Find something good in your life today

hibiscus 2015

Stop and ask anyone today, “Do you feel stressed?”  The immediate reply will probably be, “Yes!!,” with a hint of drama to make a strong point.

High school seniors might be anxious about college applications and the process; sleep deprived parents are impatient with their kids; overworked employees are burdened with demanding employers and indifferent colleagues; a family’s financial account is dwindling; and health, social, and related issues are overwhelming and depressing.

An immediate response is to focus on the negative because it’s the natural, and sometimes satisfying, thing to do.  How about reacting differently and flipping the picture?  Considering a different perspective could bring a more positive reaction to an unfavorable circumstance.

Decide to be more optimistic each day, including the way you react to challenges.  Make a habit of smiling more, especially to strangers.  If a loud scream or tears help provide quick relief; do so, then get on with your day.

Life is not perfect, nor is this beautiful hibiscus. Therefore, I’ve decided to redefine my perspective of floral beauty; and instead, admire the symmetry of the healthy plant and enjoy the calming effect it provides each day.  Focusing on dead leaves, fallen buds, and daily watering serve no useful purpose.

Discover Seton Hall University (NJ)

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Register Now

Save the date for one of our upcoming Open House events!

This year Open House will take place on:

  • October 18, 2015
  • November 22, 2015
  • February 14, 2016
  • April 24, 2016


During our half-day event, your students will have the opportunity to:

Meet with faculty
and current
students in
their major.
Walk around our
park-like campus
with a student ambassador.
Learn more about the college search process and applying to Seton Hall.
Discover financial aid and scholarship opportunities that are available.

If students are coming from out of town, we suggest that they fly into Newark International Airport (EWR) and stay in one of the hotels in West Orange, NJ such as the Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn or Best Western Turtle Brook Inn. Click here for a full listing of area hotels, directions, visiting information.

We look forward to meeting all students!

Register Now


Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Seton Hall University

If students can’t make an Open House, they can also register for a campus tour and information session.

Seton Hall University
400 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079
Contact Us

Sober College: Leader in the treatment of young adult addiction

Minorities should embrace STEM for the ROI

Edward Alexander, PhD.

    Dr. Edward C. Alexander, Distinguished Scientist (Chemistry) 


As an educational consultant and retired school counselor, I’ve visited many college campuses; as of July 2015, exactly 207 since 2007.  There were others earlier in my career but my focus and observations pertain to the last eight years.

As a minority and third-generation college graduate, a postsecondary education is not a fleeting thought, but an expectation.

And yes, I’m very much aware of educational and career options that might not be for everyone; therefore, counseling professionals must embrace and respect student desires that contradict many views.  Even when a student’s goals are not those expected by their parents, and others, counselors must try to take the “high road” and be supportive.  In other words, accept the reality that college might not be for everyone and respect other educational and career options.

However, for those students who are capable of successful academic achievement in college, many fail to embrace the advantages of a STEM education and career.  They not only fear and smell failure, but expect it.  Some have been brain-washed to believe they don’t have the aptitude, motivation, and analytical reasoning to problem-solve and perform successfully in the higher level academic classes, particularly mathematics and science.  Thus, they run from rigorous and challenging courses, due to lack of confidence resulting from inadequate curriculum preparation and study strategies, peer pressure, an uncomfortable classroom environment, lack of support and guidance, and limited role models.

When engineering professors request more girls to consider their field, my reply is that I’ve tried my best.  However, during my school counseling years, if I mentioned engineering to a gifted female math student, she would nearly knock me over to run out of my office.  Not so negative about medicine or the life sciences; but engineering, my goodness, was like a deadly disease.  And why is that?

When I visit college campuses, and I’ll be honest, I’m looking eagerly for minority students in the science and engineering classes and labs.  If I at least see one, there’s almost a sigh of relief.  If I see none, I know where to find them, and I’ll leave that to your imagination.

A reasonable objective for minority high school and college students is to embrace a STEM education and realize how academic success can enhance opportunities for a worthy career, or the politically correct statement, Rate on Investment (ROI). They should not dodge chemistry, physics, and mathematics; but instead, face the challenge.

An excellent example of a successful minority in a STEM profession is Dr. Edward C. Alexander.  Dr. Alexander, a Professor of Chemistry at San Diego Mesa College and a resident of Encinitas, CA is among 78 distinguished scientists named by the American Chemical Society (ACS) as a 2015 ACS Fellow. The announcement was announced in the July 13, 2015 issue of Chemical & Engineering News.  He is the only community college professor in the nation and one of only four educators from California institutions of higher learning named to this prestigious nationwide fellowship.

“It is wonderful to see Dr. Alexander receive national recognition from his peers for his service to the American Chemical Society and contributions to his profession,” said Dr. Pamela T. Luster, president of Mesa College. “Ed has a 45-year history in supporting the diversification of the chemistry workforce,” noted Dr. Carlos Gutierrez, Professor of Chemistry at California State University, Los Angeles and 2013 ACS Fellow in his nomination letter. “However it is his work with underrepresented minority students that will have the greatest impact to chemistry and to the American Chemical Society.”

The American Chemical Society fellows are chosen based on a range of criteria, including outstanding and creative scientific research, superior achievements in the teaching and learning of chemistry, managerial excellence, and volunteer service through meetings and communication with the public.

Specifically,  Dr. Alexander was recognized for significant contributions in the field of organic photochemistry and in the synthesis and properties of organic small ring compounds. These contributions are documented in fourteen research papers he authored and coauthored from 1967 to 1978 while a graduate student at SUNY Buffalo, and as Assistant Professor at UC San Diego. Ten of the papers over that time period were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.  

Dr. Alexander was also recognized for mentoring hundreds of underrepresented minority students, from individual American Chemical Society Scholars to directing the NIH-funded Bridges to the Baccalaureate science research training program at Mesa College, where he has been teaching since 1989.

Congratulations to Dr. Alexander and may his ROI encourage minority students to “bite the bullet” and embrace STEM as the gateway to endless opportunities.


Lutheran Colleges & Universities: 2015 Fall College Fair Dates


We’re excited to announce the dates for our fall college fairs. All events are free to the public, and there is no need to pre-register. All are welcome.

Your search for the right college is an intensive process, and we’re ready to help by introducing you to the 41 Lutheran colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Sunday, August 23
Madison, Wisconsin – Monday, August 24
Appleton, Wisconsin – Tuesday, August 25
Roselle, Illinois – Sunday, August 30
Denver, Colorado – Sunday, September 13
Fort Collins, Colorado – Monday, September 14
St. Louis, Missouri – Sunday, September 20
Fairfax, Virginia – Sunday, September 27
Des Moines, Iowa – Sunday, October 11
Twin Cities, Minnesota – Sunday, October 18
Detroit, Michigan – Sunday, October 25
Southern California – Sunday, November 1
Seattle, Washington – Sunday, November 8
Austin, Texas – Sunday, November 15

Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served. No RSVP necessary.

All attending students receive four application fee waivers.What’s In Store

Make the most of your time and learn why the Lutheran college experience is unlike any other. During the event, you’ll talk with representatives of our colleges about:

The value of a liberal arts education.
Academic programs at our colleges and universities.
Available scholarships and financial aid, and the number of students who receive financial support.
The countless extracurricular activities taking place on any given day.

The ways in which the faculty and staff help students develop their faith and find their sense of purpose.

Lutheran Colleges and Universities
2601 S Minnesota Avenue | Suite 105
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57105-4750

Our Colleges & Universities










Elimination of semester exams: Are high schools becoming too soft??


Quite a bit of discussion sparked last week in the Montgomery County, Maryland community after a surprising announcement by the Montgomery County Board of Education to eliminate semester exams in middle and eventually high schools.  The rationale stated that too much instruction time was being compromised by exam preparation, as well as uncertainty about the educational value of semester exams.

One local station, Fox 5-WTTG, encouraged viewers to tweet #GOODDAYDC on July 15th and express views.  The tweets and anchors presented various opinions, even very emotional insight.  And yes, I tweeted,  ..Semester exams check long-term memory..what the student learned AND retained; quarter grades show short- term memory; bad idea!!

The following day, Fox 5 had an interview with a Montgomery County Teachers Union representative who said his group supports the Board of Education decision.

The question on the table is, are some districts allowing their schools and policies to become soft by caving in to complaining constituents?  Some people will never be satisfied; it must be their way or no way.  Oh sure, it would great to please everyone, but in reality, that’s just a dream; and, is it in the best interest of students?  A popular comment to disgruntled high school students is, “Welcome to the real world.”

Middle school semester exams are not as numerous as high school; most commonly, mathematics and foreign/world language as justification for high school credit.  High school exams include the five academics:  English, math, science, social studies and foreign/world language with the possible inclusion of computer science and a few others, contingent on the district.

It’s still questionable as to the amount of compromised instruction time that’s being used to prepare for these exams.  Personally, I never noticed it as a school counselor.  Traditionally, students were given a study packet about a week or two, depending on the teacher, before the exams to review eighteen weeks of information.  Obviously, effective study strategies were highly recommended to students starting the beginning of the semester so cramming would not be an option.  Let’s call it preparation for college, since major exams are not given as frequently as in high school.

The first week of the semester, students should start reviewing several days a week in order to process the information and retain it for long-term memory. I found it helpful to use an analogy, that a teenager could relate to, when discussing repetition and its correlation with long-term memory. It helps also with short-term memory, for quarter evaluations, as well as long term assessments, such as semester exams.  Learning is not just for today. Effective learning strategies allow information to stay with us for a long time; forever, if possible.

It’s critical to understand the mystery, “Why do some students get high quarter grades in their math course but lower grades on the semester exam?” They learned enough to get a respectable grade for the quarter(s), the first and/or second nine weeks, but could not retain the concepts and objectives for the duration of the semester, the entire eighteen weeks for the semester exam.

In a math course, that’s a concern, because this is the problem:                                 lack of foundation in current class = challenges in next class

A helpful guide for semester exam review starts the first week of the term:  freshmen 1-2 nights weekly; sophomores 2-3 nights weekly; juniors 3-4 nights weekly; seniors 4-5 nights weekly.  As you notice, the increments increase yearly and the goal by 12th grade is hopefully, a disciplined student with effective study strategies and preparation for the educational independence of college.  If not, matriculation might be short.

As mentioned, years ago, students were given study packets a week or two before the exams.  However, more recently due to technology, study materials are available earlier on the district’s website for students to access and initiate independent reviews, individually or in groups. The assumption that test preparation is monopolizing class time is questionable.

Perhaps there is confusion with excessive test preparation for Advanced Placement (AP) Exams during class.  This is not an uncommon practice during second semester.

We know about the many state mandated exams that middle and high school students take; and again, perhaps that’s consuming an enormous amount of instruction time, especially in the spring.  But the districts have limited or no leverage in reducing the administrations due to graduation and/or competency requirements.

Currently, the exams are worth 25% of the semester grade.  A reasonable compromise that the dividing camps are willing to support is a reduction in the value of an exam towards the semester grade.  Perhaps the Board of Education can revisit their position and consider this option.

Regardless of the various opinions, everyone agrees that some form of evaluation is necessary to determine achievement.  It’s a tool that can signal a lack of progress, gaps in learning, progressive development, and outstanding performance.

Howard University 2015 Summer Transportation Institute


HU Summer Engineering Program

College & Career Planning: Navigating the Trip, Grades 9-10


I was delighted to present College & Career Planning: Navigating the Trip, Grades 9-10, July 2, 2015,to the twenty-five participants of the Howard University Summer Transportation Institute.  HUSTI is a summer enrichment program sponsored by the Transportation Research Center of Howard University’s Engineering Department.

The rising high school freshmen and sophomores are spending four weeks learning about engineering and transportation careers. The curriculum engages them in hands-on projects, analytical thinking and reasoning, problem-solving concepts, field trips, classroom and enrichment activities.

Some of the objectives of the presentation were:

  • Academic Preparation and Achievement
  • Strategies for Postsecondary Planning
  • Admission Criteria
  • Marketing for College
  • Resources for College Planning
  • PSAT/SAT/ACT Changes
  • NCAA Updates
  • Career Exploration, Resources, and Resumes

The students posed questions regarding high school and college expectations, SAT/ACT preparation, summer enrichment programs, STEM, and other relevant issues.  Even though the majority of students have a strong interest in engineering, they are open-minded with their career options.   Also, many have participated in previous summer enrichment programs, which can be a motivator for career exploration.


M. Ann Goode, Educational Consultant
“Start Early: College & Career Planning Service”
College Counseling Professional Since 1982
Educational consultation for MS/HS families and HS graduates
Rockville, MD ~ 301-924-7027
School Counselor (Retired); Montgomery Co. Public Schools, MD


AP Scores: Available for regional distribution


Advanced Placement scores for tests taken this past May will be released through regional distribution this week on Starting with Mid-Atlantic and New England states today, all releases should be complete by Friday, July 10.
A College Board account is required to access scores; no more mail delivery.
You will need the following to access your 2015 scores:
  • an online College Board account
  • your username and password
  • your 2015 AP number (the number on the labels in your Student Pack) OR your student identifier (student ID number) if you provided it on your answer sheet


Unless there was a problem with identification, scoring, or test administration, your results should be available on the designated day.  Previous AP scores should also be available.


If you experience technical difficulties, contact the College Board at or 888-225-5427 (toll free), especially if you haven’t received scores by September 1.
How do you interpret the scores? AP scores are a “weighted combination” of results on the multiple-choice and free-response sections. The final score is reported on a 5-point scale, as follows:
  • 5: Extremely well qualified to receive college credit or advanced placement
  • 4: Well qualified
  • 3: Qualified
  • 2: Possibly qualified
  • 1: No recommendation


The credit earned and placement status is determined by individual colleges or universities. You can check directly with the school or on the College Board website to research this information.
A student who scores a 4 or 5 may receive college credit. Not generally, but, a school may require a 5, and almost no colleges will accept a score of 2, with exception to certain tests.  Most selective schools will not accept a 3 for credit.

Universal College Application is LIVE!!


Universal College Application is LIVE!!

The Universal College Application (UCA) became available July 1, 2015.  There are currently 43 college members; however, more could sign-on during the summer.

The UCA is another option to use for admission if your choice is one of the forty-three members.  Their application and site offers several user-friendly features that appeal to seniors.

As you peruse the colleges, you may notice that several are also members of the Common Application (CA), which will be offline July 23, 2015.  As a friendly reminder, all current applications and accounts will be permanently removed from the system on that date.  The Common Application will launch August 1, 2015.

If you have a college that is a member of both programs, you can only submit your application(s) from one, NOT BOTH!!  If you are fortunate to have this luxury, select the option, UCA or CA,  which will present you and your application in the best image to the admissions committee.  Otherwise, you will be using the Universal College Application, Common Application, or the college’s personalized form.

Visit    to view the application and its features.

Updates from Wittenberg University (OH)!!

Information pertinent to juniors and seniors from Wittenberg University.



Wittenberg University –
it’s all right here.
It’s just not all in this picture.  Want to see the rest?  Come for a visit.

What do we love about Wittenberg University?
We’ve got an incredibly active campus full of amazing professors and dynamic, engaged students. It’s a close-knit community that allows for lots of personal attention and plenty of opportunities to participate in sports and other activities. But those are just some of our favorite things. You’ll probably want to know more. Pictures and brochures tell part of the story, but to get the true Wittenberg experience, you need to be here.

Schedule a visit to our campus to get up close and personal. There’s a lot to see. A lot to do. And a lot of reasons why Wittenberg University might be exactly where you want to be.

Our daily visit schedule is Monday through Friday and most

We’ll customize your visit to fit your plans and interests, but most individual campus visits include:

  • A tour of the campus
  • An admission interview

And visiting seniors have these added options:

  • Visiting with a faculty member
  • Meeting with a coach
  • Spending the night on campus
  • Sitting in on a class

To Schedule A Visit:
Call: 877-206-0332


Special Visit Days
Visit programs for High School juniors and seniors

Tiger Days: July 15, August 5, March 19-April 2
The program schedule includes admission and financial aid sessions, a campus tour and a student panel.

AICUO TourJuly 13-14
Wittenberg will be participating in the Association for Independent Colleges and Universities in Ohio (AICUO) College tour.

The Ohio 5 College Tour August 6-7
Ohio is home to some of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges. These special programs give high school seniors and juniors the opportunity to visit up to four of them in two days.

Fall Visit DaysOctober 16, October 26, and November 13
During a Fall Visit Day, you will experience firsthand the elite academic programs, infectious energy, and inviting campus that distinguishes Wittenberg among the rest.

Scholarship Visit DaysFebruary
These visits are by invitation only. Each year Wittenberg recognizes and rewards outstanding scholastic achievements by awarding merit-based scholarships and special awards to deserving students.

Accepted Student DaysJanuary 18, April 1, and April 22
Congratulations! Now that you’ve been accepted to Wittenberg University, be sure to visit our active and engaged campus on one of our special Accepted Student Days to learn more about the many opportunities that await you and to confirm that Wittenberg is the right place for you.