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.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Boston Conservatory

The Boston Conservatory
8 The Fenway
Boston MA

Visited by Ms. Diozzi 12/5/13 (Ms. Diozzi is also an alumna of "BoCo," having earned a BFA in Musical Theater there.)

Campus type:  Urban
# of Undergraduates:  600

Majors:  Musical Theater, Dance, Vocal Performance, Music Performance, Music Theory
New majors beginning in 2014-15:  BFA Contemporary Theater, Multidisciplinary Stage Management, MM in Contemporary Music Performance and an MEd concentration in Music and Autism.
Outside of new theater on Hemenway St.

Snapshot:  Located in the heart of the Fenway area, the Boston Conservatory was founded in 1867.  There are two performance spaces, one on Hemenway Street and another, brand new performing arts center on Ipswich Street. BoCo is not a member of the Colleges of the Fenway, but students do occasionally cross register at Berklee.  All students must audition.  GPA range is 2.7-3.0 and SAT/ACTs are required. Admission to the conservatory is competitive.

BoCo alumni have recently been represented in the Broadway and national touring productions of Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, On the Town, Sideshow, The Book of Mormon, Rocky, and Once.




Interior of new theater building


Your "campus" will be an alley, but it's great fun to hang out there.


















Albert Alphin Music Library - musical theater section with computer lab

Student Life:  Dorms are in townhouses along the Fenway; most students move off campus after sophomore year.  The BoCo students share a cafeteria with the Berklee College of Music, which is two blocks away from the BoCo "campus." The main campus of BoCo is the Fenway and the alley between the dorms and classroom/performance space on Hemenway Street, as well as the city of Boston.
Student Center - there are pianos everywhere 

Interior staircase of dorm at 24 The Fenway
Dorms along The Fenway - all converted Victorian townhouses 



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Visited by Ms. Minty, 12/5/13
Location: Worcester, MA
Population: 4000 undergraduates
Campus type: 80 acre campus set in a safe, residential section of Worcester. WPI is also a member of the 12 colleges that make up the Worcester Consortium.


Most Popular Majors
Over 50% of students major in some form of Engineering and their Robotics program is particularly notable.Of the remaining students, about 40% major in Math, Science, or Computer Science, 8% major in Business, and 2% major in Liberal Arts. About 20% of incoming freshmen are “undecided.”  The academic program is pretty unique. There is no core curriculum and even within a major, students have lots of freedom to tailor their courses to their interests. If a student does not earn at least a “C” in a course, the course will not be listed on their transcript; the college does this to encourage collaboration and risk-taking. Instead of 2 semesters, courses are broken into four terms. During each term, students take only 3 intensive courses at a time. Courses are very project-based and emphasize group collaboration.


On-Campus Housing Information
97% of freshmen and 62% of the total population live on-campus.


Snapshot
Medium, private, coeducational technological university. Though the gender ratio is almost 2:1 male to female, in walking around campus, girls were not a noticeable minority. The campus was buzzing with students on every walkway and in every building I went through. Freshman year lectures can be large, but break down into smaller discussion groups. Because of the large number of original collaborative projects that students complete, graduates have some of the highest starting salaries in the nation and often have job offers by their senior year. Over 50% of students travel overseas to complete a project and receive the same financial aid abroad as they would on campus.


Besides being passionate about math and science, about a third of students are also involved in music or theatre and community service is very big. Greek Life on campus mostly revolves around community service. Most students stay on campus on weekends or attend events at other colleges in the Worcester Consortium. Each freshman is assigned a team of three advisors- academic, resident, and community- who work together to ensure they are getting the most of their college experience.

View of quad
Students can choose to submit a “Flex Path” project in place of test scores; this should represent detail-oriented work involving planning that the student completed outside of school (e.g. an Eagle Scout project). Applicants must have taken Pre-Calculus in high school and need a recommendation letter from a math or science teacher who had them in class. If students complete the optional writing supplement, they will be considered for additional scholarships.  


Oversized chess game


Friday, December 13, 2013

Anna Maria College

Paxton, MA
Visited by Ms. Minty on 12/15/13


Population of school: 1000 undergraduates

Campus type: 192 acre campus surrounded by paths through woods, small farms, and nurseries about 10 minutes outside the city of Worcester. Anna Maria is a member of the Worcester Consortium, which includes 11 additional colleges.

Most popular majors: Nursing, Criminal Justice, Music, Social Work and Education.


President's Building
Unique majors: Music Therapy, Fire Science, Paramedics and Health and Community Services, a new major that prepares students to work within the health care system, but in a non-clinical setting, mainly helping patients with navigation of the health care system.

Snapshot: Anna Maria is a small, private, Catholic, coeducational Master's level college with career-oriented programs based in the liberal arts. Class sizes are extremely small (15 or fewer is typical) and most majors involve an internship.  

Though only about 50% of the students on campus are Catholic, all students are required to take three religion courses and attending weekly Mass is very popular, though not required. There is a huge emphasis on community service, and Christmas is a very big event on campus. Most everywhere I went, I saw Christmas trees, wreaths and other decorations. Some of the most popular annual events are the "Giving Tree" where students buy Christmas presents for needy children in the community and host a party for them, as well as a fancy Christmas dinner put on by the college president and his wife. Two ice skating rinks were being built while I toured, and are an annual tradition, one for figure skating and one for hockey. Athletics and being "green" are also emphasized on campus. The college is heated entirely by silo and is in the process of building a large solar farm.


Admissions: Average admitted GPA is 2.6 and the college is SAT/ACT optional. Students are automatically considered for the Honors Program when they apply.  There are currently three BHS alumni attending Anna Maria.


Typical dorm
Dorm kitchen













Friday, December 6, 2013

Bridgewater State University




Bridgewater, Mass.

Visited 11/21/13 by Ms. Diozzi & Ms. Minty

# of undergraduates:  9328
Type of campus:  Suburban/Small town

Founded as  "Normal School" in 1840, Bridgewater was originally a coeducational teachers' college. Its name was change from "Bridgewater State Teachers' College" to Bridgewater State College in 1960. Currently, Bridgewater State University is one of seven colleges in the Mass. state university system and is made up of five colleges, Bartlett College of Science and Math, Ricciardi College of Business, the College of Education and Allied Studies, College of Humanities and Social Science, and the College of Graduate Studies.

Bridgewater has undergone many renovations on campus in recent years and the architects of the campus have done an excellent job blending old and new buildings.  The campus is very clean and pretty and easily walkable.  It is entirely non-smoking.  The student body is very diverse.

Approximately 20-25% of recent senior classes have applied. Currently there are well over a dozen BHS alumni enrolled at Bridgewater.



Performing arts auditorium

Beautiful new dormitory
New multi-million dollar science center




Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dean College


Dean College                                                             Visited by Ms. Diozzi, Ms. Minty and Mrs. Cavanaugh         Nov. 11, 2013                                                                                                                                                          Location:  Dean is a small, liberal arts college located in a suburban setting in Franklin, Mass.  It is approximately a 50 minute drive from Boston and a 35 minute drive from Providence, RI.  Dean is known for its academic support services.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
BHS Admissions Statistics:
            Applied            Admitted         Attending
2013          5                  2               0
2012          1                  1               0
2011          8                  6               2
2010          6                  4               1




View of library from quad

Snapshot:   Dean is a small, friendly campus set right in the heart of Franklin, Mass.  Its streets blend right in with streets in town.  The main buildings were impressive, especially the student center, where students gather for activities, such as watching the tally of the last Presidential election, studying and going to dining halls.  Some of the facilities, such as the athletic fields, seemed a bit old and in need of sprucing up, but the feeling on campus was warm and inviting. It seems apparent that all students on campus get a lot of support and attention.  The performing arts department is also well-known, especially the dance program. There were many performing arts events being advertised on campus.
    



Dean College has a great relationship with the Patriots organization. Our college tour included      
tickets for counselors, students and Dean personnel and professors.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vassar

Entrance to campus
Vassar College

5/9/07
Visited by:  Ms. Diozzi

Location:  A private, selective liberal arts college located in Poughkeepsie, NY (1.5 hrs from NYC.)  Vassar was founded in the early 1860's by brewer, Matthew Vassar as a women's college. It went co-ed in the 1960's.

Population of college: 3800 undergraduates. 


Snapshot:  My first impression of Vassar was that the college campus is gorgeous and the architecture of the buildings is eclectic.  It's located on a side street out of Poughkeepsie and is walled in by a large brick wall.  (There has been much discussion over the years about tearing down the wall to make the college feel more inclusive with the community.)  The students we met were fairly well-dressed, a bit preppy, seemingly privileged and very, very articulate.  Many of them also seemed to be a bit quirky and creative.  There was noticeable ethnic diversity on the campus among both students and professors.


A famous distinction of Vassar is that all of the bathrooms on campus are gender-neutral, and the student body consistently votes to keep it that way.  According to Vassar students, the “type of student who would be most happy at Vassar is unique, passionate about something, eclectic, knows time management well, is not afraid to learn something new from someone different, and is open to intimate discussions.”

Vassar prides itself on being one of the top ten colleges for vegetarians, so at lunch, I asked for the vegetarian entrĂ©e. Not only was it vegetarian, it was vegan and amazing! One of the best meals I had on the entire tour, including the dinner at the Culinary Institute of America. 

Famous alumni include Meryl Streep and Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe on Friends).

Dormitory





Tufts University



Date of Visit:  11/4/08
Visited by:  Ms. Diozzi
Building on main quad

College/University Name:  Tufts University
Location:  Medford, MA

Population:  4800 undergraduates

Campus Type:  Suburban campus with urban access

Number of BHS students who applied:

                 Applied   Admitted  Attended
2012            9             2                1
2011           13             2                1
2010           14             1                0
2009           21             6                2           
                    

Most Popular majors:  Humanities, anything international, engineering.  “New” college (00): Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service

Eco-friendly "green" dorm

On Campus Housing Information:  Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus.  40-45% of all juniors will be studying abroad.  Most seniors live on campus.  There is one “green” dorm. 10% Greek housing.

Snap Shot:  Founded as a Unitarian Universalist college (though with no ties to it now), Tufts still has a ‘vibe’ of intellectualism, active citizenship and being part of a global community.  When I visited on Election Day, 2008, there was a strong sense of politics on the campus, much of it with a left-leaning bent.  Students are required to take six semesters of a foreign language and to have taken four years of a language in high school (preferably through the AP level).  They are looking for students whose passions cross academic disciplines:  ex. “engineers who love the arts, multilingual business leaders, doctors who relish politics,” etc.

Art studios
Elephant - "Jumbo the Elephant" is Tufts's mascot

Mayer Campus Center