College Snap Shots

In an effort to provide Burlington High School students and their families with relevant and up-to-date college information, the Guidance Staff will be visiting various colleges and universities and providing you with information. The colleges visited do not represent a preference on the part of the BHS Guidance Department towards any particular school.

In the college search process, many things are taken into consideration. Things that are considered, but not limited to are: campus size, location, number of students on campus, majors, tuition, distance from home, athletic programs, clubs and other activities. When considering a college, students must also make realistic decisions based on personal interest, grades, test scores, etc.

The department feels that the college visit is an integral part of the process, and we strongly encourage students to visit any and all schools that interest them, especially if these schools are fairly close by. The information we provide is only a small snapshot into each respective college. We hope to add information about other schools in the future, and as always we appreciate any feedback that you have that would help us provide our students and their families useful information in the sometimes overwhelming college search process.

Furthermore we ask that students also research colleges by using their Naviance accounts and scheduling meetings with their counselor on a consistent basis. Please feel free to contact your son or daughter's individual counselor if you have any further questions.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Faculty College Spotlight: Westfield State University

Ms. Deb Deacon
Associate Principal
Westfield State University
Bachelor's degree in Business Administration

How did you come to choose Westfield?
I went to visit the campus and fell in love! It was small enough that I would know my professors and not be a number in an auditorium full of students. The campus was gorgeous and had fields and flowers across the street. I could play basketball and swim.

In what organizations, clubs or sports did you participate?
I was involved in several clubs - can't remember them all - and
activities like student government, the j-board (justice), varsity basketball (3 years) and varsity swimming (1 year).

Did you have a job on- or off-campus and what was it?
I babysat for the Athletic Director and I worked some on campus/work study jobs.

What did you like best about your overall college experience?
The friendships I made as many friends are my friends today!

How did this particular college prepare you for your future career and/or help you grow as a learner?
Ironically, Westfield is one of the top teaching colleges, yet I did not take one education course while I was there, despite pleas from my parents. I was going to conquer the business world so why would I need an education class...I was NEVER going to be a teacher!

Why do you recommend your alma mater to BHS students?
Westfield State is an amazing state college, on a beautiful campus that is affordable and offers all students an incredible education. I always like to say I am as successful as my sister and brother who went to Amherst College and Middlebury College, respectively, but I didn't have the student loans they did upon graduation. Westfield offers amazing educational opportunities for students and a host of extra-curricular activities.

Anything else you'd like to highlight or share?
Can I go back...PLEASE!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Ursinus College

Ursinus College
Collegeville PA
Visited by Ms. Diozzi
April, 2017

Located just outside of Philadelphia, Ursinus is a small college with a very pretty, walkable campus. It is the alma mater of J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye.

High points of the tour were seeing the new performing arts center and seeing impressive large sculptures scattered throughout the campus which gave it a similar feel to the DeCordova Museum.  Food was great and there were lots of options in the dining hall.

Professors and deans get to know students well. Ursinus freely talks about the freshman year as being a "grade 13" transition year for many students. Students who attend Ursinus are "intelligent, motivated, and academically curious," and the school is described as having a belief in liberal arts with a purpose.

Kaleidescope building
All freshmen have to read same books as part of the Common Intellectual Experience. The curriculum is aligned throughout the first year throughout ALL  subjects. The course revolves around three main questions:  What does it mean to be human? How should we live our lives? What is the nature of the universe and what is our place in it?


All students are required to complete an Independent Learning Experience which can be in the form of study abroad, an internship, student teaching, or research.

Most popular majors:  Biology, Applied Economics, English, Psychology, and Health and Exercise Physiology.

Indoor track

Friday, November 3, 2017

Faculty College Spotlight: The Pennsylvania State University

Ms. Jill McInerney Graham
Penn State
Bachelor of Science in Biology

How did you come to choose Penn State? Penn State was on a list of about 7 colleges that I visited. I immediately fell in love with the campus on my college tour. I went to a small high school in Downtown Pittsburgh, so I was drawn to the large, sprawling campus that’s kind of in the middle of nowhere!!!

Oh...and the football team is pretty good!

In what clubs or sports did you participate? I participated in a number of intramural sports with my friends, such as flag football and soccer. I was also a member of the Biology Club in order to learn about internships and career opportunities.

What did you like best about your overall college experience? College is all about you! It's your chance to figure out your strengths and your passions and find your niche. The diversity of the classes and the student body at Penn State really allowed me to figure out what I wanted to do in life. My passion for science was fueled by the classes and professors that I had. Additionally, I met some of my best friends during my 4 years here!

How did Penn State prepare you for your future career and/or help you grow as a learner? Penn State has a state-of-the-art science complex where I was able to take a full range of science courses, from Organic Chemistry labs, to a research and discussion based course, Bioethics, to an Environmental class where we spent many weekends camping in and studying the forest. Penn State taught me to be independent, responsible and to never stop learning, and helped to prepare me for a career in the sciences.

Did you have a job on- or off-campus, and what was it? I was employed through the University as a student athlete tutor, which means I helped many of the athletes prepare for their science classes and exams. Over the summers, I worked as a waitress at a resort in Myrtle Beach.

What was your favorite class? My favorite class was a science course that I took during . my senior year called Bioethics. We studied many interesting topics such as GMOs, DNA patenting and Climate Change - many topics I teach in Environmental Science now!

Why do you recommend your alma mater to BHS students? While New England has so many great colleges and universities, and it's a fantastic area to live in, I think it's important to see what else is out there. Penn State is a good school that offers degrees in just about every major you can think of and a few you probably didn't even know existed. The campus life also offers a variety of opportunities for you to try new things and discover new interests.

Anything else you'd like to add or highlight? Study abroad - see the world! During the winter semester of my junior year, I was fortunate to travel with a study abroad program called Semester at Sea. I basically lived on a cruise ship and took classes while we were out at sea. We stopped at 10 ports around the globe where we were immersed in new cultures and experiences.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Temple University

Temple University

Date visited:  April 21, 2017
Visited by Ms. Diozzi

Located just a few subway stops beyond Center City Philadelphia, Temple is an urban campus that feels manageable and even cozy (even though it is made up of 12 undergraduate colleges and schools). There is a lot of energy on campus, and students we met were eager to talk about the school and were glad to be there. Students came from all walks of life and seemed interested in everything.  The campus is lined with food trucks selling everything from samosas to Korean barbecue to hot dogs.
It has a "vibe" not unlike that of Northeastern.

Most popular majors:  Biology, Psychology, Accounting, Kinesiology and Journalism.

Temple is a public university. Tuition is comparatively reasonable for out of state students; including fees, it amounts to $28,000. Room and board is an average of $10,000 per year.

Interestingly, almost half of Temple's student body enters as transfer students.

This photo of the computer center  doesn't do it justice. It was new, enormous and
filled with all types of technology. 

The new science building and the computer center were particularly impressive. 

In addition to our tour of the main campus, we were given a presentation at and tour of Temple's Tyler School of Art, which has many spaces filled with natural light. The art college has studio space for painting, sculpture (clay and metal), ceramics and glass-blowing. There are also large doors throughout the building for the movement of large pieces and/or art installations.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Faculty College Spotlight: Merrimack

This school year, our department is spotlighting the alma maters of teaching staff in our building. Profesora Kristen Duhamel, who teaches Spanish II and III, is a proud alumna of Merrimack College, class of 2014.

Here are her thoughts on Merrimack:

How did you come to choose this college/university?
I chose Merrimack College due to the teacher:student ratio. I wanted a college/university that was a close-knit community where I would have the opportunity to know the faculty, staff, and students well.

In what organizations, clubs, or sports did you participate while there?
At Merrimack I was a member of the Honors Program and A.L.A.N.A., a student-run multicultural society.  Because I commuted, I had an off-campus job umpiring girl's softball and volunteering at a local elementary school in Lawrence. 

What was your favorite class?
My favorite class was Spanish film.

What did you like best about your overall college experience?
What I liked best about my overall college experience was student-choice in regards to what classes I wanted to enroll in. I took classes that ranged from Philosophy to Astronomy, where I did research in Merrimack's observatory with my professor who previously worked for NASA.

How did this particular institution prepare you for your future career and/or help you grow as a learner?
Merrimack College prepared me for a future career as a teacher by giving me the hands-on experience of working with diverse populations. Between my alma maters I have taught/volunteered in 
different districts such as Lawrence and North Andover. Working with these diverse populations has opened my eyes to different cultures other than my own as well as cultures from all around the world.

Why do you recommend your alma mater to BHS students (either to all students or a subset)?
I would recommend Merrimack to students who truly want to be apart of a community. My alma mater is very involved in numerous service learning projects that give back to local communities.

An admissions representative from Merrimack will be visiting BHS on Sept. 18th.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Widener University

Widener University
Chester, PA

Visited in April, 2017
by Ms. Diozzi

A small but sprawling, flat campus (with a feel that's similar to Dean or Clark) Widener U. is located about 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia.. Widener is a former military academy that was turned into a liberal arts college about 40 years ago thanks to donations from the Widener family (relatives of the same family who donated Widener Library at Harvard).   The Widener students we met were very focused on their specific majors, such as business and international relations and loved the small size of the school

Widener takes pride in the personalized attention students get on campus. Although it is not listed among official "colleges that change lives," it takes a similar approach to many of them. Professors will definitely take attendance and call students who do not show up for class on their cell phones.  For example, an accounting professor shared an anecdote about running into a student at the local mall, after the student had blown off a quiz. Since the student assured the professor he had been prepared for the quiz, the professor sat him down in the mall and made him take the quiz there. It was obvious that the professor, who was engaging and funny, was deeply invested in his students' success; He was very proud of the fact that his own children chose to go to Widener in lieu of other options.

Widener students are encouraged to work in their fields of study through internships and opportunities offered right on campus. For example, the university recently opened an Uno's restaurant on campus, which is run by students. Students have also been placed in internships working for the Philadelpia Union soccer team, the stadium for which is very close to campus.

Most popular majors: Nursing, psychology, business administration, accounting, engineering.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

UMass Dartmouth

Visited April 18, 2016 by Ms. Minty

Location: Dartmouth, MA. About an hour south of Burlington; west of Cape Cod, near New Bedford and Fall River. About 30 minutes from Providence and Newport, RI and 15 minutes from the beach.

Population of School: 7300 undergraduates and 1600 graduate or law students (smallest of the UMasses). 79% of freshmen live on campus. 86% are from MA and 30% are students of color.
Campus type: Residential campus with ponds in a suburban town, about a mile from the mall, AMC theater and restaurants. $10 bus service between Boston and campus. Plenty of parking.

Most Popular Majors
All classes are taught by professors (no teaching assistants) and most have around 25 students. Only one lecture hall on campus which holds 100 students. UMass Dartmouth prides themselves on providing something similar to a small private college experience.  Study abroad opportunities are available in all majors and financial aid transfers. All students are required to complete a study abroad experience, internship, or senior project before they graduate. They have an honors program called “Commonwealth Scholars.” Very strong students (especially if they are women and/or students of color) can be offered nearly a full ride as an “Endeavor Scholar.” Notable programs include a new “data science” major, the Charlton College of Business, nursing, engineering (many students are lured by the opportunity to design a formula one race car or the nearby naval submarine program), and SMAST (a top marine science research facility in New Bedford). It is the only MA public university with a law school. There is also a special collaboration between the engineering and visual & performing arts programs. If students are not admitted into the College of Engineering as freshmen, there is now a pre-engineering path that would allow students to transfer later.

Public, co educational, medium-sized university with 5 colleges and 82 undergraduate programs.  The average accepted student has a 3.2 GPA and 1030 on the SAT. The campus building style is unusual, designed by famed architect Paul Rudolph. The students’ motto is “embrace the concrete” because the walls, inside and out, are all made of gray concrete. Though some find this ugly, my impression was more that it creates a minimalist backdrop for nice landscaping and colorful interior furniture. The interior of the library is especially cozy, including a first floor called the “Library Living Room”, complete with lounge furniture, fireplaces, and a cafe. There are also multiple free tutoring centers on campus, including ones for science/engineering and math, as well as writing. The campus attracts impressive special guests- the previous night, Jane Goodall had visited. Special internship and research opportunities abound- our Biology major tour guide said her mother asked if she could help arrange something for her brother who was at a selective private institution because, at UMass Dartmouth, she had been involved in research since her freshman year and the school had funded her to present at conferences at Harvard and in Washington DC as well as an upcoming summer internship at Cornell. Athletics are Division III and the basketball, cricket, and women’s rugby teams are especially strong. Students and staff both rave about the local Portuguese food, though there are plenty of familiar chain restaurants nearby as well. The Portuguese presence is also felt in unique opportunities such as a study abroad opportunity for nursing and medical students in the Azores. On weekends, the student panel gave the impression that many are studious and hang out together in their residence halls, but are also involved in a number of social organizations, including fraternities and sororities that focus on philanthropy. All freshmen live together in the “first year quad”, but housing shifts to apartments and singles starting sophomore year.