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.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Salem State University

Visited by Leisel Smith  - Dec 2015
“the Vikings”

Impressions:
  • not easy to get to, busy campus in a busy city
  • yellow & red brick buildings w lots of glass in the newer buildings
  • dense residential area
  • lots of parking lots to cater to commuter students (⅓ live in dorms, ⅓ commute, ⅓ live w friends)

There are actually about 6 campuses:
1- Downtown Campus/ Commuter Rail (1.5 mi north)
2- Cat Cove Labs (2.5 mi N)
3- School of Social Work & International Programs (.2 mi N)
4- North Campus (Main Campus)
5- Central Campus (Main Campus)- a few minute walk S of the North Campus, lots of upperclass apartment living
6- South Campus (.5 mi S)- Criminal Justice, nursing

ACADEMICS:
  • Nursing- clinicals start earlier than other schools (end of sophomore year)
    • look for:  3.6 GPA weighted with Honors & AP classes- if none of these, then you probably won’t get into the nursing program
    • SAT isn’t a big deal
    • 200/ 1400 accepted (about 15%)- 60 enroll;  only 1-2 transfer into the program as sophomores (VERY rare)
  • 15-20 students/ class, max= 40 (which is rare)   *NO large lecture halls, very personal
  • new programs:  Healthcare Studies (esp administration, but interdisciplinary); Dance (usually is a combination with business or education)

NOTABLE:
North Campus:
  • Dining Hall has Burger King, ice cream shop, & Dunkin’
  • big new commuter parking complex (700 spots)
  • lots of construction going on- REALLY nice new Residence Hall (Viking Hall) w Starbucks on main floor- for sophomores & juniors

ADMISSIONS:
  • Q1 senior year recalculated with same weight as Gr 9-11
  • if not accepted in the fall, get more grades & ask to be reconsidered
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new Viking Residence Hall

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new Viking Residence Hall

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Berry Library & Learning Commons Salem State Vikings

Bridgewater State


Visited by Leisel Smith - Dec 2015
Impressions:
  • 11,000 active students on a very active campus in a nice village bedroom community outside Boston
  • generally flat campus but “sledding” hill near freshman dorms & athletics
  • 10 mins off Rt 24
  • diverse campus, but not particularly well-integrated


There are actually 2 campuses split by the commuter rail (Middleboro-Lakeville stop, 40 mins from South Station):
1- West Campus- edge of the center of town, all academics & administration, some dorms
2- East Campus- mostly underclass dorms, apt upperclass dorms, athletics, and trail entrances
  • 5 dining halls (West- 3, East- 2)
  • Fire Station right next to East Campus
  • bus tracking map (ETA shown) in campus center


ACADEMICS:
  • biggest class= 35  *NO large lecture halls, very personal; upperclass classes= 5-15 students
  • laptop required
  • library:  Starbucks, freshman advising, tutoring, Floors 2-3 are quiet
  • Study Abroad options:  student “exchange” w another college, study abroad or study tours (1-2 wks for credit)
  • freshman can get desired classes, but harder for upperclassmen- helps to email professors, sometimes extra sessions will be created


NOTABLE:
West Campus:
  • rainwater filtration system
  • observatory on the top of the math/science building
  • student geological research in Hawaii was displayed
  • solar compactors
  • lots of recycling
  • lots of coffee stops around (Dunkin’, Starbucks- can use ID card only, NOT g/c)
  • students can use bookstore, but often use Amazon or Cheg (rentals)
  • Catholic church “off” campus, surrounded by “on” campus buildings- food pantry available for community & students, spaghetti dinners every Thursday
  • Art Center is the former gym, so there’s an elevated track, which now displays art; art students have 24 hr access to building


DORMS:
  • very present security in general on campus, 24 hr security in dorms- check bags; * campus siren & texting to alert to larger emergencies
  • lots of recycling
  • free printing system
  • most freshmen & sophomores live on campus, then most move off campus (big apartment complex on the far side of the athletic fields- kinda far)
  • 700 freshman live in Shea Hall & Durgin Hall (at the top of the sledding hill on East Campus).  They have doubles & the rooms are just big enough for 2 if you are organized with your space.  * * BUT there are some forced triples (with a cot!!) in the same spaces & the tour guide said something about quads (?)- typically don’t last longer than the semester unless students choose to extend (with the cot??)
  • coed by floor, not by hall
  • need ID to swipe to get into bathrooms (girls/ boys separate)- cleaned 2x/day!
  • can choose own roommate or use match.com-like system to find potential roommates w similar interests
  • main floor of dorms has large game room (pool table, ping pong, tvs) next to a full kitchen & laundry room (can borrow equipment from security)
  • all rooms have a/c- gets shut off if the window is open though :)
  • can request that an entire floor be dedicated to a club, Greek life, special interest


STUDENT LIFE:
  • Greek life was brought up often (5 frats, 4 sororities, 2 co-ed):  Greek week (complete w food trucks, lip sync-ing), community service
  • 2 gyms (1 free, 1 fee)
  • dry campus- LOTS of activities run through very active clubs & programming- doesn’t seem that anyone is at a loss for things to do (i.e. Cheese Club, Quidditch, Filmmakers Society, tv/ radio broadcasting, closed circuit tv movies)
  • LOTS of dance companies (including Irish Step Dancing)
  • active theater program- performing Seussical soon)
  • no cars on campus, some students buy spots off campus ($500)


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sign in window of dorm says “only dead fish go with the flow” free dorm print stations


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typical freshman dorm/ double pedestrian underpass


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observatory on top of math/sc building “not to be ministered unto, but to minister”


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Tillinghast Hall (dining hall- smelled yummy) beautiful Art Center (former BSC gym)


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upperclass apts


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“downtown” Bridgewater

Mount Ida College

Date of Visit: 12/3/15
Location: Newton, MA
Number of BHS Students that have applied:
2015: 2
2014: 1
2013: 4
2012: 7

Mount Ida is a small, diverse, private college nestled in a suburban neighborhood in Newton. Over 70% of its 1,300 students live on campus.  Just 8 miles from Boston, Mount Ida offers small classes, typically no more than 15 students, which allows for personal faculty attention with a strong focus on internships and career preparation.  

The School of Applied Sciences offers some of the most popular majors on campus, among them are Dental Hygiene, Forensic Science and Veterinary Technology. The campus has a state of the art dental facility, which does a great deal of community service locally and abroad. Additionally, Pre-Med & Pre-Pharmacy are new majors. Other popular majors are Fashion, Interior Design, Game Art and Animation & Sports Management.
Mount Ida has a very strong focus on career readiness, as well as an established program of internships and practicums that provide students with the opportunity to apply what they are learning and determine their areas of interest for future employment.
The school has also made numerous campus renovation and construction projects, among them are:
  • New, state-of-the-art biology and chemistry labs
  • Reconstruction of Malloy Hall, the school’s largest residence hall
  • New student fitness center, added to the existing Athletic Center
  • Expansion of Dental Education Center & Community Dental Clinic
  • Restoration of 100-year-old Shaw Hall as the campus centerpiece



Bryant University

Date of BHS Guidance Visit: 12/3/15
Website: http://www.bryant.edu/admissions/
Location: Smithfield, RI. About an hour south of Burlington.
Population of School: 3500 undergraduates
Campus type: Beautiful residential campus with ponds in suburban town, 20 minutes from Providence. Students can ride the public RI bus system for free and frequently it to Providence and Newport. The college also has vans and zipcars available to students.


Most Popular Majors
Students do not need to declare a major until the end of sophomore year and coming in undecided is just fine. Bryant has two colleges: the College of Business and the College of Arts & Sciences. All students are required to major in one and minor in the other. All programs integrate both philosophies. Freshmen are all required to complete a series of special classes and projects called the “Gateway Experience”, which includes the development and pitch of a product in a “shark tank” and a three day “IDEA: Innovation and Design” course after winter break where students work collaboratively and compete for prizes.
There are no teaching assistants or lecture style classes. The average class size is around 25 and classes all incorporate group projects. One of the most popular classes is a finance class that allows students to invest actual Bryant University money in the stock market.


On Campus Housing Information
Most students live on campus and stay on campus for weekends. Freshmen has the option of living in either traditional dorms or suite-style set-ups. Sophomores and juniors live in suites and seniors live in townhouses. All housing is within about a 5 minute walk from academic buildings.


Snapshot
Private, co educational, medium-sized university integrating both business and liberal arts, focused on innovation and leadership. The most popular states and countries that students come from are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey as well as India, Turkey, China, Ghana, and Ecuador. Bryant has a sister campus in China as well as a China Institute on campus. In addition to traditional study abroad opportunities, Bryant also offers 2-week courses abroad called the “sophomore international experience.” Though internships are not required, most students complete 2-3 internships before graduating. Bryant’s Career Center was rated in the top 10 by Princeton Review and 99% of graduates report being employed or starting graduate school within six months of graduating with a median salary of $53,500.  Bryant students are known for their school spirit and cheering on their athletes, especially in Division I basketball and football. The school mascot is a bulldog and, “Tupper”, a real bulldog is frequently seen on campus, being wheeled around in a stroller. Community service and Greek Life are both popular and most students are involved in at least 3-4 clubs. A tradition that students enjoy at the end of first semester each year, is the “Festival of Lights”, where students gather in the rotunda and light candles. The average accepted student has a 3.5 GPA and 1200 on the SAT or 25 on the ACT. Bryant is test optional, but students who do not submit test scores are required to answer 3 additional essay questions.  Merit scholarships range from $8,000-$30,000 per year and are guaranteed all four years as low as students maintain a certain GPA.





Montserrat College of Art

Visited by Ms. Diozzi on Dec. 3, 2015
Location:  Beverly, MA
Total students:  400
Number of BHS students who applied:
2015:  2
2014:  1
2013:  2

Montserrat College is a small, highly specialized school for students of visual art. It offers programs in art, design and writing.  While I was there, I observed watercolors, paintings, sculpture, an exhibit “Wood,” and extensive Mac labs for graphic design programs.  Because of its very small size, students receive a lot of individual attention and support. The campus is in a residential neighborhood in a lovely area of Beverly. It is easily walkable and bikeable and the commuter rail is also within walking distance to take students to Boston, to the North or to the nearby Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. Downtown Beverly is nearby with many restaurants and shops, as are exclusive town beaches.  The main campus building is also directly across the street from the Beverly Public Library. Student art is featured all over the campus. The buildings on campus are historical and many are former large houses.  Residence halls are large houses rented on behalf of students by the college. Applicants are strongly encouraged to share their portfolios on a preview day. Admissions and staff are available to work with high school seniors fully understand each student’s academic potential.


Bike Rack Sculpture Student Artwork


The University of New Hampshire

Visited by Ms. Diozzi on Dec. 3, 2015

Location: Durham, NH, about 1.5 hours from Burlington.
Population of School: 15,000 students, 12,500 of whom are undergraduates

Campus Type: Suburban/Rural

Number of BHS students who applied:
2015: 34
2014: 36
2013: 32

Located about 20 minutes from the New Hampshire tolls, UNH is a charming and scenic “New England College” with lots of green space and historic buildings. One of its selling points is that it is close to the mountains, the ocean, lakes, and lots of land. Despite having a mid- to large-sized student population, the campus has an intimate, inclusive feel and is very walkable, with an extensive bus system and an Amtrak train station on campus to take students to Boston and beyond. The most popular major for admitted first year students is “undeclared.”  Our tour guides were majoring in Engineering, Marine Biology and Theater.  Athletics, particularly hockey, are very big on campus and all three guides appreciated that at different levels. The students and staff on campus were very friendly and students appeared to be very engaged in learning. The campus did not appear to be too ethnically diverse but I did observe that it was impressively accessible to a few students in wheelchairs. UNH does offer merit aid, so students should not feel its price tag as an out-of-state school necessarily puts it out of reach. Admissions seemed to strongly emphasize applying Early Action. See the Naviance notes for more details.

UNH Original Building
UNH Wildcat