Monday, December 3, 2012

Critical Languages Spoken Here

College 3 by 5: Three Things About Five Colleges
Colleges for Kids Who Love Learning Languages
by Emily Standish

Some children show themselves to love language from a very young age. They love the sounds, the meanings, and the nuance of words. If this describes your student, a passion for languages can turn into a career. The US Department of State has identified nine “critical languages” that are "essential to economic competitiveness and national security." The national need for trained speakers in these languages exceeds the number of bilingual speakers available, so The Language Flagship supports advanced language education in undergraduate programs in several universities. A complete list and more information about Flagship Centers can be found at The following colleges and universities provide intensive study in some of the nine critical languages: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi/Urdu, Korean, Portuguese, Persian, Russian, Swahili, and Turkish.

Boise State University, Boise, Idaho
Ten languages are taught in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature. Students can major or minor in common romance languages, and can minor in American Sign Language, Basque, Chinese, and Japanese. Two years of Arabic language instruction and two years of Korean are also offered.
For students with successful completion of high school language classes, challenge exams are available for American Sign Language, Arabic, Basque, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.
Boise State University participates in the Western Undergraduate Exchange, making annual tuition less than $10,000 for Oregon residents and provides generous non-resident tuition scholarships.

University of California, Los Angeles, CA,
UCLA offers intensive language study in all nine of the critical languages. Three levels of Persian are taught, with additional courses in Kurdish, Armenian, and Berber. Turkic dialects of Turkish, Uzbek, Bashkir, and Azeri are each taught to the advanced level.
Asian Languages offered are Chinese, Filipino/Tagalog, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Sanskrit, Thai and Vietnamese. Slavic languages offered are Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, and Ukranian.
Seven Scandinavian and three Germanic languages are offered; All levels of Portuguese are offered in addition to the more commonly studied romance languages of Spanish, French, and Italian.

Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
Ten languages, plus Latin and Greek, are taught from beginning to advanced levels and augmented by Middlebury Schools Abroad. Study abroad opportunities abound in multiple locations in sixteen countries around the world.
Each summer, the internationally recognized Middlebury Language Schools transform the campus into an immense multilingual community. Languages of study include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
The popular International & Global Studies program is bolstered by 37 campuses in sixteen countries abroad.

University of Montana, Missoula, MT
The Department of Modern & Classical Languages and Literature offers language instruction in Ancient Greek, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Persian, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.
The Japanese language and literature program produces students comfortable in both academic and professional settings, going on to succeed in business, teaching, and advanced degree programs.
Study abroad programs support the learning of critical languages and are available through UM’s own departmental study abroad trips and cooperative agreements with other university programs abroad.

University of Texas, Austin, TX
Within the UT College of Liberal Arts, eight academic departments teach thirty nine languages in undergraduate and graduate programs
The Department of Middle Eastern Studies teaches Arabic, Aramaic, Akkadian, Classic Ethiopian, Hebrew, Syriac, Turkish, and Ugaritic, and is a Flagship Center for the study of Arabic
The Asian Cultures and Languages major offers specializations in Chinese, Hindi/Urdu, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Sanskrit and Tamil, and is a Flagship Center for the study of Hindi/Urdu.

Other strong language programs in the critical languages are found at Arizona State University, Brigham Young University (UT), Bryn Mawr College (PA), University of Hawaii/Manoa, Indiana University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Oregon, Portland State University, and Trinity University (TX). Students who have reached proficiency in a language in high school should make sure the college program teaches to advanced levels and provides ample opportunity for study abroad where the target language is spoken. There are often scholarships available for the study of critical languages. Ask each college's admissions office or language department about scholarship opportunities.                                                                      

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

College 3 by 5: Three Things About Five Colleges
Small Colleges for Creative Writers
by Emily Standish

Students who love to write can thrive on college campuses that feature small classes, close relationships with professors who are also published authors, and deep involvement with campus literary publications. Here are five colleges that are known for their ability to engage and develop student writers. Some colleges offer a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Creative Writing emphasis, others offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Kenyon College, Gambier, OH,
The Kenyon Review, quarterly literary magazine is one of the most respected publications of its kind, featuring the best new poetry, essays, and short stories of emerging writers. Students may work as associates that organize literary events, interview writers, and assess manuscripts.
The Kenyon-Exeter Program takes students to the University of Exeter, England, for a semester  to study the literature and culture of England, supplemented by tours to Stratford and London.
By the numbers: 33% Admit Rate; Mid Range ACT Scores 28-32

Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR,
Poet William Stafford spent most of his teaching career at Lewis & Clark, which has one of the oldest creative writing programs among colleges in the west. Six literary publications plus a journal that publishes original student plays are produced on campus.
Faculty-Student Collaborative Research Grants sponsored by the Dean’s office enable students to work with professors in a variety of literary endeavors.
By the numbers: 66% Admit Rate; Mid-Range ACT Scores 27-30

Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY,
Regardless of a student’s major, and even though students take only three classes per semester, intense “writing across the curriculum” continues for the first three years.
Writing majors benefit from the campus proximity to New York City for internships in which students can use their writing training in schools, publishing houses, small presses, journal productions, magazines, and nonprofit arts agencies.
By the numbers: 61% admit rate; Standardized test scores not accepted for admission

Sewanee: University of the South, Sewanee, TN,
Located on 13,000 forested acres on a hilltop, this liberal arts college with Episcopal foundations produces the oldest literary quarterly in the US, The Sewanee Review, and hosts the Sewanee Writers’ Conference each summer.
Any student, regardless of his/her major, can earn the Certificate in Creative Writing noted on their transcript by completing three seminars in creative writing, and a capstone project.
By the numbers: 61% Admit Rate; Mid-Range ACT Scores: 26-30

Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA,
The Department of English and Creative Writing supports seven student literary publications, some of which are produced by The Writers’ Institute that brings authors and literary events to campus.
The new minor in Publishing and Editing is one of the only of its kind in the US. The Forum for Undergraduate Student Editors (FUSE) was founded by the Writers’ Institute as a network for student editors and writers and their faculty advisers working on college literary magazines.
By the numbers: 73% Admit Rate; Mid-Range ACT Scores: 23-28

Other small colleges with big writing programs include Agnes Scott College (GA), College of Wooster (OH), Denison University (OH), Goucher College (MD), Hollins College (VA), Marist College (NY), Mills College (CA), University of Redlands (CA), Roger Williams University (RI), Ursinus College (PA), and Wheaton College (MA)

Sources: Fiske Guide, The College Finder (Antonoff), Creative Colleges (Loveland) and college websites.

Friday, October 12, 2012

College 3 by 5:
Three Things About Five Liberal Arts Colleges with Music Conservatories
by Emily Standish

There are many ways for student musicians to continue their music study in college without following a strict path toward becoming a professional musician.  Liberal arts colleges with adjacent music conservatories – preparatory programs for professional musicians – offer the best of both worlds. Students may take music and voice lessons with professors or upper level students and the campus is infused with musical performances by students and guest artists. Here are five colleges, each with a world-class music conservatory accessible to students across all disciplines.

Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA
·         Steeped in history in a world-famous town; most popular programs are English, History, Psychology, Business, and Political Science, BAs in Music, Music Education, and Performance
·         Undergraduate music degrees offered in Composition, Jazz Studies, Music, Music Performance, Music Education, Sound Recording Technology, Theory, and combined music & academic majors
·         By the numbers:  40% admit rate; Mid-range SAT scores: CR and M 610-690, apply by 2/1

Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
·         Mid-size college of 6,000 students, with  strong programs in music, physical therapy, communications, science; cross-registration at Cornell University and Wells College
·         Ithaca’s Park School of Communication offers an internship-based semester in Los Angeles to juniors and senior  communications majors to intern in film-related industries
·         By the numbers: 68% admit rate; Mid-range SAT scores: CR 520-620, M520-630; apply by 2/1

Lawrence University, Appleton, WI
·         1500 students on a picturesque campus overlooking the Fox River, strong programs in Business,  Econ, Psych, Politics, Biology;
·         Cooperative degree programs include a 3-2 Engineering program (with Columbia, RPI, and Wash U in St. Louis), Forestry and Environmental Studies (with Duke University),  Occupational Therapy (with Wash U in St. Louis), and a five-year double degree in liberal arts and music.
·         By the numbers:  53% admit rate; Mid-range SAT scores: CR 600-710, M580-690; Avg GPA 3.66

Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
·         A liberal, politically active and socially conscious campus of 2900 students, 600 of whom are Conservatory students who live and learn alongside students in the College of Arts & Sciences
·         Oberlin’s housing options include the large student-run Co-op housing and dining system offers students the chance to share in meal preparation and running of the nine co-op households
·         By the numbers: 31% admit rate; Mid-range SAT scores: CR 650-740, M 630-710; Avg. GPA 3.6

Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
·         Shenandoah’s Women In Mathematical Studies Institute is a program that encourages and supports undergraduate women through mentoring and scholarships
·         Degree programs within the Conservatory include Composition, Church Music, Musical Theatre Accompaniment, Music Therapy, Jazz Studies, Music Recording Technology…..and twelve more
·         By the numbers:  77% admit rate; Mid-range SAT scores: CR and M 440-560, Avg. GPA 3.4

Want a big university with a big music presence? Try U of O, University of Michigan, Tulane University (LA), University of the Pacific (CA), Indiana University, University of North Texas,  and University of Idaho.

Sources:, Fiske Guide, The College Finder (Antonoff), college websites.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Human Isolation Disease is Spreading

by Haley Boston, student blogger, Northwestern University Class of 2016

Picture this: a computer grades a commentary about the severe lack of personal connection in the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Ironic, isn’t it?  

I have read countless articles detailing the new generation’s lack of “human connection” due to a plethora of advances in social technologies. Some of my friends are better acquainted through Twitter than face-to-face; in fact, they shy away from physical confrontation, worried that their real appearances won’t amount to their online, text-edited personalities. The popular means of communication these days give us the illusion of complete connection when we are really more isolated. Isn’t the new editing software, as detailed in this New York Times article, another step in that direction? Parents reprimand their teens for texting during family dinners. We are scolded for using Facebook while writing an essay. We spend hours discussing literature in an English class, yet our teachers run our carefully constructed essays through a machine that spits out this amount of A’s, and that amount of B’s? 

Teachers are human. Even when they grade papers, they have biases. Person A always writes coherent sentences, speaks up in class, and reads the text, so Person A must have delivered a wonderful college-level essay. There is also the comparative bias, when two students write essays on the same topic and Student A’s essay was relatively more concise than Student B’s. True, these are issues that a machine-editor could avoid. However, it seems as if eliminating yet another human contact in our young, impressionable lives is not worth the efficiency. A machine cannot read the emotional toll a personal narrative has on the reader. A machine cannot be truly persuaded based on the arguments made in a typical SAT essay. 

As an aspiring writer and recent graduate from Oregon’s most prestigious public high school, I have benefited from the relationships I established with my English teachers. My Junior IB English teacher had a way about grading essays. He’d say that the essay should take him on a journey, that he should be able to follow a seamless path through the essay, and if he hit a tree along the way, it was an automatic C. His description taught me that editing is a process. Every English teacher has a different grading style, and each year I had to adjust my analytical approach to satisfy those styles. This helped me become a better adaptive writer. Imagine that you, a sixth-grader, are taught that “good essays” always have complex sentences, five paragraphs, and are organized by literary technique. You figure this formula out in middle school and it works in high school as well, because your teachers don’t read your essays, they are just tossed into cyberspace to be graded by a data-processing robot. What will you do when you get to college and Professor X wants a seven-paragraph comparison essay organized by idea, not technique? 

I was recently able to identify the extent to which English students are programmed. I tried to do something different with my essays, to add a creative twist at the risk of receiving an 89% on an analytical essay because it was “too complicated.” So I tried again. I was given an 89% on a commentary that was “too simple.” Would I have received a higher grade if a computer edited my essay instead? Would it have recognized that it is sometimes O.K. to split a thesis statement into multiple sentences? 

From what I have witnessed these past few years, most English teachers prepare engaging class discussions with their own thoughts on literature. In a way, I think the analytical essay is meant to demonstrate the worth of the class discussion. It is, in part, a thank-you-nod to the teacher. Robotic editing eliminates the student-teacher relationship. For a student like myself, it would subsequently eliminate motivation (I like to try and impress my teachers). Without motivation, without this ominous “human connection,” where are we now?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Teenagers Abusing Stimulants to Gain an Academic Edge

I belong to several college counseling trade organizations and chat frequently with colleagues from around the world. I often comment that I feel fortunate to be in Portland, Oregon, where the stress level and competitiveness related to college admissions seems to be less intense than on the east coast and in California. Yes, we have amazingly talented and aspirational students in Oregon, but I rarely experience any cut-throat attitudes from my students or find parents placing huge pressure on students regarding prestigious colleges. Most parents and students I work with simply want to find a great college that is an academic, social, emotional, cultural and spiritual match--whether that be a small liberal arts college, a large research university, a highly selective Ivy League school, a college that balances academics and faith, or a performing arts conservatory.

I was quite shaken this morning upon reading a NY Times article about teenagers abusing prescription stimulants in seeking an academic edge. I naively want to think that this doesn't happen here in Portland, but I realize that it does. This raises a moral question for me. Am I inadvertently contributing to pressure that encourages students to choose risky behavior in order to please significant adults or reach an end goal (higher test scores, prestigious college admissions)? I hope not, yet I realize that what I say to students may be heard and interpreted in ways I do not intend. 

My college coaching practice emphasizes lowering the stress of an inherently stressful process. This is achieved through a broad range of tactics, some of which include demystifying the application process, spreading out the tasks over a long period of time, encouraging students to explore their interests and potential careers through job shadows and internships, and increasing writing skills (which helps in college as much as it does for writing college application essays). Still, does that fact that a student's family is investing in college counseling send a message to that student that the outcome is what counts most?

How does a family measure the success of working with a college counselor? Ideally, that success is evident years later after the student has successfully become independent, made life-long friends, graduated from her chosen university, found meaningful work she is equipped to do, and become a person that  parents admire for her values and actions. I hope that success is not being measured by the number of high profile colleges the student was admitted to, and I sincerely hope that students don't resort to drugs to "help" them along the way.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Positive Dynamic Between Independent College Counselors and School Counselors

When I talk to independent college counselors around the country, sometimes I hear stories of tension between them and high school counselors. This doesn't make sense to me, and I feel fortunate that I have not experienced that in Portland, Oregon. It seems logical that high school counselors would welcome independent college counselors as collaborators. Teachers don't resent tutors who help children excel in their classes. The football coach wouldn't resent it if his quarterback worked with a trainer. The music department actually expects students to take private music lessons. Our public school counselors are amazingly talented and dedicated people, who happen to have a taxing caseload of students. When a parent hires an independent college counselor it is simply because they choose to have someone with more time be focused on their child. School counselors and independent college counselors who work together on behalf of the student form a dynamic duo.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

College 3 by 5: Nursing Programs

By Emily Standish

If your son or daughter is thinking about a nursing career, s/he has probably heard about the wide variety of paths to becoming a Registered Nurse. There is a two-year path available at Oregon community colleges and four-year programs that lead to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The BSN is a widely accepted standard for nurses and offers great flexibility for employment and advancement in the field of nursing. Some colleges and universities require two years of undergraduate education and then students apply into the nursing program for their last two years of college, earning the BSN in four years. Some colleges and universities offer direct admission into the nursing program so that incoming freshmen begin the path to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing right away and also complete the degree in four years, ready to take licensing exams. Here are five colleges that admit freshmen directly into their nursing schools.

Azuza Pacific University, Azuza, CA 
  • APU”s School of Nursing offers an Honors Program
  • Nursing training utilizes a Christian worldview to integrate values, beliefs, and ethics in patient care
  • International exchanges allow nursing students to participate in international health care settings via short-term missions or a semester abroad 
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 
  • Students at all levels can participate in research projects with nursing faculty
  • Nursing school students participate in a partnership with the World Health Organization by completing courses of study or clinical and service learning projects abroad
  • Case Western Reserve's location at University Circle comprises four medical centers for nursing training as well as home to the Cleveland Orchestra, Botanical Gardens, and the Cleveland Art Museum
Carroll College, Helena, MT
  • The Holistic Health Lab and Learning Center teaches holistic healing modalities for self-care and wellness
  • Clinical training begins with 200-level courses in Helena's hospitals, public health, assisted living, long-term care, psychiatric and school settings
  • Army ROTC Nursing Scholarships are available and cover 100% of tuition and fees
Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA 
  • Nursing students will complete 1200 hours of clinical training in the Bay Area in four years
  • All nursing students benefit from training in clinical decision-making in the Nursing Simulation Lab with computerized manequins
  • Nursing students also participate in Dominican's vibrant and diverse student body of 2,300 students (one-third of which study health professions) and Division II sports
Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH 
  • The Hispanic Focus is an elective course of study within the four-year nursing program intended to promote understanding of and nursing practice within the Hispanic community
  • The Clinical Nurse Leader Honors program enables participants to complete a Master of Science in Nursing in one additional year and one additional practicum experience
  • The nursing program provides mentoring for all students from within Xavier University's alumni
There are hundreds of direct-admit nursing programs in the United States listed on the website of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing website at Direct-admit nursing programs in the Pacific Northwest include George Fox University, Gonzaga University, Linfield College, University of Portland, Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, and University of Seattle. Be sure to check each college's admission requirements, since admission standards usually include a high school transcript showing successful completion of higher-level science and math courses.

Friday, April 6, 2012

College 3 by 5: More Colleges in the Sun

by Emily Standish

College 3 by 5: Three Things about Five More Colleges in the Sun

It's April, as in “April showers bring......more showers.” Still dreaming about the sun? Here are five more colleges (follow-up from last month's list) that are in sun-drenched locations. Pack your flip-flops, sunglasses, and laptop. That's what you'll need for school supplies.

Chaminade University of Honolulu, Honolulu, HI
  • New four-year nursing school trains seventy-two new nursing students per year in three state-of-the art units, each with computerized, programmable mannequins that mimic the sounds and symptoms of real patients.
  • Forensic Science, Criminal Justice, Early Admission to medical school, and Business are some of the most popular programs offered to undergraduates.
  • By the numbers: 95% admit rate with rolling admission; Mid-range SAT* scores: CR 420-520, M420-520; ACT 18-22. 

University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
  • UH Manoa's affiliation with the Western Undergraduate Exchange sets tuition at $12,600 for Oregon students (2012-13), with non-resident scholarships for high achievers.
  • UH Manoa is known for its pioneering research in such fields as oceanography, astronomy, Pacific Islands and Asian area studies, linguistics, cancer research, and genetics. 
  • By the numbers: 71% admit rate with May 1 deadline; Mid-range SAT: CR 480-580, M 510-610,ACT 21-25.

Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA
  • Programs in a wide variety of arts and letters include accessory, jewelry, and fashion design, architecture, art history, interactive design and game development, furniture design, film and television production, sound design, urban design, writing, and many more.
  • Equestrian studies students use an 80-acre equestrian complex to learn equine-related careers in equine management, equine photography and videography, journalism, equine training and organization management.
  • By the numbers: 62% admit rate, Mid-range SAT: CR 490-610, M 470-580, ACT 20-26

St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • St. John's students take an interdisciplinary curriculum for all four years based on a Great Books program in an atmosphere of small discussion-based classes.
  • One of the Colleges That Change Lives, St. John's comprises two small campuses in Santa Fe (400+ students) and Anapolis, Maryland (450+ students)
  • By the numbers: 86% admit rate with rolling admission, Mid-range SAT: CR 610-740, M 570-660, ACT 25-32

Whittier College, Whittier, CA
  • Located mid-way between Los Angeles and Orange County, 1,300 undergraduates learn in an atmosphere to honor the college's Quaker roots, with an “appreciation for the complexities of the modern world and workplace while never losing sight of the importance of social responsibility.”
  • One of the more diverse liberal arts campuses in the US, 46% of the student body are minorities, many are first in their families to attend college.
  • By the numbers: 72% admit rate with rolling admission; Mid-range SAT: CR 470-580, M 470-590, ACT 20-25.

*Mid-ranges are the 25th to 75th percentile scores of the 2010 entering freshman class. CR = Critical Reasoning, M = Math. 

Sources for this article:, Fiske Guide 2012, America's Best Colleges 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

College 3 by 5: Colleges in the Sun

by Emily Standish

Ready for a little bit of sunshine? Is your son or daughter ready to go to a college where s/he will add sunglasses and flip-flops to the college packing list? Maybe you have a spring break trip planned to a place where you can get out of the rain. If so, take a side trip to look at one or more of these colleges.

Chapman University, Orange, CA (
  • Chapman's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts allows students hands-on experience in film production, advertising, screen acting, broadcast journalism, digital arts, screenwriting, and more
  • In addition to supporting their DIII athletics, students use their free time to head to the beach or spend the afternoon at Disneyland, three miles from campus. Hollywood is 30 miles north where media arts majors access hundreds of internships in the entertainment industry
  • By the numbers: 50% admit rate; Mid-range* SAT scores CR 540-640, M 550-660, ACT 25-29
Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL (
  • Just over 1,800 undergraduates enjoy a laid-back campus with challenging academics near the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico
  • Popular academic programs include marine science, environmental science, international studies, and creative writing
  • By the numbers: 71% admission rate in rolling admissions; Mid-range SAT scores: CR 510-620, M 495-610; ACT mid-range 23-28
New College of Florida, Sarasota, FL (
  • All classes at NCF are pass/fail; students receive a written narrative evaluation from their professor for each course. All seniors write and defend a senior project and research, with a surprisingly large number of seniors offered Fulbright Fellowships to continue their research
  • 825 undergraduates learn in small discussion-based classes and have one month between fall and spring semesters to pursue individual projects and research
  • By the numbers: 53% admission rate; Mid-range SAT: CR 640-740, M 580-670, ACT 27-31
Rice University, Houston, TX (
  • 119 majors are offered to undergraduates, with architecture, engineering and pre-medical majors among the most popular. Undergrad architecture students spend a year in an architecture firm to get practical experience
  • 3,300 undergraduates enjoy fourteen NCAA Division I athletic teams, dozens of intramural sports, and eleven residential colleges with their own dining halls and public spaces
  • By the numbers: 21% admission rate; Mid-range SAT: CR 650-750, M 690-790, ACT 30-34
University of Redlands, Redlands, CA (
  • After fall and spring semesters, students can choose a one-month intensive “May Term” class on campus or a travel class in a foreign country
  • Pre-professional majors, liberal arts, business and music majors are most popular. All enjoy the surrounding environs of Big Bear Lake and Arrowhead ski resorts, as well as the SoCal sun
  • By the numbers: 67% admission rate; Mid-range SAT: CR 520-620, M 520-620, ACT 22-27

Thursday, January 19, 2012

College 3 by 5: Eco Colleges

by Emily Standish

College 3 by 5: Three Things About Five Eco Colleges

An “Eco College” is a place where students can live, learn and study within a mission of sustainability. These five colleges, and others noted below, are models of institutional commitment to practicing sustainable building practices, renewable energy, and for some, locally managed food resources. Note that each of the five colleges described below have rolling admission policies, meaning that they fill their freshman class as applications come in – and they have later application deadlines and there is still time to apply this spring, for Fall 2012 admission!

Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, Alaska
  • APU's “Active Learning” encourages students to be “activists and idealists”, engaged in adventure, service, and project-based learning.
  • Academic programs include Business, Counseling Psychology, Earth Sciences, Environmental Policy, Outdoor Studies (includes a course in Expedition Mountaineering), among others
  • By the numbers: 34% admit rate, Mid-range* SAT scores: CR* 480-590, M* 480-590,
  • Mid-range ACT composite: 21-26

College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine
  • COA was the first college in the US to reduce its green house gas emissions to zero.
  • All students design their own academic program within a Human Ecology major, choosing from three resource areas and nine focus areas.
  • By the numbers: 75% admit rate. This college is test-optional: test scores do not need to be submitted.

Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington
  • 100% of Evergreen's operating energy comes from renewable sources and its organic campus farm produces some of the dining service's food
  • With no general education requirements, all students design each quarter's classes around a theme taught by faculty from different disciplines. Narrative evaluations are given instead of grades.
  • By the numbers: 94% admit rate. Mid-range SAT scores: CR 510-640, M 460-590. ACT 21-27.

Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin
  • Northland is a national leader in alternative building techniques, with one of the campus residence halls built as a prototype for the LEED green building rating system. The campus has a variety of renewable energy sources and participates in the “Dark Skies” initiative.
  • In addition to the liberal arts majors at Northland, majors such as Environmental Geosciences, Outdoor Education, Environmental Chemistry, Ecological Restoration, Wildlife Ecology and Management, and Engineering are also offered.
  • By the numbers: 76% admit rate. Mid-range SAT Scores: CR 463-560, M 443-578; ACT 21-25

Prescott College, Prescott, Arizona
  • Prescott's philosophy includes social justice, environmental awareness, sustainable communites and agriculture, outdoor leadership, and teacher preparation
  • 780 undergraduates can choose experiential learning in majors such as Adventure Education, Wilderness Leadership, Sustainable Community Development, and Ecological Design in addition to more traditional liberal arts and fine arts majors.
  • By the numbers: 99% admit rate; Mid-range SAT scores: CR 510-670, M 480-570; ACT 20-28
If your son/daughter loves the outdoors and/or has been an Outdoor School student leader, an Eco College may be a good fit. Here are some other choices with similar philosophies: Green Mountain College, VT; Hampshire College, NH; Marlboro College, VT; University of MontanaMontana State University; Western Washington State University;and Warren Wilson College, NC. Check out

*Mid-range SAT scores of the middle 50% of the 2010 entering freshman class. CR = Critical Reasoning, M = Math.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

College 3 by 5: Co-op Colleges

by Emily Standish

College 3 by 5: Three Things about Five Colleges 

Here are five colleges across the United States known as “co-op” colleges. Programs at these colleges are specifically designed to give students hands-on, often paid, experience in their major field while during college so they are career-ready adults when they graduate.

1. University of Cincinnati, Ohio, 
  • The nation's largest and oldest co-op program, comprising 3,000 students in forty professional-practice options (UC has 22,000 undergraduates) such as architecture, design, engineering, nursing, music
  • Rolling admission deadlines vary by college (see web for details), IB credits accepted
  • Numbers: Admit rate: 62%, Mid-range* SAT scores: CR 500-610, M 520-640; Mid-range* ACT score: 22-27

2. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia,
  • Georgia Tech's Undergraduate Cooperative Education Program is a five-year plan for students to alternate semesters of school with semesters of paid work.
  • 13,500 undergraduates and 7,000 graduate students attend this “research powerhouse”
  • Numbers: Admit rate: 51%; Mid-Range SAT scores: CR 580-680, M 650-750; Mid-range ACT 27-31

3. Kettering University, Flint, Michigan,
  • Fourteen undergrad majors in math, science, business and applied engineering: 1,850 undergraduates choose co-op positions from among Fortune 500 companies
  • Rolling admission, with IB coursework accepted
  • Numbers: Admit rate: 64%, Mid-range SAT scores: CR 530-630, M 590-680; Mid-range ACT score: 24-28

4. Keuka College, Keuka Park, New York,
  • 1,600 undergraduates in rural upstate New York in a liberal arts environment, four 140-hour internships are required for graduation (one each year)
  • Rolling admission, IB coursework not accepted 
  • Numbers: Admit rate: 74%. This college is test-optional: test scores are not required for admission.

5. University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada,
  • One in four UVic students alternate semesters of paid work and school
  • Recognition of IB diploma and IB certificate student course work
  • Numbers: For US students, minimum SAT composite score: 1740, minimum ACT: 26 

See website for detailed international student admission information

Check out these additional co-op colleges: Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH;Drexel University, Philadelphia, PANortheastern University, Boston, MA;Oregon State University's College of Engineering; Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY; or

* Mid-ranges are the 25th-75th percentile scores of the most recent entering freshman class.