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.