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Southwestern University appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Colleges for Teaching Degrees

30 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Texas

Southwestern University was initially chartered as four colleges (Rutersville, Wesleyan, McKenzie, and Soule) by the Texas Legislature in 1840 before merging into one in 1873. Approaching its 180th year, Southwestern proudly proclaims itself the second-oldest private, coeducational liberal arts-focused school west of the Mississippi. Belonging to the SWC and Annapolis Group, Southwestern is endowed for $239.9 million to enroll 1,536 Pirates from 24 states. Though affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Southwestern keeps its curricula nonsectarian in the Brown College of Arts & Sciences and Sarofim School of Fine Arts. Its 700-acre rural campus in Georgetown, the Texas "Red Poppy Capital," has served notable alumni like Pete Sessions, Bill Engvall, and Joan Bray.

According to the U.S. News, Southwestern is the 96th best national liberal arts college, fifth most vet-friendly campus, 69th best value, and 71st top high school counselor pick. On Niche, Southwestern was declared America's 48th best teacher's college, 67th best small school, and 116th most liberal university. For 2018, Forbes ranked Southwestern the 199th best private college and 83rd most grateful school with "B+" finances. The Princeton Review placed Southwestern 12th for best career services and 11th for greatest impact nationwide. Times Higher Education labeled Southwestern the 274th best U.S. college overall. Included in the "Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL), Southwestern was also deemed the 46th best liberal arts school for service in Washington Monthly.

Southwestern University Accreditation Details

Reaffirmed in 2013 under president Edward B. Burger, PhD, Southwestern has Level II approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Without sanctions, this decade-long regional accreditation certifies high-quality credits and Federal Title IV eligibility from the U.S. Department of Education in all 40 majors. Unlike Texas schools like Trinity and Angelo State, the Education Department hasn't been accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP). However, the bachelor's major does meet the standards of the Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).

Southwestern University Application Requirements

Getting certified to teach by Southwestern will first require passing the "more selective" admission rate of 45 percent. Freshmen entering the pre-education major must have finished an 18-unit high school diploma, preferably the Texas Distinguished Achievement Program. Four years each of English, math, and social science are obligatory. First-year applicants generally rank in the top 25th percentile of their class with a median GPA of 3.54. Undergrads should also score at least 1130 on the SAT and 23 on the ACT. Starting the Teacher Certification Program requires second admission after 60-64 credits are completed with grades above "C-." Southwestern juniors and transfers need at least 20 proven hours of intercultural experience. Passing the THEA test with a score of 230 or higher is expected.

Southwestern has created a binding Early Decision deadline of November 1st, non-binding Early Action deadline of December 1st, and Regular Decision deadline of February 1st. Besides the traditional Freshman Application portal, undergrads could submit the Common Application or ApplyTexas Application online with essays included. If needed, extra materials can be faxed to (512) 863-9601, sent to P.O. Box 770 in Georgetown, TX 78627, or emailed to The Wilhelmina Cullen Admission Center generally requests the following from prospective education majors:

• Check or credit card for the $40 fee (or waiver)

• Official transcripts from each school attended

• Entrance exam scores (SAT code 6674 or ACT code 4186)

• One teacher and one counselor recommendation

• College Official's form for transfer standing

• Certification of finances (Visa students only)

• Résumé or list of extracurricular activities

Tuition and Financial Aid

Named Kiplinger's 72nd best liberal arts value, Southwestern presently bills full-time undergrads $40,560 for annual tuition and fees. Studying education part-time would cost $1,690 per credit taken. Aspiring music educators add $180 per vocal or performance lesson. Unless waived, health insurance premiums are $1,898. Living on-campus in Georgetown costs $6,290 for housing and $6,148 for unlimited meals yearly. Southwestern suggests budgeting $1,200 for textbooks and $1,260 for personal expenses each year. The annual price of attendance is roughly $51,180. For four years, the B.A./B.S. in Education would cost $204,720 total before aid.

The NCES paints a sunny picture where 98 percent of full-time Southwestern Pirates earn average financial assistance of $22,662 apiece for $33.81 million total. Education students might secure institutional funds, such as the Brown Scholar Award, Bishop Ernest T. Dixon Jr. Scholarship, United Methodist Beneficiary Grant, Music Performance Award, Upfront Scholarship, and Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship. Filing the FAFSA form via code 003620 could qualify you for up to $10,000 from the Southwestern Grant. Many financially needy undergrads snag Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, and TEACH Grant money. The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill offers tuition assistance benefits and book stipends for returning military. Lone Star State residents may earn the TEXAS Grant, Top 10 Percent Scholarship, Foster Care Training Voucher, or Armed Services Scholarship. Borrowing limits will vary for the Stafford, Perkins, and Parents PLUS loan programs. Pirate Link also lists Federal Work-Study (FWS) jobs for up to 17 hours weekly.

Studying Education at Southwestern

Boasting a 98 percent TExES exam pass rate since 1999, the Education Department at Southwestern is chaired by Dr. Stephen Marble in Mood-Bridwell Hall to train upper-division undergraduates. The 51-credit Education Major leads to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science for students to sharpen the pedagogical skills for inclusive Texas classes. Students choose from six certification tracks: Early Childhood (Birth-3), Middle School (4-8), Secondary (8-12), Physical Education (K-12), Special Education (K-12), or Music Education (K-12). Content area specializations can be developed for Mathematics, Science, Language Arts, or Social Studies. Courses hold a 12:1 student-faculty ratio for close interactions in courses from public speaking to educational psychology.

Attending Southwestern allows for in-depth classroom experiences thanks to partnerships with the Georgetown Independent School District, including Dell Pickett Elementary, Charles A. Forbes Middle, and Georgetown High. The Operation Achievement Program encourages B.A/B.S. majors to mentor adolescents in Grades 6-8 for two hours weekly. Seniors build on their pre-service fieldwork with 12 weeks of student teaching in districts within 60 miles of campus. Other opportunities include taking the First-Year Paideia Seminar, attending the Creative Works Symposium, tutoring in the Debby Ellis Writing Center, participating in the Jessie Daniel Ames Lecture Series, studying abroad from Australia to Austria, volunteering with Best Buddies, and joining the T.E.A.C.H. Club. Southwestern University also offers the Semester of Support (SOS) for new teachers after graduation.

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