Understanding the admission process

Ever wonder what happens behind closed doors? The International Counselor goes into the committee room of over a dozen highly selective colleges to show you. More »

Free Tools for self-discovery

Know thy self, so said The Bard. But which self ought you know? These tools allow you a way of learning about various parts of yourself. More »

Guide to essays and personal statements

One of the most comprehensive lists of college essay writing resources and insights anywhere. More »

Are you ready for the summer?

Want to do something different? Check out the omnibus of fun filled possibilities. More »

Acing the interview

Some college require an interview. Check out our resources and insights. More »

 

Books for counselors of all ages

This summer I co-taught a course for international school counselors at the CTC. We asked the participants to share some of their favorite resources. Below are books that were recommended with their commentaries:

Elementary School Level

  • Our school, in the elementary level, uses Kelso’s Choices as guidance for problem solving and conflict resolution. It provides students, especially younger students, with some strategies that help in social situations or conflict resolution.
  • Guided gratitude journals like this work better than just saying, ‘go journal.’ 
  • Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell is a great book that can be read to ES students. It encourages discussion around positive thinking, values, anti-bullying, etc. The children really enjoy the book and the discussions/learning that follows.
  • I used to be afraid
  • What Do You Do With a Problem?
  • Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands by Tamara Levitt (from …
  • Julia Cook’s books – Her ‘bibliotherapy’ type books are unbelievable tools for counsellors, teachers, and parents! A must to add to your collection and or your school’s SEL library section. New releases: Bubble Gum Brain (growth mindset), The Judgemental flower, The Technology Tail. Do visit her facebook page, as well: https://www.facebook.com/juliacookonline/
  • At the Elementary School, we embrace the growth mindset and it is fascinating to listen to how students tackle a problem and encourage eachother when they have a growth mindset. Although these are not exactly for parents, they are all great books that we use with Elementary students to promote growth mindset.   We have had parents who read these books at home and found it very useful to have conversations about growth mindset with their children.

     
    Middle school Level
    • I have used the book “Bluish“, by Virginia Hamilton, as a class read aloud resource in my classroom. This novel focuses on a girl of upper elementary school age/early middle school, who is exploring feelings and experiences around being new to school/class, new friendships, family dymanics, and a friend’s illness (leukemia). This book is a useful segue for discussions about transitioning schools, how to fit in, making new friends, being ‘different” and how these experiences apply in an international school setting. 
    • “The Drama Years: Real Girls Talk About Surviving Middle School — Bullies, Brands, Body Image, and More” by Haley Kilpatrick
    • A book I used to read aloud to my class each year is the Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. I have a few copies in my office that I regularly lend to students. You can find a breif description and great quotes from the book here 

    High School

     

    All Levels

    • I would recommend the book NFI: An Inclusive Toolkit by William Powell and Ochan Kusuma-Powell.  It is available on amazon.com, but if your school is a member of NFI (Next Frontier Inclusion), you can download it for free.  Go to the NFI website and check if your school is a member.  If you don’t know your username or password, check with your Learning Support teacher or write directly to NFI.  The chapter titled Typcal High Incidence Populations in International Schools is an especially useful resource when talking to parents about their child, special needs, and service delivery.  There is a definition of each along with information about diagnosis, educational needs and service delivery options.

    Parenting

    • One book I use with parents is the STEP Parent’s Handbook.  There is a general one, young children, and teenagers edition.  It basically uses positive discipline approach based on Adler.  It is written in easy to read language that is good for parents of differing English levels. Also good for parent workshops.
    •  

     

    Counselors and teachers

     
     

    Finding the right college by looking at its peers

    This Cartoon pretty much summarizes many people’s attitudes about colleges. They mistake the joining of an athletic conference as a confirmation of shared values and qualities. While the Ivy League IS an outstanding collection of colleges, but several of them are quite different from each other. Rural pre-profession Dartmouth vs Urban Great books of Columbia vs the Open Curriculum of Brown. Would you apply to all three? Perhaps. And Perhaps there is a better way than loading up the shotgun and aiming at just one specific college league. 

    Every year, colleges are asked to list their peer institutions, the ones they compare themselves against. Brown, for example, picked 17:

     

    • Columbia U
    • Cornell U
    • Dartmouth C
    • Duke U
    • Georgetown U
    • Harvard U
    • Johns Hopkins U
    • Massachusetts Inst of Tech
    • Northwestern U
    • Princeton U
    • Rice U
    • Stanford U
    • U of Chicago
    • U of Pennsylvania
    • U of Rochester
    • Washington U in St. Louis
    • Yale

     

    Yes, they selected all of the Ivy plus several other intellectual powerhouses. They also slected Columbia (which indetified no peers) and Dartmouth, who choose many of the same in their group of 16:

    • Amherst C
    • Brown U
    • Columbia U
    • Cornell U
    • Duke U
    • Georgetown U
    • Harvard U
    • Johns Hopkins U
    • Northwestern U
    • Princeton U
    • Stanford U
    • U of Chicago
    • U of Pennsylvania
    • U of Rochester
    • Williams C
    • Yale U

    These are the company they keep. Motivational expert Jim Rohn opined that  “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Identifying peers can be a proxy for that sentiment on an institutional level. These are often the institutions that the colleges cross apps with. Like, so to speak, finds like. But drilling into the data deeper may help you build a deeper college list. Brown identifed 16 colleges, of which 11 liked them back so to speak:

    • Cornell U
    • Dartmouth C
    • Georgetown U
    • Johns Hopkins U
    • Northwestern U
    • Stanford U
    • U of Chicago
    • U of Pennsylvania
    • U of Rochester
    • Washington U in St. Louis
    • Yale U

    But many other colleges identified Brown–we might call these aspirational colleges:

    • Boston C
    • Bowdoin C
    • Brandeis U
    • C of William and Mary
    • Emory U
    • Lehigh U
    • New York U
    • Stevens Inst of Tech
    • Tufts U
    • U of Delaware
    • U of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    • U of Notre Dame
    • U of Southern California
    • U of Virginia
    • Vanderbilt U
    • Wellesley C
    • Wesleyan U
    • Worcester Polytechnic Inst

    While some of these are similarly selective, many are a little less selective. Building a deep college list means going deeper into the pool. Yet, this information does not really point WHY these colleges include Brown on their list. They do not share what characteristics they identified as worthy of aspiring to. Another tool many counselor love comes courtesy of Steven Antanoff: College Express, which is based on high book of college lists, The College Finder:

    Lists & Rankings 

     

    You can click on any list to discover other colleges on that list. For example, perhaps you love Brown for two reasons, 

    Lover of Ideas Internationalism

    1. St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD)

    1. St. John’s College (Santa Fe, NM)

    2. Reed College (Portland, OR)

    3. University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)

    4. Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA)

    5. Brown University (Providence, RI)

    5. Kenyon College (Gambier, OH)

    5. Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH)

    8. Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

    9. Bard College (Annandale on Hudson, NY)

    9. Carleton College (Northfield, MN)

    9. Hampshire College (Amherst, MA)

    12. Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY)

    13. Amherst College (Amherst, MA)

    13. Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA)

    13. Haverford College (Haverford, PA)

    13. Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, NY)

    13. Yale University (New Haven, CT)

    18. Earlham College (Richmond, IN)

    18. Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)

    18. The Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA)

    18. Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)

    HONORABLE MENTION 

     

    • Beloit College (Beloit, WI)
    • Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)
    • Clark University (Worcester, MA)
    • Colby College (Waterville, ME)
    • Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
    • Davidson College (Davidson, NC)
    • Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts (New York, NY)
    • Furman University (Greenville, SC)
    • Goucher College (Baltimore, MD)
    • Guilford College (Greensboro, NC)
    • Hamilton College (Clinton, NY)
    • Hartwick College (Oneonta, NY)
    • Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA)
    • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
    • Lafayette College (Easton, PA)
    • Lewis and Clark College (Portland, OR)
    • Macalester College (St. Paul, MN)
    • Marlboro College (Marlboro, VT)
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
    • McGill University (Montreal, CAN)
    • Occidental College (Los Angeles, CA)
    • Pitzer College (Claremont, CA)
    • Rice University (Houston, TX)
    • Scripps College (Claremont, CA)
    • Sewanee: The University of the South (Sewanee, TN)
    • Smith College (Northampton, MA)
    • St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY)
    • Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
    • Susquehanna University (Selinsgrove, PA)
    • The New School (New York, NY)
    • Tufts University (Medford, MA)
    • United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, MD)
    • University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
    • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
    • University of Redlands (Redlands, CA)
    • University of Richmond (University of Richmond, VA)
    • University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)
    • Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA)
    • Williams College (Williamstown, MA)

     

    • American University (Washington, DC)
    • Bard College (Annandale on Hudson, NY)
    • Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA)
    • Boston University (Boston, MA)
    • Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH)
    • Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)
    • Brigham Young University — Provo (Provo, UT)
    • Brown University (Providence, RI)
    • Carleton University (Ottawa, Ontario, CAN)
    • City University of New York, Graduate Center (NY)
    • Clark University (Worcester, MA)
    • Clemson University (Clemson, SC)
    • Columbia University (New York, NY)
    • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
    • Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
    • Duke University (Durham, NC)
    • Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
    • Florida International University (Miami, FL)
    • Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA)
    • Hamilton College (Clinton, NY)
    • Hampshire College (Amherst, MA)
    • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
    • Indiana University Bloomington (Bloomington, IN)
    • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA)
    • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
    • Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA)
    • Loyola University Chicago (Chicago, IL)
    • toggle favorite saveYes, connect me!
    • Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)
    • toggle favorite saveYes, connect me!
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
    • McMaster University (CAN)
    • Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT)
    • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
    • Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
    • Rice University (Houston, TX)
    • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey — New Brunswick (Piscataway, NJ)
    • SUNY — Binghamton (Binghamton, NY)
    • Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)
    • St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY)
    • Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
    • Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA)
    • Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY)
    • Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)
    • The College of Wooster (Wooster, OH)
    • The George Washington University (Washington, DC)
    • The University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
    • The University of British Columbia (Vancouver, CAN)
    • The University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)
    • The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)
    • Trinity College (Hartford, CT)
    • Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
    • University of Alberta (Edmonton, CAN)
    • University of California — Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
    • University of California, Davis (Davis, CA)
    • University of California, Irvine (Irvine, CA)
    • University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
    • University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA)
    • University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
    • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
    • University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT)
    • University of Delaware (Newark, DE)
    • University of Denver (Denver, CO)
    • University of Houston (Houston, TX)
    • University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (Champaign, IL)
    • University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)
    • University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS)
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, MA)
    • University of Michigan — Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI)
    • University of Minnesota — Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN)
    • University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)
    • University of New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)
    • University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN)
    • University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK)
    • University of Oregon (Eugene, OR)
    • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
    • University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
    • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
    • University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, TX)
    • University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, CAN)
    • University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
    • University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario, CAN)
    • University of Wisconsin — Madison (Madison, WI)
    • Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
    • Wells College (Aurora, NY)
    • Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI)
    • Yale University (New Haven, CT)
    • York University (Toronto, Ontario, CAN)

     

    Only Brandies makes all three lists–the aspirational peers, the college for lover of ideas and the list for Internationalism. Collegexpress has limitation sin that it does not identify how they generate their list. Some comes from experts (who are these), some from actual data, and others from outside sources. Still, for most veteran college counselors, the lists typically prove valid. 

    End Note: The Chronicle of Higher Education has complied the data in an interactive feature that allows you to drill into colleges and their peers. Here is what Princeton looks like:

     

    Study UK: a Guide for Education Agents and Counsellors

    This online course from the British Council will provide international education agents, school counsellors and consultants with advice on all aspects of UK education. Further information is included around becoming a professional education agent for the UK if relevant for you.

    It will develop your knowledge of:

     

    • the UK education and training system
    • the attractions for students in the UK
    • quality assurance systems and how they operate
    • student lifestyle issues
    • welfare and support for international students
    • application processes and entry requirements

    Free!

    New approaches to reviewing applications

    UPENN has been pioneering a different approach to file review:

    In the traditional system, the first review was done solo by an admissions officer, typically taking 25-30 minutes, followed by another five minutes writing a brief report for colleagues to review the recommendation.

    In committee-based admissions, the first review is done in teams of two, DaSilva explained. In a private room with computer screens, all of the materials are displayed. One admissions officer focuses on academic materials (transcripts, test scores, etc.) while the other focuses on non-academic factors. The two discuss the candidate as they do their reviews and are able to make a recommendation typically within 4-10 minutes. You could have two people reviewing five applications or more in committee-based admissions in the time it would take two people to review two applications if working solo.

    It has garnered a fair bit of attention with Swarthmore, Bucknell, Emory and Case Western Reserve utalizing it. NYU used it for early. This is another aspect to go with our understanding the admission process. 

    Starting your College Research: Career development

    As discussed many times in this blog, your major may not matter as much as you think. That said, a growing number of people want a career outcome of going to college. If you look at historical trends as to why a student chooses a particular university you will see that what resonates with the students has grown:

    • This college’s graduates gain admission to top graduate/professional schools in 2005: 27.1% rated this as very important. In 2015: 33.7%
    • This college’s graduates get good jobs in 2005: 47.4% rated it as very important. In 2015: 57.9%

    Contrary to what people think, Business may not be as prevelent as people think:

    Interest in business as a probable field of study peaked in 1987 when more than one-quarter (25.7%) of students intended to major in a business-related field. By 1995, interest in majoring in business had fallen to 15.5% of incoming college students. After a slight recovery in the early years of the 21st century, students’ interest in business as a prob- able field of study fell to 13.5% in 2015, its lowest point since 1973 when 13.3% of students intended to major in a business-related field.

    One of the more important aspects to pay attention to is how the college helps you onto your next steps. So when you research colleges, be sure to check out their career services. You could just google “Career Services”+ college name and read about what they offer. Let’s take two examples:

    Elon Career pages include:

    • ELON JOB NETWORK
    • EVENTS
    • STUDENT EMPLOYMENT
    • FIRST DESTINATIONS
    • MEET THE SPDC STAFF
    • STUDENTS – ALUMNI

      CHOOSING A CAREER

      GRADUATE-PROF SCHOOL

      RESUMES-COVER LETTERS

      EJN JOBS-INTERNSHIPS

      INTERVIEWS

      TRANSITION FROM ELON

    • Sections for parents and employers

     

    UC San Diego Career pages include: 

    • ·            Upcoming Events
    • o   Job Fairs, Employer events
    • o   Graduate and Professional School Fairs
    • o   Career Development and Job Preparation
  • ·            Career Advising
  • ·            Thinking about Grad School
  • ·            Career Exploration and Preparation
    • o   Explore careers and interest areas
    • o   Prepare for pre-med/health, pre-law, and graduate school
    • o   Prepare for jobs and internships
  • ·            Online Career Development Tools
  • ·            Sections for employers and parents.
  • Basically, both universities, vastly different, cover the information in basically the same way. They even use some of the same career development/job search tools. One area I was excited to see was the UCSD Alumni Destinations page which promised “This interactive graphic demonstrates the connection between areas of study at UC San Diego and the career paths of 73,500 alumni*. The left side of the circle is divided into 15 sections, each representing a major or grouping of majors available at UC San Diego. The right side of the circle is similarly broken into 15 sections, each representing a grouping of careers chosen by our alums.” Only this page no longer exists. It would have appeared very similar to Williams. Oh well. Elon’s page does work, but the information is superficial. One university that does an outstanding job at sharing this data is UC Berkeley. All universities track this data. Ask them for it. This is, in fact, a requirement in the UK and you can compare data by major between different universities at Unistats

    Good career services should be able to tell you:

    • Where their graduates are
    • studying grad school
    • working–both by company, title, industry and salary.
  • who recruits on campus
  • where the student intern
  • Entrepreneurial competitions
  • Career development activities
  • 1:1 advising
  • Princeton Review has provided a ranking of Career services every year, but the list is probably mostly useless. As Poet’s and Quants remarks:

    Of the 42 schools that have been listed in the last six years, only six of them were listed every year, indicating that exemplary career services are rare. However, it does seem like they’re more common at private schools, as only nine public schools were listed at all.

    Here are the schools with the best career services:

    The ‘Best Career Services’ Rankings From 2015 to 2010

     

    2015 Rank & School 2015 Rank 2014 Rank 2013 Rank 2012 Rank 2011 Rank 2010 Rank
     Northeastern University  1  2  1  2  1  4
     Pennsylvania State University – University Park  2  1  2  3  2  6
     Claremont McKenna College  3  4  3  6  7  7
     Bentley University  4  3  16  8  6  12
     Clemson University  5  11  5  9  NR  3
     University of Richmond  6  13  4  10  NR  NR
     Wabash College  7  6  NR  NR  11  NR
     Southwestern University  8  7  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Washington University in St. Louis  9  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
     University of Florida  10  5  6  1  4  1
     Kansas State University  11  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Southern Methodist University  12  8  7  19  NR  NR
     Sweet Briar College  13  10  NR  NR  8  8
     Villanova University  14  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Stevens Institute of Technology  15  NR  13  NR  14  NR
     Lafayette College  16  17  8  15  17  NR
     Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering  17  15  NR  20  NR  20
     Barnard College  18  9  11  5  5  2
     Connecticut College  19  NR  NR  NR  NR  11
     Wake Forest University  20  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Webb Institute  NR  12  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Smith College  NR  14  NR  NR  13  13
     Grove City College  NR  16  12  NR  NR  NR
     Scripps College  NR  18  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  NR  19  9  NR  NR  NR
     University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh Campus  NR  20  19  NR  NR  NR
     American University  NR  NR  10  18  15  19
     Tulane University  NR  NR  14  NR  NR  NR
     University of Southern California  NR  NR  15  NR  NR  NR
     Missouri University of Science and Technology  NR  NR  17  11  NR  NR
     Virginia Tech  NR  NR  18  NR  NR  NR
     University of Texas at Austin  NR  NR  20  4  10  5
     Rochester Institute of Technology  NR  NR  NR  7  NR  18
     Spelman College  NR  NR  NR  12  NR  NR
     Yale University  NR  NR  NR  13  3  10
     Cornell University  NR  NR  NR  14  16  15
     University of Missouri – Columbia  NR  NR  NR  16  18  NR
     Worcester Polytechnic Institute  NR  NR  NR  17  20  NR
     Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology  NR  NR  NR  NR  9  9
     Middlebury College  NR  NR  NR  NR  12  14
     Stonehill College  NR  NR  NR  NR  19  17
     University of Notre Dame  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR  16

    Source: The Princeton Review

     

    Princeton Review wrote a book called Colleges that Create Futures focusing on how colleges help students with their future, profiling 50 colleges that are doing a great job. While this rather eclectic list shows breadth, they all share some common features: “hey have excellent career centers. They offer an array of internship opportunities, cooperative education, service learning, and experiential learning programs. They involve undergrads in collaborative research with faculty. They have strong cultures of civic engagement and support student participation in community service and study abroad programs. Their alumni associations are networking empires.

    Some of the schools and examples of their programs are:

    • Arizona State: At its “InnovationSpace” collaborative learning facility, students majoring in engineering, business, design, art, and sustainability work in teams that brainstorm and produce prototypes for real world products that “impact the daily lives of ordinary people.” 
    • Duke University: DukeEngage, a remarkable service-learning program, invites Duke students to identify an opportunity to provide a service anywhere in the world. Duke then helps the student act on that mission, assisting with the student’s travel, lodging, immunizations, and other expenses.  Nearly 3,000 Duke students have participated in this program and served communities in 78 countries.    
    • Northeastern University:  Participation in Northeastern’s cooperative education program –which operates in 114 countries and is one of the largest in the nation – is exemplary on all fronts: 95% of its students spend at least one semester working full time at a company in paid positions. By nine months after graduation, 90% of Northeastern students are employed or in grad school.
    • Washington University in St. Louis has one of the few undergrad entrepreneurship programs that enable students to launch their own on-campus businesses. Approved proposals are facilitated by a campus loan fund, faculty mentorship, access to school mailing lists, and other services. Among the success stories: a student-owned, on-campus bike rental and repair shop.      

     

     

    Other useful tools include:

    Linked in University tool–unfortunately, Linkedin killed this.

     

     

    Starting your College Research: Career development

    As discussed many times in this blog, your major may not matter as much as you think. That said, a growing number of people want a career outcome of going to college. If you look at historical trends as to why a student chooses a particular university you will see that what resonates with the students has grown:

    • This college’s graduates gain admission to top graduate/professional schools in 2005: 27.1% rated this as very important. In 2015: 33.7%
    • This college’s graduates get good jobs in 2005: 47.4% rated it as very important. In 2015: 57.9%

    Contrary to what people think, Business may not be as prevelent as people think:

    Interest in business as a probable field of study peaked in 1987 when more than one-quarter (25.7%) of students intended to major in a business-related field. By 1995, interest in majoring in business had fallen to 15.5% of incoming college students. After a slight recovery in the early years of the 21st century, students’ interest in business as a prob- able field of study fell to 13.5% in 2015, its lowest point since 1973 when 13.3% of students intended to major in a business-related field.

    One of the more important aspects to pay attention to is how the college helps you onto your next steps. So when you research colleges, be sure to check out their career services. You could just google “Career Services”+ college name and read about what they offer. Let’s take two examples:

    Elon Career pages include:

    • ELON JOB NETWORK
    • EVENTS
    • STUDENT EMPLOYMENT
    • FIRST DESTINATIONS
    • MEET THE SPDC STAFF
    • STUDENTS – ALUMNI

      CHOOSING A CAREER

      GRADUATE-PROF SCHOOL

      RESUMES-COVER LETTERS

      EJN JOBS-INTERNSHIPS

      INTERVIEWS

      TRANSITION FROM ELON

    • Sections for parents and employers

     

    UC San Diego Career pages include: 

    • ·            Upcoming Events
    • o   Job Fairs, Employer events
    • o   Graduate and Professional School Fairs
    • o   Career Development and Job Preparation
  • ·            Career Advising
  • ·            Thinking about Grad School
  • ·            Career Exploration and Preparation
    • o   Explore careers and interest areas
    • o   Prepare for pre-med/health, pre-law, and graduate school
    • o   Prepare for jobs and internships
  • ·            Online Career Development Tools
  • ·            Sections for employers and parents.
  • Basically, both universities, vastly different, cover the information in basically the same way. They even use some of the same career development/job search tools. One area I was excited to see was the UCSD Alumni Destinations page which promised “This interactive graphic demonstrates the connection between areas of study at UC San Diego and the career paths of 73,500 alumni*. The left side of the circle is divided into 15 sections, each representing a major or grouping of majors available at UC San Diego. The right side of the circle is similarly broken into 15 sections, each representing a grouping of careers chosen by our alums.” Only this page no longer exists. It would have appeared very similar to Williams. Oh well. Elon’s page does work, but the information is superficial. One university that does an outstanding job at sharing this data is UC Berkeley. All universities track this data. Ask them for it. This is, in fact, a requirement in the UK and you can compare data by major between different universities at Unistats

    Good career services should be able to tell you:

    • Where their graduates are
    • studying grad school
    • working–both by company, title, industry and salary.
  • who recruits on campus
  • where the student intern
  • Entrepreneurial competitions
  • Career development activities
  • 1:1 advising
  • Princeton Review has provided a ranking of Career services every year, but the list is probably mostly useless. As Poet’s and Quants remarks:

    Of the 42 schools that have been listed in the last six years, only six of them were listed every year, indicating that exemplary career services are rare. However, it does seem like they’re more common at private schools, as only nine public schools were listed at all.

    Here are the schools with the best career services:

    The ‘Best Career Services’ Rankings From 2015 to 2010

     

    2015 Rank & School 2015 Rank 2014 Rank 2013 Rank 2012 Rank 2011 Rank 2010 Rank
     Northeastern University  1  2  1  2  1  4
     Pennsylvania State University – University Park  2  1  2  3  2  6
     Claremont McKenna College  3  4  3  6  7  7
     Bentley University  4  3  16  8  6  12
     Clemson University  5  11  5  9  NR  3
     University of Richmond  6  13  4  10  NR  NR
     Wabash College  7  6  NR  NR  11  NR
     Southwestern University  8  7  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Washington University in St. Louis  9  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
     University of Florida  10  5  6  1  4  1
     Kansas State University  11  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Southern Methodist University  12  8  7  19  NR  NR
     Sweet Briar College  13  10  NR  NR  8  8
     Villanova University  14  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Stevens Institute of Technology  15  NR  13  NR  14  NR
     Lafayette College  16  17  8  15  17  NR
     Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering  17  15  NR  20  NR  20
     Barnard College  18  9  11  5  5  2
     Connecticut College  19  NR  NR  NR  NR  11
     Wake Forest University  20  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Webb Institute  NR  12  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Smith College  NR  14  NR  NR  13  13
     Grove City College  NR  16  12  NR  NR  NR
     Scripps College  NR  18  NR  NR  NR  NR
     Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  NR  19  9  NR  NR  NR
     University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh Campus  NR  20  19  NR  NR  NR
     American University  NR  NR  10  18  15  19
     Tulane University  NR  NR  14  NR  NR  NR
     University of Southern California  NR  NR  15  NR  NR  NR
     Missouri University of Science and Technology  NR  NR  17  11  NR  NR
     Virginia Tech  NR  NR  18  NR  NR  NR
     University of Texas at Austin  NR  NR  20  4  10  5
     Rochester Institute of Technology  NR  NR  NR  7  NR  18
     Spelman College  NR  NR  NR  12  NR  NR
     Yale University  NR  NR  NR  13  3  10
     Cornell University  NR  NR  NR  14  16  15
     University of Missouri – Columbia  NR  NR  NR  16  18  NR
     Worcester Polytechnic Institute  NR  NR  NR  17  20  NR
     Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology  NR  NR  NR  NR  9  9
     Middlebury College  NR  NR  NR  NR  12  14
     Stonehill College  NR  NR  NR  NR  19  17
     University of Notre Dame  NR  NR  NR  NR  NR  16

    Source: The Princeton Review

     

    Princeton Review wrote a book called Colleges that Create Futures focusing on how colleges help students with their future, profiling 50 colleges that are doing a great job. While this rather eclectic list shows breadth, they all share some common features: “hey have excellent career centers. They offer an array of internship opportunities, cooperative education, service learning, and experiential learning programs. They involve undergrads in collaborative research with faculty. They have strong cultures of civic engagement and support student participation in community service and study abroad programs. Their alumni associations are networking empires.

    Some of the schools and examples of their programs are:

    • Arizona State: At its “InnovationSpace” collaborative learning facility, students majoring in engineering, business, design, art, and sustainability work in teams that brainstorm and produce prototypes for real world products that “impact the daily lives of ordinary people.” 
    • Duke University: DukeEngage, a remarkable service-learning program, invites Duke students to identify an opportunity to provide a service anywhere in the world. Duke then helps the student act on that mission, assisting with the student’s travel, lodging, immunizations, and other expenses.  Nearly 3,000 Duke students have participated in this program and served communities in 78 countries.    
    • Northeastern University:  Participation in Northeastern’s cooperative education program –which operates in 114 countries and is one of the largest in the nation – is exemplary on all fronts: 95% of its students spend at least one semester working full time at a company in paid positions. By nine months after graduation, 90% of Northeastern students are employed or in grad school.
    • Washington University in St. Louis has one of the few undergrad entrepreneurship programs that enable students to launch their own on-campus businesses. Approved proposals are facilitated by a campus loan fund, faculty mentorship, access to school mailing lists, and other services. Among the success stories: a student-owned, on-campus bike rental and repair shop.      

     

     

     

     

    New: How UBC Makes decisions

    University of British Columbia’s system of evaluation was outed by the student newspaper recently. UBC has become increasing competitive, requiring students to have between 85 and 93% for entry in most programs. With over 25,000 applications the university looked for a more refined way to make offers of the 13, 688 students they deemed strong enough. Insiders say the essays basically count for 20% of the grade.

    You can find more information on how colleges make selections on the inside pages of How Colleges Make Decisions.

    Germany says no more free ride

    nternational students (Non-German, EU, etc) Will start paying tuition fees

     

    The State of Baden-Württemberg will introduce tuition fees for international students from the winter semester 2017/2018 onwards. The law stipulates that international students are required to pay 1,500 euros per semester. Additional revenue is necessary in order to further promote the internationalization of the institutions of higher education in Baden-Württemberg and to offer international students a more specific support during their studies.

    The fees are for international students who enter for the purpose of study. Students from the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) and from the Erasmus member countries are excluded from these fees. Refugees are also not affected. Students who received their general qualification for university entrance in Germany without German citizenship are excluded.

     

    Starting your College Research: Student life

    The last two post focused on exploring the academic experience. Today’s focuses on what happens outside of class. Click on teh tab for student life. For example, let’s look at Lewis and Clark, with about 2200 undergraduates, it is a classic resdential Liberal arts and science college in Portalnd, Oregon. 70% live on campus. How about yours? Probably the percentage is much higher in freshman and sophomore year which will create a dynamic energy and provide instant access to friends. Feeling more independent after a couple of years, you could move off campus. You might want to keep close though beause Lewis and Clark has 100 registered clubs and oranizations. Scan through the list and see how many you might want to join–Cuba club? Rugby (Men and women), Mock trial, Slam poetry, psychology club, SCUBA, and oh so many more. How active are the clubs and organizations you want to join? How well organized are they? These will not only be your kindred spirits, but these organizations give you a chance to develop skills. Indeed Gallup has found that that you are more than 1.8 times likely to be engaged in work if you were extremely active in extra curricular activities during college. Moreover, you are 1.4 times likely to be thriving in all areas of wellbeing. 

    What a lot of people do not realise is just how much times you have when you are not in class. Sure, you should be studying some of that time (2-4 hours per hour you spend in class). This still leaves a significant amount of time to get invovled. Before you do, you should be brainstorming types of experiences you want to have in college. Certainly some of them might have to do with what you did in high school. ut college is about expanding your horizons. 

    Retrun to student review sites like Unigo and Niche

    Common App Essay prompts for 2017-18

    The essay of your choice returns for the 2017/18 school year as the common app unveils the pompts–now 7 choices. Does this make it luckier? (University of California has 8, making them auspicious in China. 

     

    1. Some students have a background, identity, interest or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. [No change]

    2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? [Revised]

    3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]

    4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. [No change]

    5. Discuss an accomplishment, event or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]

    6. Describe a topic, idea or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? [New]

    7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. [New]