William Jessup Preview Day gives behind-the-scenes look at college life

By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Placer Herald editor
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William Jessup University hosted its biannual Preview Day last Friday, inviting prospective students and their families to campus to learn what life is like at the college.

Sheila Haut, the university’s public information officer, said 186 attendees participated in the day’s activities that included chapel, campus tours and panels in which current students chatted with prospective students while Jessup parents talked with prospective students’ parents.

“Typically we find that once students come and visit our campus, they usually like it,” Haut said.

One of the visitors who liked what he saw was Sheldon Arce of Stockton, who said he heard about William Jessup through his high school Christian Club. He said he was interested in “the philosophy and theology, and what we learn, and also college experience.” What struck him right away was the cleanliness of campus, he laughed, adding that he was also impressed with the diversity of the campus, curriculum and faith.

“William Jessup strongly believes that you don’t teach people what to think, you teach them how to think,” said senior Elisabeth Schlaepfer, a psychology major who led campus tours.

The tours stopped by all the campus hot spots, including the cafeteria and popular Crossroads Café. She also showed the group the library, gym and dorms, and afterward students got to attend a class – public policy, psychology or Bible and theology. At just over 1,000 students, Jessup is a small college that is quickly growing, Schlaepfer explained.

“That’s one thing that’s awesome about William Jessup – you get a lot of one-on-one attention from your professors, because they’re not totally overloaded with other students,” she said, recalling that the smallest class she has been in had only seven students. “You will know your teachers on a first-name basis, they’ll know you, and you’ll have that kind of really strong relationship, which is really cool.”

Preview Day also served as a chance for prospective students to learn about financial aid options. While William Jessup’s tuition is $22,900, Haut said more than 90 percent of students receive some sort of aid, from private scholarships to the Yellow Ribbon program for veterans. Federal and state financial aid programs are also available.

A nondenominational Christian liberal arts college, the four-year university offers majors in bible and theology, English, history, intercultural studies, music, psychology and more, including a new biology major. Regardless of the major, each student is required to fulfill a Christian service requirement during half the time they attend.

“We don’t want to just be isolated in our own little comfortable bubble,” Schlaepfer explained. “We want to be a presence in our community, proclaiming the Gospel both in word and deed. So we want to be out serving in the community and being a positive influence.”

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