rexer, guided her during Wilkes’ Semester in Mesa program, where she took 18 credits at the University’s educational center. “Going to Arizona definitely helped me not be afraid of a new situation.”
As starting setter on the women’s volleyball team for all four years of her college career, Megan says she actually earned better grades during the season. “My time management was great.”
“Wilkes prepared me so well. We are all so happy that I decided to go there.”
John and Barbara Powers (Megan’s Parents)
Anxious moments about where Megan would continue her academic and athletic careers were soothed after initial visits to Wilkes, say Megan’s parents.
“From secretaries and support staff, to professors, coaches and advisors, we quickly learned that Wilkes truly believed in the concept of educating the whole student.
"We were treated with respect and patience when asking numerous questions concerning all aspects of life at the university.”
Sydney Schafer ’16
Hometown: Lehighton, Pa.
Major: Elementary and Early Childhood Education, and Special Education
Minor: Reading Education Involvement: Education Club, Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society
Now: Elementary Learning Support Teacher for Second and Third Grades at Lehighton Area School District
Sydney was drawn to the family feel of Wilkes’ education program. “I liked how small it was. I liked that I wouldn’t be just a number.”
She put the theories learned in class to work quickly, working with preK through fifth-grade students in an after-school reading program on campus, as well as at a Professional Development School that pairs Wilkes education students with teachers in a local elementary school.
And that’s before her student teaching experience. She split the 15-week semester between a local middle school and a school in Mesa, Ariz.
“Professors didn’t just know me as someone in their class. They communicated with me on a more personal level."
Harold Schafer (Sydney’s Dad)
Professors in the education department prepared Sydney extremely well for her career, says dad Harold.
“They also encouraged her to step outside of her comfort zone, which allowed her to gain a lot of confidence in herself and her abilities as a teacher.”
Jason Ugwu ’16
- Hometown: Collegeville, Pa.
- Major: Mechanical Engineering
- Minor: Physics Involvement: Football
- Now: Engineer 1 at UGI Utilities Inc.
Jason was looking for a school where he could study engineering and play football. Balancing college-level academics and athletics proved challenging. But this linebacker and defensive end was surprised to find that he earned his best grades during football season.
Coaches urged him to set goals each year and checked in frequently to drive success both on the field and in his major. Small classes and an internship at local manufacturer CornellCookson gave him valuable experience he uses daily in his job leading a project team that upgrades utility stations.
Says Jason, a native of Nigeria who came to Wilkes from Collegeville, Pa.,
“There are a lot of opportunities put out to people from freshman to senior year.”
Mary Ugwu (Jason’s Mom)
Jason’s mom, Mary, is glad her son chose Wilkes.
“It’s a small school, with a four-year engineering degree program, and now he is working in his field.”
You know our decision. WE’D LOVE TO KNOW YOURS.
- You are coming to the end of an exciting, and perhaps daunting, process. It’s not every day someone makes a decision this big.
- We feel that Wilkes provides an exceptional value when you consider all we have to
- personal engagement and a supportive environment that educates the whole student;
- hands-on approach to provide practical experience in addition to classroom learning; internships and cooperative learning experiences that develop confidence and career connections;
- culture and atmosphere that produces hundreds of exceptional young men and women like those featured here;
- active alumni network that remembers those anxious post-graduation days and knows the advantages of seeing “Wilkes” on a resume.