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.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Salve Regina University

Salve Regina University
Newport, RI

Visited by Ms. Diozzi 9/13/17

Salve Regina University is the most beautiful college campus I've ever seen. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, along the famous Cliff Walk and next door to The Breakers, the first and main building on campus is a former home from the Gilded Age of late 19th century. Other buildings are just as lovely and the insides of the buildings are as ornately carved and decorated as the outsides.
Originally founded by the Sisters of Mercy, a Catholic order of nuns, the mission and focus of "Salve" is service to others.

Walgreen Hall dining
The Multi-Cultural Center is very active on campus, offering cultural competency programs for all student leaders, mentoring for "first gen" students and other supports promoting mutual understanding among students. Likewise, the chapel on campus offers opportunities for all students to practice their own versions of spirituality.  Though the college was founded in a religious tradition, there are students on campus of all religions and religious doctrine does not dictate health services or impact such groups that advocate for LGBT rights, for example.

The buildings at Salve are a perfect blend of past and present. Working closely with the Newport Historical Society, all new buildings are designed and all old buildings are renovated to complement one and other and highlight the campus's unique history and beauty.  A student conference room will typically contain stunning old-fashioned paneling and a fireplace a person could stand in along with a state of the art screen and a modern conference table and amenities. A major building at Salve is Walgreen Hall, which was donated by the former CEO of Walgreen Pharmacy and houses the student dining hall, campus center, book store, health services and lounge (which also includes a full-service Starbucks).

Interesting fact: the main building at Salve Regina and its chapel are tourist attractions. Because the building is on the Cliff Walk, tourists can be seen strolling on campus. The college deliberate doesn't open until after Labor Day and always has Commencement before Memorial Day in order to avoid high tourist season. Students on campus said that the tourists don't bother them.

Most popular majors:  Nursing, education, criminal justice, business administration, psychology and biology.  Of note: Salve offers a unique program in Justice and Homeland Security and a graduate certificate in Cybersecurity.

Salve Regina's athletics are in Division 3, with the exception of Sailing, which is Division 1. (Newport is a training ground for the America's Cup.) Salve's newest sport is the Equestrian team, started in 2012.
View of sea from main building

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Faculty College Spotlight: The University of Iowa

This month's college spotlight features The University of Iowa, alma mater of Sally Del Llano, who is one of our Special Education teachers. Sally earned her B.A. in Psychology and Human Relations in 1999.

1)  How did you come to choose this college/university?
If you are born and raised in Iowa (as I was), you are either born into a Hawkeye (University of Iowa) or Cyclone (Iowa State) family. I was born and raised an Iowa Hawkeye; it's in my blood. My parents had three children, and we're all Hawkeyes. I looked at other colleges, but there was really never any doubt about where I would go to school. I can't imagine having gone anywhere else.

2) In what organizations, clubs, or sports did you participate?
I started out a Music major, and was actively involved in several music ensembles. My favorite was marching band, as that's how I met all of my closest college friends. Being a Big Ten Marching Band, we traveled with the football team, including to several bowl games. Those are by far my best college memories. As I got older I changed my major to Psychology, and volunteered at a local Women's Shelter, ran women's support groups, and worked as an assistant on a few different psychological research studies. One study involved interviewing terminally ill patients about how the meaning and quality of their lives changed as they faced their diagnosis; it was incredibly insightful and rewarding.

5) What did you like best about your overall college experience?
The best thing about my college experience was having the freedom to make my own decisions. That was the first time in my life I truly had the power to choose my classes, activities, and relationships. I didn't always use my freedom wisely, but there's very valuable learning in making mistakes. 

6) How did this particular institution prepare you for your future career and/or help you grow as a learner?
My undergraduate experience was a rare, fantastic time capsule. It was my first exposure to true independence. I was not always well-equipped to manage this independence, and made many valuable mistakes along the way. Although many of those mistakes were painful, I would not be where I am in life without having made them. Learning to fight my own battles and advocate for myself, as no one else was going to, forced me out of my comfort zone. I was also very fortunate to have honest and caring friends, who helped me check my behavior on more than one occasion. 

7) Why do you recommend your alma mater to BHS students?
At a large university, there is a niche for everyone. And I recommend you get away from home, even if it's only an hour drive. If financially feasible, live on campus and experience the joy and discomfort of having roommates and living someplace that's not home. Relocating to a different area of the country builds understanding and appreciation for people who have had an upbringing dissimilar to yours. And you might really like it. :)

8) Anything else you'd like to add or highlight or advice you'd like to share.
Go Hawkeyes!! School spirit aside, though, one of the things that makes the University of Iowa remarkable is its dedication and commitment to research. There are constantly new discoveries being made across diverse areas of study, and as a student at a large university you can make the choice to become involved in this type of research.

The Faculty College Spotlight bulletin board is located outside the BHS Guidance Office.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Faculty College Spotlight: Emerson College

Ms. Pam Mackay
English Department
Emerson College
BS in Journalism in 2007

1. How did you come to choose this college/university?
As a high school athlete I knew I wanted to stay connected to athletics. I already wrote for The Devil's Advocate and The Burlington Union. When I decided I wanted to be a sports journalist Mr. Attubato suggested Emerson.

2. In what organizations, clubs, or sports did you participate? 
As a journalist at Emerson you were required to submit work to The Berkley Beacon and create broadcast reports for our school radio station. I also played for the basketball team from my sophomore-senior year.

3. Did you have a job on- or off-campus and what was it? 
I worked at Dunkin Donuts in the Burlington Mall throughout college and continued to work summer camps for the Burlington Recreation Department. Doug Hastings also had me periodically write feature articles for the Union.

4. What was your favorite class?
I like that Emerson made us takes courses on all types of journalism, rather than focusing on one subject matter or medium. I really enjoyed Wartime Journalism. It was a good self-reflective process to wonder if I'd have the courage to enter a war zone as a journalist where I would not be protected. It also provided insight into trying to capture information without becoming biased and the ethical questions of documenting, but not getting involved.

5. What did you like best about your overall college experience?
I LOVED living on Boston Common. The city is an experience unto itself. There's a sense of pride that comes with knowing the T and the crazy lay-out of the streets. Many museums, sporting events, etc. give discounts or free admission to students as well.           

6. How did this particular institution prepare you for your future career and/or help you grow as a learner?
The obvious benefit to my current job is the four years of research and writing experience, which directly connects to skills as an English teacher. However, at Emerson I was surrounded by people who pushed me out of my comfort zone. I watched my peers perform in comedy troupes, bands, plays and create their own films (I was even forced to "act" in a few). It exposed me to people who differed greatly from me and made me more open and understanding of others, which I hope has made me a more compassionate and relatable teacher.   

7. Why do you recommend your alma mater to BHS students?
Emerson is an active school. In retrospect I didn't take advantage as much as I should have in all they offer. However, I loved the school's academic atmosphere as the classes were 20 or less students and lecture halls were 60 or less. In addition, Emerson let me take classes that were specific to my major immediately, rather than piling on GenEds because of my high school grades and test scores. Sorry math, science and history.   

8. Anything else you'd like to add or highlight or advice you'd like to share.
Emerson is a school for passionate people, which is a great fit if you absolutely know what you want to do. However, students who are unsure should find someplace which gives them options to explore more. There is a massive difference between a city school and schools with true campuses and whichever you choose will greatly affect your experiences so know your preference. If you're involved in activities at BHS and unsure about continuing them in college, find somewhere that gives you options. I could've attended Syracuse for journalism, but I couldn't walk onto the basketball team there. I knew I had that opportunity at Emerson if the temptation arose.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Faculty College Spotlight: Bryn Mawr

Brighid Holden
Bryn Mawr College AB 2003
Math major, Economics minor

Bryn Mawr is a women's liberal arts college founded in 1885 and located in Bryn Mawr, PA. 

How did you become interested in Bryn Mawr?  I was actually a transfer student.  I was visiting a friend over winter break and saw how different the school was from St. Lawrence University.  It was a welcoming atmosphere with a variety of classes, so I applied.  

In what activities did you participate while on campus? Akoue!  Our student run yearbook - I was editor for two years.  

Did you have a job during college? I worked on and off campus.  I had a local retail job and then got multiple on campus jobs.  I  worked the student and professional help desk junior year.  Senior year I became the help desk manager, homework grader, and Hall Adviser.  

What was your favorite class? My favorite class was Differential Equations (diffy q!).  It was the first time I got to work with modeling software to see the applications of all the formulas we derived.  

What did you like best about your overall college experience? Being an all-women's college, we are steeped in traditions and had a very strong student run government.  However, the best part though was the Honor Code we all followed - in addition to not talking about grades, we had self scheduled exams/quizzes and it was safe to leave your stuff anywhere.  

How did this particular institution prepare you for your future career and/or help you grow as a learner?My college experience taught me to have a voice and make my voice heard.  I was a shy, quiet kid in high school.  Going to a school with women and small class sizes meant I didn't have to hide my intelligence, could voice my opinion, and the teacher's knew my name.  

Why do you recommend Bryn Mawr to BHS students? I know it sounds weird, going to a liberal art's college to get further in STEM, however the math and science's are some of the most popular majors at the school.  For my graduating class, 10% were math majors.  You get individualized attention and opportunities to work directly with professors. 

Anything else you'd like to add? My college fostered the mind, but also the soul.  We build a community that holds strong and supports each other years later.  My advice is this, try a class you weren't expecting.  I went to college intending to be a history major but thanks to one amazing math professor my first semester and a super supportive staff, I became a math major.  Your path in life is not set, so try new classes even those outside your comfort zone!  

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.