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, 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.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Salem State University

Visited by Leisel Smith  - Dec 2015
“the Vikings”

  • 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

  • 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)

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

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

new Viking Residence Hall

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Berry Library & Learning Commons Salem State Vikings

Bridgewater State

Visited by Leisel Smith - Dec 2015
  • 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

  • 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

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

  • 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 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

  • 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)

upperclass apts

“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
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.

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.