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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tips for College Freshmen


I hope these tips will help your children or students get through the first semester of college with good grades, good health, new friends, not too much homesickness, and no regrets.
Academic Tips:
1.      Attend class regularly.
2.      Do your homework. Plan on doing two hours of school work out of class for every hour in class.
3.      When you don’t understand something in class, get help from the school’s tutoring center and/or visit the professor during office hours with your questions right away.
4.      Find a good place to study on campus, like the library.
5.      Don’t leave big projects until the last minute.
Social Tips:
1.      Find and join some clubs, as soon as possible. Take advantage of the activity fair during orientation or early in the first semester to learn what clubs are available.
2.      Keep your dorm room door open when you are in. This makes it easier for you and your hallmates to get to know each other.
3.      Eat your meals with other students. Make mealtime a social event.
4.      If you are a residential student, don’t go home on the weekends.
5.      Set up groundrules with your roommate.
6.      Talk with your Residential Advisor about problems you are having.
Other tips:
1.      Get at least seven hours of sleep a night.
2.      Eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and supper.
3.      Know and use the services the school has to offer, as needed. These may include health services, job placement services, recreation facilities, tutoring service, disability services, and more.
4.      Exercise regularly.
5.      Manage your time and your money.
6.      Do things in moderation.
7.      Be true to yourself and your values.
8.      Don’t do things that are illegal, immoral or unethical.
9.      And last but not least, communicate with your family.
What other tips would you give?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rutgers-Newark 7-Year Medical Program

Getting into the Rutgers-Newark 7-year medical program is highly competitive. The first three years are spent at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Caldwell University, Stockton University, Rutgers-Newark, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Montclair State University or Stevens Institute of Technology and the last four years are spent at Rutgers-Newark. Fifty-two students were admitted into this 7-year program this year, across the seven schools.
NJIT

TCNJ

Montclair State

Stevens Institute of Technology
The program requirements are:
  • Top 10% of high school graduating class
  • Minimum SAT score of 1400 or ACT score of 32, with neither being superscored
  • U. S. citizen or permanent resident by the start of the medical program portion
  • Must have a high school GPA > 3.5, although the high school GPA is usually > 4.0
  • Need a B or higher in all pre-med college classes
  • Must take the MCAT while in college and score at the national average or higher
  • Need to maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 each college semester.
Here are suggested activities during high school for students interested in this program:
  • Shadow physicians
  • Volunteer in a hospital
  • Go on a medical mission trip
  • Learn about different medical specialties
  • Participate in research (e.g., in a summer science program)
  • Be an EMT volunteer
  • Be a lifeguard
  • Start a non-profit.
To get accepted, there are two interviews: one is a general admissions interview and the second is a medical school interview. It is a good idea for students to practice their interpersonal and interview skills.
Recently, Stevens had 150 applicants to the program. Of the 150 applicants, ten were interviewed and two were accepted.  The Stevens application is due in mid-November and the Caldwell application is due by December 1.
Students are notified if they have been accepted by the medical school by early April, not April 1. The medical school communicates with the student using the Common App email address, so the student should check that email address daily to ensure they don’t miss any time-critical communications.
Thanks to Julie Washington of Caldwell University and Brian Switay of Stevens Institute of Technology for sharing this information at the 2017 NJACAC conference.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rutgers University Honors College

The Rutgers University Honors College, which is two years old, is not to be confused with the Rutgers honors programs. The Honors College takes the top 7% of each school (except nursing) from Rutgers New Brunswick. The Honors College brings together students from across disciplines, creating an interdisciplinary experience.
Freshmen in the Honors College are required to live together in their own housing, a Living and Learning community on College Avenue. When I visited the building, I got to see great seminar spaces, as well as spaces designed for group collaboration, socializing, and studying. Campus Honors Cohort housing is available the sophomore through senior years for those students who wish to take advantage of it.
Academically, the Honors program is special in three areas: curriculum, research and co-curricular programming.
The curriculum includes:
  1. A 1-credit Freshman seminar on curiosity and how to develop new ideas
  2. The Honors College Forum, a 3-credit freshman class on social innovation which includes a group social innovation project
  3. Interdisciplinary classes over first two years, some of which include a study abroad component.
Students in the Honors College take a minimum of four honors classes.
Research is built into the program. Freshmen get an introduction to research, with summer research available after the freshman year. Sophomores have an Aresty Assistantship, in which they assist a professors with their research. Juniors do major research and seniors complete a capstone project.
Special co-curricular programs include honors academic advising, service-learning, internships, and global education. Students have a requirement to do a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer activities in their first three years,
The freshmen and sophomores I met on my visit, were very happy they had chosen the Rutgers University Honors College, over the other highly-competitive colleges and universities that had accepted them. What is your experience with the Honors College?


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Union College

Union College in Schnectady, NY is unusual in many ways, including:
  1. Being a small college with majors in the liberal arts, sciences and engineering.
  2. Having three 10-week semesters each year as well as two 3-week semesters during the winter break. Students generally take 3 classes during each 10-week semester; engineering students need to take 4 classes during some 10-week semesters. Students can relax, take a class, work, have an internship or study abroad during the two three-week semesters, which is also the winter break.
  3. Having interdisciplinary majors. This is like a double major, but it focuses on the relationship of the two majors and the senior thesis/project combines the two majors.
  4. Seniors do a thesis or project which is presented/displayed at the Steinmetz symposium in late May.
  5. Everyone (i.e., students and staff) is assigned randomly to a Minerva house. Each Minerva house offers events open to the entire student body and is run by its own elected student board. The first floor of the building has a full kitchen which students use and places to hang out. Upperclassmen can choose to live in their assigned Minerva house.
  6. First years (aka freshmen) have separate housing and dining.
  7. Students can join a fraternity or sorority in their sophomore year and can live in Greek housing starting in their junior year.
  8. Some classes are jointly taught by professors in two departments. For example, we saw a class jointly taught by a biology professor and an art professor on drawing organisms.
  9. Students in the Scholars program (Union College’s Honors program), do research in their sophomore year, in addition to in their senior year.
  10. A new Integrated Science and Engineering Complex is being built to foster collaboration and to integrate teaching, research, labs and offices. A new addition is scheduled to be complete in the Summer of 2018 and renovations to existing facilities are scheduled to be complete in the Summer of 2019.
  11. Eight students have a post-graduation opportunity to be a Minerva fellow. They receive an all-expenses paid fellowship for a “Peace Corps-like activity” for 9 months, and then they return to campus to mentor the next group of Minerva fellows. Minerva fellows create an entrepreneurial project to improve an international community in a sustainable way.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

ZeeMee Intro

What is ZeeMee?

Lynn University is a ZeeMee partner
ZeeMee lets students use images and videos to let others get to know them for free. It can be used as part of a college application, to find a college roommate, or to provide information to a counselor or teacher writing a letter of recommendation. Currently, over 190 colleges are partnered with ZeeMee.

What are the parts of ZeeMee?

ZeeMee has three sections:
  • Meet Me – a video, ideally between 30 and 90 seconds in length to introduce you
  • My Story – an elevator pitch limited to 300 characters.
  • My Activities – Three to five of your most important “activities” that you share with pictures, video and/or documents. These can be activities in your Common App or something totally different (e.g., family stories, personal challenges, talents, passions, interests).

What does ZeeMee look like?

Here are several ZeeMee samples.

How long does it take to set up a ZeeMe?

ZeeMee can be set up in as little as 30 – 45 minutes.

Who can see my ZeeMee?

Your ZeeMee link can be public (i.e., anyone can see it and it is searchable) or private (e.g., you send the link only to those you want to see it; it is not searchable).

Do colleges look at ZeeMee?

Brittany Werts, an Elon University Admissions Counselor said she spends 2 to 5 minutes reviewing the ZeeMee of Elon applicants, who she is on the fence about admitting.

What should I do if I have ZeeMee questions?

Check out the ZeeMee FAQ.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida (UCF), a public university in Orlando with over 54,000 undergraduates, is the country’s second-largest university. The main campus, on more than 1400 acres, seemed overwhelming when we first arrived on campus, but once we understood the school layout, it was much more manageable. Most of the buildings are laid out in circles with the Student Union in the center.


Arena
There are undergraduate degrees offered in twelve colleges and over 600 clubs and organizations. The most popular majors are Psychology, Health Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Nursing, Mechanical Engineering and Hospitality Management.





Engineering Building
Admissions are rolling. UCF recommends that you get your application in early for the best chance for scholarship opportunities. Over 25% of the students get merit aid between $1,500 and $5,000 per year. 






Gym
The mid 50% of students have a new SAT score of 1270-1380 and a weighted GPA between 3.7 and 4.3.  UCF re-computes your weighted GPA using only academic core classes and adding a half point for honors classes and a full point for AP or IB classes.







Library

The Burnett Honors College accepts about 500 freshman with an average SAT score of 1402 and a weighted GPA of 4.4. The honors classes are capped at 20 students. 









Pool


Freshman housing is not guaranteed; another reason to apply early is to improve your chances to get one of the 11,640 beds on campus.





Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rollins College

General - Rollins College is a private college with about 2000 students.  The Spanish Mediterranean style buildings are located on about 80 acres on a lake in Winter Park, Florida, not far from Orlando.  Winter Park is suburban with many restaurants and boutiques in walking distance from the college.



Academics – The school offers business and liberal arts majors. About one third of a student’s classes are in their general education requirements, one third in their major and one third electives.  Most majors require one internship. Double majoring is popular. Three quarters of the students study or intern abroad, for between 1 week and a year for no additional charge.


Campus life - Students are required to live on campus the first two years (unless their parents live within 50 miles of the college) and 70% live on campus all four years.  There are about 200 student organizations including Division II sports, Division I water skiing, and Greek life. Students can join a fraternity or sorority starting in January of their freshman year. Community service is valued and there are opportunities for alternative spring breaks for little or no cost.

Admissions – Students can apply Early Decision or Regular Admissions. The admissions profile of the accepted student is a 3.7 average weighted GPA with the middle 50% scoring between 1150 and 1280 on the SAT or between 25 and 30 on the ACT.  Rollins College is test optional and suggests that students with an ACT score below 23 or an SAT score below 1100 apply test-optional. 


Merit Aid - Students who apply by 11/1 are automatically considered for merit aid, even if they apply test-optional. Academic scholarships are between $10K per year to full tuition, room and board.