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13 College Majors That Actually Exist–An improved take on the buzz feed list

Buzzfeed is a fun site to visit from time to time. They often have really fun or interesting lists like 13 College Majors That Actually Exist
Except, they were kinda lazy. While they identified majors, they failed to provide one specific example of where they actually exist.
1. Surf Science
Cornwall College in England has a Surf Science and Technology Degree
2. Comedy
Emerson made news early this year when they launched a full BFA in Comedy. 
3. Therapeutic Use of Adventure
49 colleges offer some sort of degree according to the collegeboard including: University of Utah, Prescott College, Unity College, and Ithica. Many are members of the AMERICAN THERAPEUTIC RECREATION ASSOCIATION which lists 80 such programs (but at all levels). There’s even a national honorary society for therapeutic recreation majors, Rho Phi Lambda, 
4. Comic Book Art
Actually, lots of pathways exist from Illustration (74 colleges) to Sequential Art to MCAD’s Comic Book art degree to Joe Kubert School in New Jersey, the nation’s first accredited comic art school, or The Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont
5. Bowling Management
6. Logic
I did not think it was actually that unusual, but only 5 colleges offer it as a major:

7. Puppetry
Puppetry is a real thing and the fine folks at Pupeteers.Org provide this annotated list. 

Cal-Arts
Contact: Janie Geiser
The Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts was established in 1998 to allow CalArts students to explore contemporary puppetry and performing objects. This one-of-a-kind laboratory offers a framework for practical training, artistic innovation, aesthetic inquiry and interdisciplinary investigation. The center strives to combine puppet theater with the use of new technologies and emerging forms and practices that cut across traditional boundaries.

California State University, Sacramento
Contact:  Art Gruenberger
Puppetry has been found to be an excellent tool for the teaching of multiculturalism to children. Students will learn basic techniques used in creating live puppet theatre so they can use puppetry to incorporate multiculturalism into the classroom. Students will learn how to construct and  manipulate several styles of puppets and then use their puppet creations to perform multicultural/multilingual stories.

Sarah Lawrence University
Contact: Dan Hurlin
Sarah Lawrence University offers several puppetry courses through both it’s Dance and Theater programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Classes include Puppet Theatre-Bunraku Style, and Toy Theatre and Shadow Puppetry, and Marionette Puppetry.

UC Santa Cruz
Contact: Kathy Foley
The UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts program emcompasses Drama, Dance, and Design. Both undergraduate and graduate level classes are available and include course titles such as Muppet Magic and Monsters.

University of Connecticut
Contact: Bart P. Roccoberton, Jr.
Started in 1964 by Professor Frank W. Ballard, the University of Connecticut has presented more than 500 puppet programs since its creation. The program offers a BFA degree in puppet arts and is the only institution in the country offering masters degrees (both MA and MFA) in the puppetry.

University of Hawaii
The University of Hawaii offers a Theater for Young Audiences (TYA) degree. Included in the course load are several puppet classes including Puppetry for Young Children – Methods of constructing puppets and stages with and for children 3 to 8 years of age. As well as Puppetry – History and scope of puppetry. Construction and presentation of puppets for adult and child audiences.

University of Quebec at Montreal (Canada)
DESS en théâtre de marionnettes contemporains
Contact: Marthe Adam
UQAM is proud to be the only Canadian university to offer creators of puppet theater a program specifically designed to enable them to deepen languages essential to the practice of contemporary puppet theater, and develop critical thinking skills in relation to this booming art.  The program is a 2 year certificate, and requires French language skills.

University of West Virginia
Contact: Joann Spencer Siegrist
The BFA course work includes intensive study in children’s theatre; the practice of puppetry as a theatrical art form; and educational and creative dramatic activity as methods of learning and self-development for children. In addition to a broad-based curriculum in theatre studies, students work under the direction of a faculty member to operate a complete puppetry theatre with comprehensive study in a variety of construction, manipulation, historical study, and performance techniques.

8. Decision-Making
There is a PhD over at Indiana
9. Poultry Science
20 colleges offer this degree…most near farms like that is a surprise. 
10. Auctioneering
Harrisburg Area Community College offers a two year degree, so technically not a major. So Does Warren County Career Center

11. Basic Horse Training
12. The Beatles
Sure, lots of colleges have a course or two on the Fab four, but their home town Uni, Liverpool Hope University, offers a master’s degree. 
13. Bagpipe
At Carnagie Mellon–but only 3 students in 20 years have complete the major. So you might be better off going to the college of piping. Yes, it is a real place but it operates it classes more like a business popup. 

Great advice from someone who knows

Need money for college?

There are scholarship out there,but figuring out the best approach can be tough. Business insider is featuring two stories on Kristina Ellis, a young lady that won over $500,000 in scholarships, paying for both undergraduate and master degrees. The first article offers two direct insights, that seemingly obvious, prove critical in winning awards:

The Why–”As much as possible, you need to learn what is motivating the organization’s generosity before filling out each application.”

  • What descriptive words are used to describe candidates and values? (For example, you might see such words as overcome, perseverance, ambition.)
  • Are certain themes or words repeatedly mentioned? 
  • Does the organization place a high value on community service? If so, is one certain area of community service mentioned more than others?
  • What similarities do previous winners of this scholarship share?

The Who–”Each scholarship organization also has its own definition of an ideal candidate.”

The Second article offers a 7 point plan to finding money:

1. Start planning to pursue scholarships as soon as you know you’re going to college. 

2. Get involved in extracurriculars and your community. 

3. Apply for financial aid even if you don’t think you qualify. 

4. Don’t rule out expensive private schools.

5. Become good friends with the financial aid officer.

6. Cast your net far and wide. 

7. Look for smaller scholarships at home.

Kristina Ellis authored a new book called “Confessions of a Scholarship Winner,” earning 4.5 stars reviews from 162 ratings. 

Great advice from someone who knows

Need money for college?

There are scholarship out there,but figuring out the best approach can be tough. Business insider is featuring two stories on Kristina Ellis, a young lady that won over $500,000 in scholarships, paying for both undergraduate and master degrees. The first article offers two direct insights, that seemingly obvious, prove critical in winning awards:

The Why–”As much as possible, you need to learn what is motivating the organization’s generosity before filling out each application.”

  • What descriptive words are used to describe candidates and values? (For example, you might see such words as overcome, perseverance, ambition.)
  • Are certain themes or words repeatedly mentioned? 
  • Does the organization place a high value on community service? If so, is one certain area of community service mentioned more than others?
  • What similarities do previous winners of this scholarship share?

The Who–”Each scholarship organization also has its own definition of an ideal candidate.”

The Second article offers a 7 point plan to finding money:

1. Start planning to pursue scholarships as soon as you know you’re going to college. 

2. Get involved in extracurriculars and your community. 

3. Apply for financial aid even if you don’t think you qualify. 

4. Don’t rule out expensive private schools.

5. Become good friends with the financial aid officer.

6. Cast your net far and wide. 

7. Look for smaller scholarships at home.

Kristina Ellis authored a new book called “Confessions of a Scholarship Winner,” earning 4.5 stars reviews from 162 ratings. 

Why the collegeboard’s new test date hurts international students

For years, Internationla counselors have advocated for the collegeboard to add a test date to the testing cycle. They did, only the wrong date. They decided that the March test date does not serve international kids. But instead they added an August test date…and took away the January test date starting in August 2017. 

Katherine Levin, a spokeswoman for the College Board, claims that the summer SAT will, “provide students with earlier opportunities to take the SAT before submitting college applications, and more time to focus on coursework, school activities, and college applications in the fall of their senior year.”

The Atlantic rightly asks “Who Benefits From the New Summer SAT?” and suggests other than the Collegeboard, students who do summer prep really benefits and of course the test prep companies. “But will it provide a similar advantage to low-income students, or could the summertime SAT end up widening the gap between rich and poor?”

2017-18 International SAT Administration Dates (Anticipated)
SAT Date SAT Subject Test Available?
Aug. 26, 2017 Yes
Oct. 7, 2017 Yes
Nov. 4, 2017 Yes
Dec. 2, 2017 Yes
May 5, 2018 Yes
June 2, 2018 Yes

Nancy Griesemer at the examiner weighs most of the issues out and concludes that “On balance, however, the late-August test date is a welcome move on the part of the College Board.” So far, no one has commented on how it impacts international students. Firstly, many international students take the SAT in January. Now they will have to wait until May, which often overlaps with the May Day long weekend and festivities. If a student takes the May test date they will have to register for the June Test before they have even sat the May test let alone gotten their scores. This will be compounded in the fall cycle. While certainly the summer test date allows kids coming from Prep (which they do a lot of) into the exam. But then, they will have to register for the October before they know the scores ect. Many international student actually do prep in December in anticipation of the January test date. 

 And many schools are actually not open in August overseas. While this may be true in the US, it is even more problemmatic overseas. And fo Chinese students, the August test date now adds another high price flight season as the Chinese student cannot test in China. In fairness, the January test often overlapped with Chinese New Year. 

The fact is, at least at my test center, the January test date has become a dominate one, ahead of December, November and on par of Spring test dates. Many international counselors actively supported and lobbied for adding the March test date and eliminating the January test date. Why are we not being listened to?


Commonapp essays remain the same

but almost half respond to the first prompt:

2016-2017 Essay Prompts 
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.

 2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

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.

5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family. 

You can create an account now to play around in it and it will roll over to next year. 

  • The student’s user name and Common App ID will all be preserved. This means they will be able to sign in to next year’s application system using the same email address they used this year.
  • All Common App data will be preserved.

How much is your major worth?

Sadly this question always is answered in terms of money, not value, as in human value. Has your college degree made you a better person? Does your degree enable you contribute meaningfully to society? Do you live a lifestyle consistent with your values? If none of those are important to you, than this graph is for you:

 

 

This according to pay scale.

Early numbers update

Over the next few days we will hear more:

Brown University admitted 22% early. AThis is roughly 1/3 of their incoming class. pplicants were down slightly (1.8%). 

Columbia is up 4.4% over last year

Dartmouth College saw an increase of 2%.

Davidson, up 7%, admitted 45.2%–roughly 40% of their class

Duke is up 11% admitting 22.5%. 

Georgetown admitted about 13%, aiming to keep early  and regular numbers about the same.

Harvard is up 4.4% from last year and admitted 14.8% early action. 

John’s Hopkins increased 3% this year, admitting 30.27% early decision

Northwestern admitted about 31%, filling half their class

Princeton, with a 9.8% increase over last year, admitted 18.6%. 

Stanford admitted 9.5% of their early pool–up 7.9% on last year. 

Yale is slightly down .6%. They admitted 17%.

The Most Influential Universities in the world are

…according to Wikipedia:

1. University of Cambridge U.K.
2. University of Oxford U.K.
3. Harvard University U.S.
4. Columbia University U.S.
5. Princeton University U.S.
6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology U.S.
7. University of Chicago U.S.
8. Stanford University U.S.
9. Yale University U.S.
10 University of California, Berkeley U.S.
11. Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
12. Cornell University U.S.
13. University of Pennsylvania U.S.
14. University of London U.K.
15. Uppsala University Sweden
16. University of Edinburgh U.K.
17. Heidelberg University Germany
18. University of California, Los Angeles U.S.
19. New York University U.S.
20. University of Michigan U.S.

How did they come up with this? BY counting all links that point to a particualr university. To help with Bias, they looked at wikipedia entries in 24 different languages: “This database contains some four million articles in English, 1.5 million in German and around a million in each of French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and Russian. It also includes Chinese, Hebrew, Hungarian, and so on. “These 24 languages cover 59% of world population and 68% of the total number of Wikipedia articles in all 287 languages,” they say.”

Of course, this will give favor to larger universities and older universities. You can see the complete list here

Early results are coming out now

Over the next few days we will hear more:

Brown University admitted 22% early. AThis is roughly 1/3 of their incoming class. pplicants were down slightly (1.8%). 

Columbia is up 4.4% over last year

Duke is up 11% admitting 22.5%. 

Harvard is up 4.4% from last year and admitted 14.8% early action. 

John’s Hopkins increased 3% this year, admitting 30.27% early decision

Stanford admitted 9.5% of their early pool–up 7.9% on last year. 

The argument for attending an elite college

Exactly how much does attending an elite college matter? It depends on which tribe you want to belong to later:

Jonathan Wai, a psychologist at Duke, crunched some numbers on high achievers and “seems that graduates of top-30 colleges are 10 times more likely than graduates of other colleges to occupy elite positions in society.” He drills into the numbers even more and concludes about “12% of federal judges, senators, and billionaires have Harvard degrees.”

The problem with this research lay in the fact it does not examine the family background of these same people who attended elite universities. Is it possible that they themselves were already elite? Bill Gates is a self made Billionaire, except he came froma  wealthy family. Dad was a lawyer, grandpa was a banker. Bill attended a private school. Mark Zuckerberg, a fellow Harvard dropout, came from double income professionals–dad a adentist, mom a psychiatrist. He also attended private school.  I would be most curious to know how much attending an elite college helps people coming from lower income brackets. I suspect a lot.