Archive for May, 2006
Posted on May 16th, 2006 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
By far, the most crucial skill you gain in college is your ability to communicate. Nothing will carry you as far in life as this, and a surprising number of people are lacking in this area. So take a few public speaking classes, but most importantly: work on developing your writing skills! Nothing is more important. Nothing. Unlike the formulas and dates you'll forget as soon as the exam is over, good writing skills will stay with you for life. And good writers are good thinkers: the better you get at writing, the more organized and creative your thought processes become.
In continuing our Surviving College series, we want to help you become the best writer possible. Not only will it guarantee a level of success in college and the workplace, but you'll be a much better, more interesting, human for it.
As part of our continuing series,Surviving College, today we'll examine the dreaded netherworld of the admissions waitlist. Are you in? Are you out? Will you ever know? Doesn't the admissions staff care that they're driving you insane?!
This article may help: 10 Ways to Get Off A College's Waitlist.
Some interesting tips include:
- Contact the admissions office and ask to speak to the representative who covers your geographic region. Many offices will tell you what the committee's concerns were with your application.
- Don't make a visit to campus just because you think it will help your chances. If you're going to visit, you should have a reason for doing so, other than because you think you should.
- Forget recommendation letters from alumni. They hold little to no weight.
Be sure to check out this worthwhile article, and good luck in getting off that waitlist!
(Photo Source: Pixel Brand)
(Source: UC Santa Cruz)
You remember the SAT's. The number two pencils, the beads of blood forming on the forehead, the anxiety, the feeling that your entire life hinges on this one instrument of torture.
Yeah, that test.
Well, the SAT has received some bad press lately over the scoring snafu. Now it's in the news again because scores are dropping. So what?
Some colleges are reporting double-digit drops in the average SAT scores of applicants this year, even as other credentials, such as class rank and college-prep coursework, remained similar to or grew stronger than last year's.
Among schools reporting large drops: The nine-campus University of California system, which saw a 15-point drop on average among applicants, Average composite scores for the ACT, a rival college entrance exam, were unchanged from last year.
It's not yet clear what the drops mean, but colleges are particularly curious because the scores are almost completely based on the new SAT, introduced last year by the non-profit college board, which owns the test. [....]
No one has suggested that the declines are related to a scoring fiasco this year in which thousands of SAT scores were underreported. That has led to a lawsuit and prompted a New York state senator to consider new testing legislation.
The new wrinkle is reviving debate about the latest version of the SAT. That is "further undermining the credibility of the College Board at a time when they are very much on the defensive," says Bob Schaeffer, spokesman for FairTest, a non-profit testing critic in Cambridge, Mass.
Read the rest here.
Posted on May 8th, 2006 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
For years, community colleges (formerly known by the degrading term 'junior colleges') have been viewed as a 'loser' option, a place where you go only if you can't get into a four-year institution. For the past few years, that notion has been rapidly changing.
For years, education experts have been saying that community colleges offer an underutilized path in higher education. States spend less money per student there and tuition is much lower. The institutions' emphasis on teaching and on recruiting low-income and minority students means that they reach and graduate many students overlooked by flagships or who can't afford them. While many efforts in recent years have tried to ease transfer from two- to four-year institutions, elite colleges haven't always been part of the equation.
That is notably starting to change.
I teach at both a community college and a four year university, and I can tell you without a doubt that students receive superior education at the community college. The teacher-to-student ratio is superb, the materials are newer, tuition and financial aid are more accessible, and schedules are more flexible. Would you rather be in a chemistry class of 400, or a class of 25, where you can receive the instructor's guidance?
Four year colleges offer excellent opportunities also, but it's time we considered all our educational options. With even 'elite' colleges avidly welcoming transfer students from community colleges, it's hard to argue with the apparent quality. Would you attend community college, or would you rather spend all of college at a four-year institution? Have you faced any discrimination if you've chosen a two-year option?
(Photo Source: UWEC)
Inside Higher Ed has provided an amusing, yet thought-provoking, look at a trend in higher education: the 'hotter' a professor is perceived to be, the higher s/he will be rated by her/his students. Being an easy grader seems to help too, but hotness is apparently held in high regard by college students today.
James Felton, a professor of finance and law at Central Michigan University, and colleagues looked at ratings for nearly 7,000 faculty members from 370 institutions in the United States and Canada, and his verdict is: the hotter and easier professors are, the more likely they'll get rated as a good teacher.
As far as students — or whoever is rating professors on the open Rate My Professor site — are concerned, nothing predicts a quality instructor like hotness.
Have you ever found a teacher attractive, or signed up for a class just because the instructor was cute? Do you think you'd rate 'hotter' professors higher? Come on now, admit it!
(Photo Source: By Thunder)
(Source: Cornell University)
It's true. Cornell, an Ivy League university, wants to retool its brand image. It's been dropping in the all-important U.S. News poll, and now aspires to become a "hot" school and climb the rankings ladder.
So if you're working at or attending a non-Ivy (and you likely are), don't complain about your school's attempts to gain more prestige, improve its brand equity and move up a rung or two in the rankings. When a place like Cornell feels the need to revamp its image, you know competition is tough.
Listen to this NPR report for more details.
As the nation's only university catering to the needs of deaf students, Gallaudet has garnered a good bit of media attention. Its departing president, I. King Jordan, has been an outspoken advocate for deaf people's needs and rights, and a visible public face for the university. Gallaudet's football team, which experienced an undefeated (9-0) season in 2005, also captured headlines, as you might imagine.
Jordan's departure enabled the university's provost to assume the presidency. But as this Inside Higher Ed article notes, students are less than impressed. Do student voices matter, or will Gallaudet students' concerns remain, well, unheard?