Worcester, MA: Have you ever visited a beautiful, old, cozy polytechnical institute which borders two parks and a lake, yet is located on the outskirts of a good-sized city? On Veterans Day weekend I did. This unique college was none other than Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Visiting this well-known institute on an open house activities day really got me thinking. From this one visit I quickly saw the infinite and unique opportunities it could offer me, along with the high caliber of teaching, learning, and most important, hands-on doing!
One aspect of this school that is definitely unique is the W.P.I. Plan. This plan sounds complicated at first with all of its M.Q.P.’s and I.Q.P.’s, but as soon as you walk in the door and ask about it, it all becomes quite clear. What it includes is three neat projects that every student must complete for graduation.
The first project is the H.Q.P. (the Humanities Qualifying Project). This allows the engineer of today to be well-rounded by taking five courses in either art, music, drama, or … wait a minute, a technical school with all of these courses? That’s exactly what I said at first. But, yes, it does, along with English, foreign languages, and history. As I mentioned, the goal at W.P.I. is to learn and do all that you can in order to be better equipped for life!
The second project, the I.Q.P., is a qualifying project in which you try and solve a problem of today’s society. It is very exciting as it can be both studied and completed abroad. There are many centers around the world to do this.
The last project is the M.Q. P. (the Major Qualifying Project). This project is one of your choice. Some students have designed solar cars, solar planes, mechanical knee-joints, the core of W.P.I.’s own 12 kw nuclear reactor, and so on.
W.P.I. isn’t just books and projects, it’s also a beautiful campus with lots to do. The campus has beautiful English stone buildings combined with very modern facilities. Where else can you find a wind tunnel inside a stone building covered with ivy and a nuclear reactor downstairs? There’s also a good-sized lake, tennis courts, gorgeous parks, rugged athletic fields, and more!
I don’t mean to sound like an advertisement, but W.P.I. really hit home with me. I loved all the high tech stuff that I had absolutely no idea about (but would love to learn), the ratio of four guys to every girl, the Division III athletic teams, the many clubs and student organizations, and most important, the smiles on everyone’s faces as we walked through the dorms, classes, and hallways. W.P.I. is the type of school where the eager-to-learn, well-rounded, and hard-working student will feel right at home. I know I did, and I was there for only one day. n
Reviewed in 1992