Typical university campuses are large, somewhat intimidating to the geographically challenged, and often populated with towering buildings filled with unfamiliar faces. Shimer couldn’t be more different. We’re an alternative liberal arts college housed within the campus of another school - the Illinois Institute of Technology. It’s a perfect pairing. On the one hand, Shimer students really can’t get lost on their way to class (our building only has two floors), but on the hand they can access and fully enjoy all that the IIT campus has to offer. Shimer boasts all of the advantages of a small, intimate setting without any of the associated restrictions.
The city of Chicago is internationally recognized for its beautiful architecture. Sharing space with IIT, Shimerians can appreciate some iconic examples up close and personal - like the campus center designed by Rem Koolhaas and contributions from Mies van der Rohe. Plus, for the more ecologically-minded students, joint access to resources means a more sustainable and efficient use of finite resources like water, land, and libraries. No matter which way you look at it, two campuses in one makes for an inspiring student experience.
A Culture of Sharing
Shimer and IIT share more than geographic space and a few buildings. Shimerians pursuing a liberal arts degree can supplement their learning with advanced science and technology courses at IIT, as well as music theory and composition courses at the VanderCook College of Music. And students of IIT are welcome to join us at Shimer to fulfill their humanities and social science credits. The result is an eclectic mix of educational backgrounds and viewpoints, well suited to the dynamic discussion-based classroom learning Shimer embraces.
An Abundance of Resources
One of the limitations of very small schools is the scarcity of student clubs and organizations. Shimer gets around this obstacle by partnering with IIT, making all associations and social cooperatives available to both sets of students. Recent favorites include Tech News editing, Hillel, Feminists United, GLAM (Gays, Lesbians, Allies, and More), Rock Climbing, and Cycling. IIT’s Women Center is also completely accessible to Shimerians looking for additional academic and personal support services.
And for students in liberal arts courses looking ahead to graduation, Shimer has access to IIT’s comprehensive career services. At the Career Management Center located in Hermann Hall, students receive guidance and coaching in everything related to the job search - resume crafting, interview techniques, getting comfortable with employment databases. The Center also hosts career fairs where students can meet with companies interested in hiring.
Shimer students truly enjoy the best of both worlds: a close-knit academic family housed within a full-service big city campus.
What’s your favorite aspect of the Shimer-IIT exchange?