Out-of-state students also call Dominican home
From left, Haley Taylor,Anastasia Zacour and Jessica Perri, all members of the Dominican University soccer team, are among many out-of-state students attending classes at the university. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 14, 2012 12:56PM
Though many may not realize it, Dominican University’s reach goes beyond Illinois. Students from all over the country enroll in its programs.
About 10 percent of Dominican students come from 30 different states, said Dominican Enrollment Management Senior Vice President Ray Kennelly.
“There are three major factors for out-of-state students to attend Dominican,” Kennelly said. “It is either for an academic program, Dominican’s proximity to Chicago, or for an athletic program.”
Academic programs most sought out by out-of-state students include apparel design, nutrition, and neuroscience. International students attend Dominican for its English Language Institute program, Kennelly said. The top three countries sending students to Dominican include Saudi Arabia, China, and India.
Sophomore Jessica Perri, from Dana Point, Calif., freshman Anastasia Zacour from El Paso, Texas, and sophomore Haley Tyler from Nenana, Alaska all chose to attend Dominican. Each heard about Dominican in very different ways, but all three are on the university’s women’s soccer team.
“I had a recruit who sent out a mass email to different coaches,” Zacour said. “Dominican was one of the ones that responded. That’s why I decided to come here.”
Zacour plays on the Dominican soccer team, as does Tyler, who also plays basketball. Tyler was registered on a site called North West Recruiting, and Dominican happened to see her profile. The basketball coach contacted her and she decided to come to Dominican to be a two-sport athlete.
“I wanted to go to college in Las Vegas,” Perri said. “But, my parents said no way. My parents suggested Chicago, because it has a great night life and city life, but not as risqué as Vegas. I decided to give it a try.”
For Tyler, being in Chicago was very different from Alaska.
“The biggest thing is the humidity; it’s killing me,” she said.
During the Alaskan winter, temperatures can be 50 below zero. Also, the towns in Alaska are much smaller than the Chicago area.
“Back home in Alaska, the towns are at least 40 minutes away from each other and there’s nothing in between,” Tyler said. “My graduating class was 31 kids.”
To help students orient to the area, Dominican’s introduction includes a trip on the CTA Green Line to show students how to maneuver their way downtown.
“We want students to increase their awareness,” Kennelly said.
In El Paso, Zacour said Mexican American heritage is more prevalent, since it’s only 10 minutes away from the Mexican border.
“Everywhere you go, people speak Spanish,” she said. “Here, people don’t even like spicy food.”
All three women travel home only for Christmas and summer vacation. Purchasing plane tickets is pricey. But they wouldn’t trade the experience.
“I think coming to Dominican and experiencing something new is probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Perri said. “To seize this opportunity is incredible because I couldn’t get it anywhere else.”~.