African American Male Athletes: It’s Time to Step Up to the Plate

February was Black History Month and now it’s March, with all the hoopla of March Madness.  There is nothing new about these celebrations; they are annual events.  However, this might be a good time to address a serious issue that pertains to some of our young men. This is why I feel the need to reach out to African American male athletes and encourage them to take control of their destiny.  They must show the world that there is more to their talent than the skill of bouncing a ball on a basketball court and scoring points, or running down a football field making a touchdown.

Let me preface my concern with the fact that I love sports; always have, as both a spectator and participant.  Plus, if anyone is going to have the guts to broach the topic, without fear of being labeled a racist, I guess I’m the chosen crusader.  As a veteran educator (school counselor), still passionately engaged in school achievement and postsecondary options, and an African American who has always been very concerned with the development and destiny of athletes, I encourage you to take a moment to come out of the clouds and redirect your focus.

I am not addressing all African American athletes because there are many who have accomplished both their educational and athletic goals; but unfortunately, those numbers are not high enough.  This also does not include female athletes; because their fates have not been as negatively impaired as it has for males.

It is easy to lose sight of this tragedy because as long as you are the catalyst for the winning team, you are praised.  However, once you cannot perform, or the season is over, you are thrown under the bus.  It’s sad but true.  And the biggest crisis is the lack of interest in your educational accomplishments; by high schools, colleges and you.  Even with all the NCAA concern about college graduation rates for athletes, as well as the assumed interventions that are implemented by the institutions, African American athletes are still lagging beyond their counterparts.  You received a scholarship to play sports AND get an education.  Even the new 2015 NCAA rules aren’t developed to promote a promising collegian; just a marginal student who can play sports.

Many people ask, “Why and how does this happen?”  First it begins in the early grades.  Young children are very impressionable and many will equate a promising or successful career with an athlete.  Remember all the commercials with the kids saying, “I want to be like Michael.” And they weren’t talking about Michael Jackson.

Consumed by the athletic prowess of the players, the youngsters, especially males, devote the majority of their free time to develop the same skill.  I support developing athletic talent, but not at the expense of education.  Unfortunately, homework and other academic responsibilities are side-lined for athletics.

This continues through middle and high school; then obvious problems appear.  Weaknesses are noticed in reading, math, and other academic and cognitive areas.  Sometimes, basic life skills are lacking; for example, being unable to complete the SAT registration form with general information (name, address, date of birth).  It was disappointing to have conversations that were like talking to The Print Shop program; thinking, processing, etc.

And what happens at college, especially when it’s obvious there is not a positive correlation between the student’s ability and the rigor at the university?  Now we’re back to, “We will help you as long as you are helping us win.”  And if not, oh well, those bus tires can really hurt.  What will you do now?  Well you might get lucky and actually make that dream come true, but do your research, because very few make the Michael Jordan and Walter Payton club.  It’s always sad to hear college tutors share stories of athletes, whom they helped, with minimal academic skills, sometimes elementary level, who struggled terribly in their studies and accomplished very little; during and after college.

Before it’s too late, make a pledge to create a better future for yourself, and the younger aspiring athletes who are modeling you.  Employ the same skills that are utilized in sports; strategy, execution and team work, in your educational pursuits.  If you can successfully implement basketball and football plays, that’s analytical thinking, strategic planning and memorization.  These skills are used in education, but you haven’t been encouraged, or had the desire, to make the connection, so start now.  If you can achieve them on a basketball court or a football field, you should be applying them in your English, mathematics, science, and social studies classes.  As a counselor, I usually had to be creative when helping a student, especially an athlete, understand a study strategy with a sports analogy.

Here are suggestions to help you strategize and executive your destiny:

• Make your education a priority.  Achieve at your maximum level.

• Aim for intellectual stimulation (reading, analytical reasoning, writing).

• Improve public speaking skills.

• Be assertive and proactive in seeking academic assistance.

• Project a positive image (appearance, dress, character, behavior).

• Seek mentors or adults who can help with your achievement and career goals

. • Always strive to be better than average; do more than is expected.

• Have high expectations for yourself; if you don’t, who will?

As you redirect your focus and navigate your new path, remember to be a good role model for the younger African American males who are following your footsteps. There are endless possibilities and as we all know, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

New York Film Academy: Another Option for Film and Acting

Universal Studios, Los AngelesAre you an aspiring actress or actor hoping to someday receive an Academy Award nomination?  Perhaps you will get lucky and be discovered while sipping a Big Gulp on a drugstore counter stool.  That did work for a famous movie star “back-in-the-day,” even though I don’t think she was drinking a Big Gulp.

Many “hopefuls” engage in theatre activities or classes available at school or in the community, as well as pursue summer enrichment opportunities.  The next plan, unless an extraordinary offer is received before high school graduation, is to consider postsecondary studies in film and/or acting.  My last article, Westward Bound!!  Los Angeles Colleges, featured comprehensive four-year institutions with reputable theatre, film and television programs.  A week later from that tour, I returned to Los Angeles to visit the New York Film Academy’s California campus.  I consider it be a viable option for an enthusiastic film and acting candidate.

Now your first thought is probably, “Why isn’t the Academy in New York?”  There are two locations for the New York Film Academy.  The New York City campuses are located in Union Square and SoHo; I will be visiting them in May.  However, in mid-February I had the pleasurable experience of touring the West Coast site in Los Angeles, California, located on the backlot at Universal Studios.  There is a branch campus in Abu Dhabi, UAE, as well as other locations with short-term programs and workshops.

A distinct feature of NYFA, as compared to the comprehensive programs, is that students are immediately immersed in the creative atmosphere of the curriculum with “hands-on” experience.  The concentrations for the Associate of Fine Arts include Producing, Screenwriting, Acting for Film, Filmmaking, and Game Design.  The Bachelor of Fine Arts options are Filmmaking, Acting for Film, Screenwriting, Animation, Game Design, and General Education.  And, if your passion extends to the advanced studies, the Master of Fine Arts offers areas such as Photography, Cinematography, Documentary, Screenwriting, Producing, Filmmaking, Game Design, and Acting for Film.  All programs are accredited.

A mission of NYFA is not only to create highly competent professionals, but also graduates, who possess good character and worthy attributes sought after by employers.  There are internships and networking opportunities with professionals in the industry that are valuable perks for students.  The Universal Studio campus also sponsors a summer enrichment program for high school students, as well as other locations.  There are also special summer workshops for younger students, ages 10-13.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program requires several general education classes.  Students declare a major when admitted.  Approximately 15-25% of the students are community college transfers and the remaining statistics represent matriculation directly from high school.

The Los Angeles/Universal Studio campus does not have residential dorms; however, NYFA housing can help students find an affordable residence, roommate(s), and other necessities.  Since students spend a lot of time at the campus, and not their apartment, they don’t appear to be distressed about the arrangement.

There are 1200 students at the Burbank campus.  The Academy offers talent scholarships and need-based grants.  International students can receive financial awards.  Tuition varies by program. Students are sole owners of all film(s) they make during the program.  NYFA reserves the right to make copies of work for promotional purposes.

There is a rolling admission policy for all workshops and students are accepted until programs are filled.  Successful applicants must have a high school diploma, or equivalent, and show proficiency in English.  Requirements also include a letter of recommendation and a narrative statement.  A creative portfolio is not mandatory but it could be an asset in the competitive process.  As can be expected, NYFA is selective in their review; therefore, they are seeking applicants who are passionate about their studies, committed to challenging work, and motivated to be successful in order to attain a career in the industry.

NYFA is worthy of consideration for students eager to immediately embrace the curriculum and experiences of film and acting, without a desire to explore and combine other non-related majors or minors.  Yet, there are some students with a passion for NYFA’s curriculum; however, they are still unsure about total commitment.  And if so, that’s okay; that’s why a comprehensive college might be more desirable.  Remember, that’s why we, college planning specialists, recommend “right match and fit” as an important factor in your search.

“Colleges hit the road for spring 2013 fairs”

Article of interest from Start Early: College & Career Planning Service.  Refer to SE: C&CP’s “Goode Questions to Ask..”

“Colleges hit the road for spring 2013 fairs”

March 11, 2013 – Nancy Griesemer

Once 2013 decisions are signed, sealed, and delivered, admissions staff will hardly have a moment to breathe before they’re expected to hit the road again for college fairs scheduled all over the country.
Here are a few of the more popular local events:

Annapolis Area Christian School (AACS) Annual College Fair Scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, 2013, the AACS Annual College Fair is open to the public and all students. The fair will take place at the Kilby Athletic Center in Severn, MD, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Colleges That Change Lives Since 1998, the Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL)—forty colleges and universities dedicated to the support of student-centered college search processes—have been traveling together to meet directly with students and families. This year, CTCL will visit the Washington DC area on Sunday, May 19, at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center, at 1:00 p.m. The program begins with a 30-minute information session followed immediately by the college fair.

Career GPS Expo (formerly known as the Diversity Fair) Organized by Loudon County Public Schools, this event provides opportunities to meet with college and other postsecondary school representatives as well as to interact with organizations and employers representing a variety of career options. The 2013 Career GPS Expo will take place on Wednesday, March 20, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Dominion High School in Sterling VA. Students and parents do not need to register for this event.

Frederick County Spring College Fair Join more than 100 colleges and universities from across the country on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Hood College Athletic Center.

IB-MA College Fair The IB Mid-Atlantic Association of IB World Schools is hosting a free college fair on Saturday, April 20, 2013, from noon until 4:00 p.m, at Gar-Field High School, in Woodbridge, VA. This is a large event attracting many colleges interested in recruiting IB students and others.

NACAC National College Fairs (NCF) Free and open to the public, NACAC’s fairs annually attract more than 850,000 high school students to forums designed to encourage student and family interaction with representatives from a wide range of postsecondary institutions. This year, NACAC has scheduled two local fairs spanning several days. The Montgomery County NCF will take place on April 17 (evening hours included) and 18 at the Montgomery County Agricultural Center, in Gaithersburg. The Prince George’s County NCF will immediately follow on April 19at the Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.

National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) Health Professional Recruitment Fair Organized in partnership with the George Washington School of Medicine and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), this fair will include opportunities to meet with medical school representatives and admissions staff. In addition, students are invited to attend workshops—one targeted specifically to high school students—on how to get ready for the challenges of medical school, the application process, and how to finance a medical education. The workshops and the fair are scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Registration in advance is encouraged.

Northern Virginia Regional College Fair Scheduled for Wednesday, April 3, this fair usually attracts 200 colleges and universities, in the Patriot Center Arena on the campus of George Mason University. No registration is required and doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with free parking in Lots A or L across from the Patriot Center.

Remember that some fairs offer pre-registration options, but most are walk-in events. You can prepare for the fair by reviewing a list of participating colleges and noting those in which you are interested. It’s a good idea to print out some “mailing” labels with your name, mailing address, phone number, month and year of high school graduation, and email address. These can be quickly applied to information request cards. And bring a backpack or something similar for carrying all the materials you will collect.


Here’s a tip: In addition to admissions information, exhibitors often come equipped with materials introducing summer enrichment opportunities. Be sure to ask about the availability of summer classes, camps, or other similar programs

The Red Envelope Always Brings Good News – Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University’s Regular Decision admission and scholarship decisions for the Class of 2017 will be mailed on Friday, March 15th. By the way, we want to let you in on a little secret – the red envelope always brings good news!

Saint Joseph’s University encourages all admitted students to submit a FAFSA to be considered for need based aid. Financial aid awards will be mailed the week of March 25th. Please contact your admission counselor if you or your students have questions about the process or the award they receive.

The Office of Undergraduate Admission will continue to accept applications for qualified applicants on a space available basis.


5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131

Purdue University (IN) Prepares for the Common Application

Purdue University Prepares for the Common Application

In August 2013, Purdue will transition to the Common Application for students who will be applying for 2014 enrollment. We’ve begun communicating about the Common App with high school juniors and offer the information below to help you and your students.
    • The 2014 Common App will be available by Aug. 1.
    • Only freshmen will apply to Purdue using the Common App. Transfer students will use the Purdue transfer application.
    • We will have an Early Action deadline of November 1. This also is the deadline for scholarship consideration and the firm deadline for admission to Nursing and Veterinary Technology.
    • Students who complete their application by the Early Action deadline will have an admission decision on December 13.
    • We will require the Common App school report but when submitting the school report, counselors will be able to opt out of the counselor recommendation. Opting out won’t hurt a student’s application, but a recommendation can help students be more competitive candidates for admission and scholarships.
    • Purdue will have a simple supplement to ask questions that are not included on the Common App.
    • Beginning with the 2014 enrollment year, the Purdue application fee will be $60.
As always, Purdue admissions staff members are available to answer questions by phone, (765) 494-1776, or email, In addition, the Common App website has excellent information pages for students and school officials.

Important Dates and Deadlines for 2014 Enrollment

Purdue’s application deadline is changing. Beginning with students who will apply for 2014 enrollment, November 1 will be our Early Action application deadline. Below are key dates and deadlines for 2014 enrollment.
  • November 1 – Early Action deadline
  • November 1 – Firm deadline to be considered for merit scholarships and for admission to Veterinary Technology and Nursing
  • December 13 – Begin releasing decisions for fall 2014 and summer 2014 freshman applicants
  • March 1 – deadline to file a FAFSA
  • May 1 – deadline to accept offer of admission
To meet deadlines, applications must be complete. As we move to the Common App, a completed application will include the application itself, an official high school transcript, an agency-reported SAT or ACT test score (including writing), the Common App school report and counselor recommendation (or recommendation opt out) and a $60 application fee (or qualified fee waiver).

Two-Year Tuition Freeze

Not quite two months into his Purdue presidency, Mitch Daniels announced a two-year tuition freeze, which will hold tuition and most fees at current levels through the 2014-15 academic year. With this move, the president demonstrates his and the University’s commitment to ensuring that a Purdue degree will remain a valuable investment that is accessible to academically qualified students.
“In this period of national economic stagnation, it’s time for us to hit the pause button on tuition increases. Our students and their families deserve a high-value education that they can afford,” President Daniels said. “Purdue is a national leader in the value of its degrees and we intend to increase that value further.”
More details about the tuition freeze are available online.

MyMoney Fosters Financial Literacy

Managing personal finances is a learned skill. Whether it’s planning a budget, learning about investments, or just deciding whether it’s smart to buy that new pair of shoes now or to wait another month, can help your students strengthen their financial skills.
Through collaboration with financial professionals, MyMoney offers resources to strengthen the financial fitness of K-12 students, college students, parents, teachers and anyone who visits the site to seek out its wealth of information. Through blogs and Twitter feeds, MyMoney provides current and relevant financial news and information to its followers.
Contact Brandon Endsley, in Purdue’s Division of Financial Aid for additional information about the MyMoney website.
Early Action and Firm Deadlines – Students who complete their application by the November 1 Early Action deadline are guaranteed to have an admission decision when Purdue begins releasing decisions in December and will be considered for scholarships. After the Early Action deadline, Purdue will continue accepting applications for all majors except nursing and veterinary technology. November 1 is the firm deadline to apply for nursing and veterinary technology.

Free Seminars at The Universities at Shady Grove (Rockville, MD)

The Universities at Shady Grove and Rockville Institute Present “Contemporary Social Issues Seminar Series”

Free Seminars:  March 14, April 2, and April 24, 2013

The Universities at Shady Grove (USG), Rockville, and The Rockville Institute for the Advancement of Social Science are partnering once again this spring to offer an interactive seminar series to stimulate an exchange of ideas among practitioners, researchers, policymakers, students, and the general public about contemporary social issues.

Beginning Thursday, March 14, with the first discussion about “ LGBT Youth in Foster Care: Challenges and Strategies,” the three-part 2013 Contemporary Social Issues (CSI) Seminar Series will unite social scientists, researchers and other well-known experts to discuss important social issues of our time.

“We are proud to partner with Rockville Institute to offer this opportunity for discussion about issues that impact our community,” said Dr. Stewart Edelstein, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University System of Maryland and Executive Director at USG. “It benefits everyone when members of the community, leaders and students are able to have an open dialogue on timely, real-life issues.”

All seminars in the series are free and open to the public. No registration is required. Each will be held at the Universities at Shady Grove, in the Camille Kendall Academic Center (Building III, Room 3241), 9636 Gudelsky Dr., Rockville, Md., 20850. For more information about the sixth annual CSI Series at USG, visit

The three seminars in the CSI series will include:

Thursday, March 14 at 4:30PM

“LGBT Youth in Foster Care: Challenges and Strategies”

Liz Quinn, MS, MA, Senior Study Director, Westat; Brandynicole Brooks, MSW, LICSW, Office of Youth Empowerment, D.C. Child and Family Services Agency; and Mary Hicks-Pope, Youth Ambassador, D.C. Child and Family Services Agency will be talking about youth in foster care and the special challenges due to trauma, placement instability, and the long-term effects of maltreatment. LGBT foster youth have additional challenges that make them particularly vulnerable. The goal of this seminar is to increase understanding and provide strategies for working with LGBT youth, especially those in child welfare systems.

Tuesday, April 2 at 4:30PM

“What is a Meaningful Use of an Electronic Health Record?”

Helga Rippen, MD, PhD, MPH, Chief Health Information Officer, Westat; Zia Hassan, MD, Sibley Memorial Hospital; Tina DiFranco, Attorney, Cook & DiFranco, faculty, UMBC; and Anita Samarth, President and Co-Founder, Clinovations, will be talking about how an electronic health record (EHR) allows health care providers to record patient information electronically instead of using paper records. The Federal Government is implementing policies to increase the adoption of EHR’s.  Presenters will address such questions as:  What are the implications of these Federal requirements?  Will EHR’s decrease the cost of providing care?  Will health records be more secure?

Wednesday, April 24th at 4:30PM

“Enhancing Learning in STEM Through the Creation of Teachers”

Joy Frechtling, PhD, Vice President, Associate Director, Westat; Tracy Irish, Science/STEM Academic Coordinator, MAE, Department of Education, UMBC; Anne Spence, PhD, Professor of the Practice, Undergraduate Program Director, Director of Lead the Way, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UMBC; and John Quinn, EdD, Co-Director, Baltimore County STEM Alliance, Executive Director of STEM, Baltimore County Public Schools, Instructor, UMBC will discuss the need for science,                   Technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) master teachers and look at the reality of trying to support and be a STEM master teacher.  The speakers will draw on their own experiences to share the challenges and lessons learned from both training and practice.

About The Universities at Shady Grove:

The Universities at Shady Grove is an innovative model for delivering top-quality college degree programs. USG is not one university; instead it is a collaboration of nine leading public universities in Maryland offering more than 75undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Montgomery County. Established in 2000, USG serves more than 4,000 full- and part-time students. Participating USG partners include: Bowie State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; University of Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County, University of Maryland, College Park, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and University of Maryland University College. More information on all of the undergraduate and graduate programs is available at

About the Rockville Institute:

The Rockville Institute for the Advancement of Social Science is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to advancing the social sciences by performing research and disseminating research finding sot the public. Research areas that the Institute associates are active in include health care, education, employment and training, criminal justice, Native American issues, racial/ethnic minorities, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and children and families.

Los Angeles Colleges Counselor Tour

Los Angeles Colleges Counselor Tour
I was fortunate to participate in a six-college tour of higher education institutions in Los Angeles, and surrounding areas, February 4-7, 2013.  The campuses visited were Loyola Marymount University, Chapman University, Whittier College, University of Southern California, University of California-Los Angeles, and Pepperdine University.  Even though all campuses share the appealing weather and curb-appeal perks of the west coast, each has its own uniqueness.
Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, CA
-private; Roman Catholic (Jesuit); opened 1911; became coed 1973; on current campus since 1929
-undergrad men=2,479, women=3,339; total population=9,352
-audition required for music, dance, theatre applicants
-portfolio required of animation program applicants
-Common Application accepted; supplemental required
-decision notified on rolling basis beginning November 1st
-Early Action program
-53% admit rate; avg WGPA=3.71; recalculate unweighted GPA
-SAT: CR=540-630; Math=560-650
-ACT: Eng=24-30; M=24-28; WR=8-9
-out-of-state population=25%
-Tuition=$38,212/yr; Room=$8,800; Board=$4,400; Reg fees=$913; Books/misc expenses=$4,833
-66% of demonstrated met
-24% of gift aid awarded to out-of-state residents
-regional (WASC) and professional accreditation -11:1=student/faculty ratio
-offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees
-mass attendance is not mandatory
-six semester hours of religion/theology required
-Perks: self-designed and double majors; honors programs; dual degrees; pass/fail option; teacher certification; study abroad; AFROTC/NROTC/ROTC at UCLA
-92% return for sophomore year
-most popular majors=business administration, communication studies, English
-77% graduate within six years
-10% participate in D-1 NCAA sports
-135 clubs; six fraternities and six sororities
-students may live on or off campus; 94% of freshmen live on campus
-semester calendar
-LMU attraction: location and medium size
-good fit for: students looking for diversity; open community; warmer weather; mixture of cultures; openminded views; new differences; comfortable around religion community
-small Jewish population but they can be comfortable with Jesuit beliefs
-no special LD programs or services; students must be reassessed at LMU to receive accommodations; students are encouraged to disclose LD needs during admission
-give ten trustee scholarships
-LMU has an academic resource center
-cross applications with USC, UCLA, U San Diego, and Chapman
-Film & Television Program: production (largest), animation, screen arts, recording arts;  750 students; students own the films they make; LMU is the only Jesuit college with a bona fide film/TV program; extensive internships; rigorous program; LMU has a high retention rate; freshmen can take film courses; production admission is more competitive than getting admitted to LMU; animation requires a portfolio; a modified portfolio is required for production.
Chapman University
Orange, CA
-private; opened 1861; coed
-undergrad population=males/43% (2177); women=57% (2900); total population=7155
-auditions required for music, dance, and theatre applicants
-supplemental application required for film and public relations/advertising applicants
-SAT Subject tests recommended (English Lit and Math I or II)
-SAT/ACT writing used for admission and advising
-Common Application accepted; supplemental required; January 15th is deadline date
-Early Action and Regular Decision admission
-45% admit rate; avg GPA=3.7; goal is to maintain freshman class size at 1280
-SAT: CR=550-650; Math=560-660; combined=1881
-ACT: English=24-31; Math=24-28; WR=8-9
-29%=out-of-state residents
-Tuition=$41,040/yr; Room=$8,238; Board=$3,966; required fees=$1,044; books/misc expenses=$3400
-largest scholarship award is $25k  annually
-use federal methodology (FAFSA); 53% of demonstrated need met; $30,086=avg. financial package
-regional (WASC) and professional accreditation
-14:1=student/faculty ratio; 24=average class size
-degrees=bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral
-Perks: minors; self-designed and double majors; honors program; pass/fail option; teacher certification; pre-professional programs; study abroad; AFROTC at LMU; ROTC at CMC
-91% return for sophomore year
-72% graduate within six years
-popular majors=business administration, film production, public relations/advertising; 48 majors
-business school is largest program
-20% participate in NCAA D-III sports
-186 clubs; six fraternities; six sororities
-89% of freshmen live on campus
-Orange, CA is 35 miles from LA; 12 minutes from Disneyland; 17 miles from beach
-4-1-4 academic calendar
-standard LD services
-criteria for admission=global intent; good fit; what can each student offer each other; grades (will recalculate)
-interviews are done on the road and on Skype
-large Jewish population
-a performing arts complex is under construction
-movies filmed on campus=Hurricane (Denzel Washington), Exorcist, and Bullwinkle
-class attendance policies determined by individual instructors
-Dodge College of Film and Media Arts offers eight concentrations; 1900=SAT; 3.71 GPA; 34% admit rate; 1300 students
Whittier College
Whittier, CA
-private; opened in 1887; coed; originally founded by Quakers
-undergrad=1648 (47%/male, 53%/women); represents 40+ states and 27 countries
-44% students of color
-provisional admission considered
-SAT/ACT writing performance used as validity check on the application essay
-exclusively uses the Common Application; supplemental required
-offers Early Action and Regular Decision admission
-should file by February 1st
-71% admit rate; 3.45 GPA
-SAT: CR=470-570; Math=470-580
-ACT: Composite=22-26
-27% out of state residents
-Tuition=$38,280; Room + Board=$11,388; Books/Misc=$2840
-73% of demonstrated need met; average financial aid=$31,402; 89% receive aid; 68% receive merit and/or talent (music, theatre, visual arts) scholarships
-regional and professional accreditation
-13:1=student/professor ratio; average class size=19
-degrees=bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral
-PERKS: self-designed and double majors; pass/fail options; teacher certification; pre-professional programs; 3-2 engineering; study abroad; ROTC at Cal State Fullerton
-offers 31 majors and minors in 23 disciplines
-78% return for sophomore year; 89% complete degrees within four years
-most popular majors=business administration, political science, English, education
-LD services are basic; also offers foreign language waiver; DSS Center
-CAAS=Center Advising and Academic Success
-D-III NCAA athletics; 35% participation
-68 clubs; no Greek systems/societies
-all freshmen, sophomores and juniors must live on campus; all students may have cars
-18 miles southeast from downtown Los Angeles
-4-1-4 calendar
-Richard Nixon was an alumni of Whittier
-college promotes collaborative learning and living environment
-movie “Back to the Future” was produced on campus
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
-private; opened 1880; coed
-17,500 undergrads (M/48%, W/52%); 20,500 graduate students
-GED not accepted
-portfolio required for art, architecture, and cinematic arts applicants; cinematic arts applicants must submit three letters of recommendations and short writing or sample of film
-December 1st is a deadline requirement for cinema and some music programs
-audition required for music and theatre (performing arts) applicants
-matriculation to USC doesn’t guarantee a transfer to film studies
-all art programs are smaller in number and highly competitive
-SAT/ACT writing used for admission, advising, and for validity check on applications
-suggests filing application by December 1; deadline is January 10
-students who apply by December 1st will automatically be considered for merit scholarships; finalists are notified by late April; interviews are in late February/March; 23% receive awards
-uses the Common Application exclusively and requires the USC supplement
-20% admit rate; avg. GPA=3.8; recalculate core courses; freshman class size=2950
-SAT: CR=640-740; Math=680-780; WR=670-770; Combined=2030-2250
-ACT: Eng=29-34; Math=28-34; Composite=30-33
-38% are out of state residents
-admission considerations: academic performance, curriculum rigor, writing ability, test scores, extracurricular activities or community service; leadership potential, applicants must be an exceptional fit for USC; holistic review; received 40,000+ applications for 2013-14; need-blind admission
-Tuition=$43,722/year; Room=$7340, Board=$5100; Regular fees=$741; Books/Misc=$2980
-use the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE
-meets 99% of demonstrated need
-some USC scholarships require a separate application
-prestigious merit awards include the Monk Family, Stamps Leadership, Trustee and Presidential scholarships
-Jewish student leadership scholarship is awarded to approximately 2-3 students
-regional and professional accreditation
-9:1=student/professor ratio; average class size=26
-degrees=bachelor’s, master’s, professional/doctoral
-PERKS: self-designed and double majors; dual degrees; pass/fail option; teacher certification; pre-professional programs; domestic exchange; ROTC/NROTC/AFROTC; 62 study abroad programs in 33 countries
-97% return for sophomore year; 90% graduate within six years
-most popular majors=business administration, accounting, communications, humanities, biological sciences, undecided, engineering
-dance program will start 2014
-150+ majors and minors; liberal arts college and 17 professional schools
-Game Design Programs: Interactive Entertainment (Cinematic Arts)=storytelling; Computer Science=programming games
-students must declare major by end of second year
-admission rate for transfer students=32%; 3.6 college GPA; review more focused on academic record; must still submit HS transcript; housing not guaranteed for transfers
-twenty-one D-I athletic teams
-764 clubs; 20% Greek population; 36 fraternities; 25 sororities
-students may live off/on campus; 98% of freshmen live on campus; all students may have cars
-semester calendar
-campus (University Park) is three miles south of downtown Los Angeles
-most Academy Award winners are USC graduates
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
-public; opened 1919; coed
-27,199 undergrads; 5,825 freshmen; 44% male, 56% female freshmen; total
-ACT/writing or SAT required; writing scores used for admission and placement
-portfolio required of art applicants
-RN required of nursing program applicants
-audition required of music, dance, theatre applicants
-application deadline=November 30th; notified by March 31st
-freshmen can only enter in fall
-25% admit rate; 4.22 GPA
-SAT: CR=560-690; Math=610-740
-ACT: English=25-32; Math=26-33
-every application is read twice
-more impressed with resiliency to challenges and progressive history
-admission consideration: holistic review; academic GPA’s (10th/11th grades recalculated);  standardized tests; coursework rigor; participation in academic and non-academic activities;  personal statement; strength of senior schedule; no extra points for H-English 10, H-Biology, or H-Algebra I; gives credit for 3-5 AP scores; personal background and experiences; contribution to UCLA; leadership and initiative; exceptional achievements; no recommendation letters or interviews so personal statement is very important
-Personal Statement Prompts: must respond to two prompts; 1,000 total word count; specificity is very important; content is significant
-Additional School Reviews: College of Letters & Science; School of Engineering and Applied Science; School of Arts & Architecture; School of Nursing; School of Theatre, Film, Television
-SAT Subject Tests not required for UCLA admission; engineering recommends them
-out-of-state residents=5%
-Tuition=$34,098(out of state); Room + Board=$13,980; required fees=$1,466; books=$4,891
-82% demonstrated need met; must complete FAFSA before priority deadline
-four types of financial aid: scholarships, grants, student loans, and part-time student jobs
-regional and professional accreditation
-16:1=student/professor ratio
-Perks: self-designed and double majors; honors program; undergrad research programs; pass/fail option; 250+ study abroad locations; AFROTC/NROTC/ROTC; First-Year Experience; 5000 courses; 125 majors; 70% of classes have fewer than 30 students; 200+ small freshman seminars; 80+ minors
-97% freshmen return for sophomore year; 90% graduate within six years; highest graduation rate of CA public universities
-50+% graduate with research experience; internship opportunities range from high-tech to community groups
-popular majors=political science, history, and sociology
-70% of students belong to clubs or organizations; 1000 clubs; 32 frats; 33 sororities
-national leader in NCAA championships; D-1 athletics
-more than 90% of freshmen live on campus
-quarter system
-School of Theatre, Film, TV: all schools are under one dean; close ties with entertainment industry; undergrad and grad programs in theatre and film; esteemed alumni faculty have won Tonys, Oscars, and other awards
-Theatre: 291 undergrads; receive 1200 applications and accept 100; emphasize musical theatre programs; more openings for freshmen than transfers
-Film: 2-year program; most transfers are from community colleges, next 4-yr colleges; must complete two years of college general ed requirements prior to film program; 60 undergrads; film interviews must be done on campus; other majors can minor in film; application period is 11/1-11/30; HS students cannot apply to film but they can to theatre; supplemental applications are due in January for film and theatre (see website)
-auditions/interviews must be in person; no Skype
-students own rights to film at graduation
-Disability Services (OSD):  no documentation required before student registers at UCLA; service animals are permitted in housing; students should contact DSS before school starts; services can be viewed on website; disability-friendly campus; no supplemental application; encourage students to disclose disability (helps clarify discrepancies); do not accept IEP’s; testing needs to be current; testing fee is included in health services; ADHD can be evaluated at health services; typically do not provide readers; do not change testing formats; can reduce course load but it could affect financial aid; highly recommend students check services before matriculating to UCLA; can support many special needs students but UCLA is not for everyone; experienced staff
-”Legally Blonde” was filmed at UCLA
-dry campus
Pepperdine University
Malibu, California
-private; affiliated with Church of Christ; opened 1937; coed
-full-time undergrads=3,132; men=43%/women=57%; total population=7539
-audition required for music and theatre applicants
-minimum SAT-R =1000; ACT composite=24; GPA=3.4
-SAT/ACT writing used for admission
-Common Application is a three-part process
-application deadline=January 5 for fall term; notified by April 1
-32% admit rate
-average GPA=3.47-3.91
-will superscore SAT scores; will not superscore ACT scores
-SAT: CR=540-650; Math=560-680; combined 1200-1360/1600; 1808-2050/2400
-ACT: English=25-32; Math=24-30; WR=8-9; composite 27-31/36
-44% out-of-state residents
-Tuition=$42,520/year; Room & Board=$12,600; regular fees=$252; books/misc=$3400
-FAFSA filing deadline is February 15th; 80% of demonstrated financial need met
-regional (WASC) and professional accreditation
-40 majors; 37 minors
-13:1=student/professor ratio; average class size=20
-nine semesters of religion/theology required
-degrees offered=bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral
-Perks: self design and double majors; teacher certification; pre-professional program; 3-2 engineering with USC and Washington U (St. Louis); study abroad; 5-year BS/MBA program; AFROTC at USC; ROTC at UCLA
-93% return for sophomore year; 81% graduate within six years
-most popular majors=business administration, psychology, telecommunications, sports medicine, economics, political science
-LD Support: documentation of diagnosis required; standard support; Student  Disability Office on campus; recruit notetakers
-D-1 athletics; 17 NCAA teams; volleyball and water polo are the most popular and attended sports
-64 clubs; five fraternities; seven sororities
-all freshmen and sophomores under 21 must live on campus
-attendance is required for convocations (14 times/semester)
-12 miles from Santa Monica and 35 miles from LA
-semester calendar
-dry campus
-church attendance is not required, but encouraged
-residence halls have housekeeping service
-liberal arts curriculum
-no classes taught by teacher assistants
-some majors require internships
-82-90% medical school admit rate
-Nickelodeon shows filmed on campus
-35% of faculty live on campus
-the admission review is holistic; 70%=academics, 30%=character/service/spiritualgrowth/leadership
-the academic review focuses on course rigor, transcript and scores
-GPA’s are recalculated; most electives are excluded; religion coures are core
-uses Common Application and has a required supplement
-Pepperdine U has five pillars to its mission statement; this appears in its supplement
-two recommendation letters required; should not exceed four recommendations
-9-10% of population is non-Christian
-academic scholarship offered to top students of the 70% qualifier; significantly higher than 3.8 GPA and 1900 SAT (CR+M)

Claremont Consortium Tour

Claremont Consortium Tour

I participated in the undergraduate Claremont Consortium Tour for counselors, January 23-24, 2013.  The consortium represents the following liberal arts colleges:  Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona and Scripps.  Claremont, California has a population of 37,780 and is located 35 miles east of Los Angeles.  The most convenient airport is located ten miles away in Ontario. 
Each college has its own distinct campus, personality, students and faculty, educational community, curb appeal and goals.  However, unlike many consortiums, each campus is very easily accessible, just by walking.  This planned convenience is ideal for cross-campus studies, social events, athletics, meal cards, and other college experiences.
An overview of highlights include:
  • Scripps has a very good education program; males can take classes at Scripps, just cannot enroll.
  • Claremont McKenna is a great place for “political junkies” and those interested in public leadership.
  • Pomona has the most comprehensive liberal arts program; good male/female balance; no single major dominates.
  • Harvey Mudd College is a response to the Sputnik Age; the smallest Claremont school and the most focused curriculum.
  • Pitzer offers more curriculum freedom.
The consortium is a good place for math majors with a combined number of >45 professors.  Majors are selected by end of second year.  All colleges use the Common Application and require a supplement, CSS/PROFILE and FAFSA.  Even though the colleges work together, they have independent qualities.  An option could be 4+1 programs (BA/BS + grad degree) with participating colleges.
Claremont McKenna College
-private; opened in 1946; became coed in 1976
-challenges students with world of ideas, world views, pragmatic twist
-focuses on public leadership
-individualized curriculum presents small classes; 9:1=student/professor ratio
-good faculty-student relationship
-Early Decision I, Early Decision II, Regular Decision
-110 clubs; D-III athletics
-3 semesters of PE required
-97% return for sophomore year
-most popular majors=economics, government, and psychology
-graduates pursue careers in law, business, government, foreign service, public policy,
education, international relations
-freshmen are expected to do research
-PERKS: self-designed majors, study abroad, pass/fail options, domestic exchange,
-all first year students must live on campus; no freshmen-only residence halls
-semester calendar
-regional accreditation (WASC)
-has Autism Center on campus; offer developmental psychology
-out-of-state population=56%
-14% admit rate
-SAT: CR=630-720; M=670-760; superscore SAT
-ACT: Eng=29-34; M=28-34; superscore ACT
-campus has intellectually social attractions; not a commuter campus
-2012-13 comprehensive fee=$58, 065
-90% of students do a paid summer internship
-”The Athenaeum” is an experience featuring dinner discussions among notables, faculty and students
-provide merit scholarships (30-40 annually); based on academic profile, high
achievement, upper 25% scores
-meet 100% of demonstrated need
-recommend families use Net Price Calculator on website
-legacy is not a defining admissions factor
Pitzer College
-private; opened in 1963; became coed in 1970
-community service is a graduation requirement
-social justice and responsibility is school mission
-1,099 population; 60% women and 40% men
-29% admit rate; average GPA=3.84
-Early Decision and Regular Decision
-SAT: CR=580-690; Math=590-690
-ACT: Comp=24-31
-test optional for students with 3.5 GPA or in top 10% of class
-out-of-state population=58%
-PERKS: study abroad (75%); domestic exchanges; self-designed majors
-regional accreditation (WASC)
-83% return for sophomore year
-68 clubs; D-III athletics
-freshmen must live on campus
-semester calendar
-”breath of knowledgement requirement”=26 credits/flexible credits
-most popular majors=psychology, sociology, media studies, political science,
environmental analysis, English & World Literature, art, biology, intercultural and
international studies
-12:1=student/professor ratio; average class size=16; no teacher assistants
-tuition and fees=$57, 266
-will meet 100% of demonstrated need
-no separate form for scholarships
-limited merit aid; financial aid is not available for international students
-governed by five core values
-freshman transition includes: mandatory orientation week for first year students; RA’s
monitor and mentor the students
-there is an academic liason for LD students; they must be cautious with the lighter
course load so it doesn’t affect financial aid
Harvey Mudd College
-private; open as coed institution in 1955
-777 students; 58% men and 42% women
-one of nation’s premiere engineering schools; science and math college with liberal arts
-majors offered=nine engineering; science; math
-curriculum includes exposure to humanities and social science courses
-graduation requirement=one year of indepth research or a challenging clinic project
-SAT: CR=680-770; Math=740-800; Math Subject II=760-800
-ACT: Comp=33-35
-require SAT Math Subject II and student’s choice
-SAT or ACT writing used for admission and application essay validity check
-freshmen can only enter in fall
-admit rate=19%; 12% for men and 37% for women
-Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision
-tuition and fees=$58,913
-will meet 100% of demonstrated financial need
-57% of students are not state residents
-Harvey Mudd is trying to increase minority population
-regional accreditation (WASC) and professional accreditation (ABET)
-8:1=student/professor ratio
-three semesters of PE required
-PERKS: self-designed majors; double majors; dual degrees; pass/fail options; domesticexchange programs; study abroad
-97% return for sophomore year
-most popular majors=engineering, math and physics
-standard LD services: tutors, tape recorders, untimed tests, extended time
-D-III athletics; 90 clubs; no social frats or sororities
-all freshmen must live on campus
-semester calendar
Scripps College
-private; opened in 1926 as women’s college
-966 undergrads
-portfolio, audition or tape recommended for art, dance and music programs
-Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision
-36% admit rate; average GPA=4.10
-SAT: CR=640-740; Math=640-710; WR=660-740
-ACT: Comp=29-32
-out-of-state students=52%
-tuition and fees=$57,088
-will meet 100% of demonstrated financial need
-56% gift aid awarded to out-of-state students
-regionally accredited (WASC)
-11:1=student/professor ratio
-PERKS: self-designed and double majors; 3-2 engineering with several universities,
domestic exchange programs; study abroad
-91% return for sophomore year
-popular majors=biology, English, math, studio art, psychology, political/international
-standard services for LD students: notetaking, readers, tutors, tape recorders, untimed
testing, extended time for tests, priority registration, priority seating, and individualized
-D-III athletics; 34 clubs; no social Greek life
-all freshmen must live on campus
-semester calendar
-college features Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities
Pomona College
-private; open as coed in 1887
-1,586 students with equal balance of men and women
-SAT or ACT writing used for admission, advising, and validity check for essay
-SAT: CR=680-780; Math=690-770; WR=680-780
-ACT: Comp=31-34
-freshmen can only enter in fall term
-Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision
-admit rate=14%; 17%=men; 12%=women
-89% of first year students are out-of-state residents
-tuition and fees=$54,964
-committed to both need-blind admissions and fully funded need-based financial aid
-approximately 53% receive financial aid
-college is planning to build a visual art center
-trying to reach out to more international students
-regionally accredited (WASC)
-8:1=student/professor ratio
-one semester of PE required
-PERKS: self-designed and double majors; domestic exchange programs; study abroad
-99% return for sophomore year
-most popular majors=economics, English, politics, psychology, biology, history, neuro
science, international relations, media studies, public policy analysis and chemistry
-D-III athletics; 227 clubs; three frats
-all freshmen must live on campus
-semester calendar