VIA The Associated Press on YouTube:
"Alvernia University is trying to help kids break the cycle of poverty in Reading, Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s poorest cities, by offering them full scholarships along with intensive tutoring and mentoring. (Aug. 28)"
Associated Press: — Long seen as a way out of poverty, higher education eludes most students at Reading High. The public schools here are plagued by low test scores in reading, math and science; the school district has one of the highest dropout rates in the state; and, in a city where almost 60 percent of the population is Hispanic, many students’ parents speak little or no English.
Yet, as another school year gets underway, Reading’s Alvernia University is placing a $10 million bet that it can help kids in one of the nation’s poorest cities get ready to do college work — and to succeed once they get there.
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Gearing up for a great fall? Here’s a list of 35 things every college student should do this semester. Share it! Print it out and check it off! Just don’t forget to splash your best friend at the Francis Hall fountain :) — Alvernia
On August 18, Alvernia President Thomas F. Flynn made a big splash for a great cause, with help from the university’s field hockey team.
Now that you’re an expert on college jargon (see previous post), consider a few other important things before you pick a college.
How big is your future college?
You can look at the number or students and the faculty to student ratio for a good picture. But how big do you want it to be? Do you want a smaller school with approachable professors and familiar classmates - or do you want to be part of a large college where you can float in an anonymous crowd?
What kind of campus will it be?
This college will be your home for four years. Campuses are located in cities, in rural areas, suburbs, even in their own little oasis spots. Not sure what appeals to you? Visit. Visit. Visit.
What can you do there?
Yes, you’ll be studying. But college is about other experiences, too. Hopefully, you’ll meet life-long friends and take part in new adventures. College tours are often given by current students. Ask them about ‘college life’ when you visit.
Colleges can be ‘accredited’ by outside organizations that look at things like teaching effectiveness, dynamic evolution of programs, leadership and integrity. But be careful. Not all colleges are accredited. Accreditation is a requirement for federal student aid. It might also be hard to transfer credits from a non-accredited school.
Heritage and school values
Finding a school that honors the same values as you might help you find like-minded classmates and professors. Be sure to ask about a school’s heritage and what sets them apart.
You’re in high school, thinking about going to college. Friends ask you where you want to go. Your parents ask you what you want to study.
So you start looking at college Facebook pages and official websites. But you don’t really know what you’re looking for. You see words that don’t mean anything to you.
You see choices for ‘undergraduate’ and ‘graduate’ students. But which one are you? (Hint: graduating from high school doesn’t make you a graduate student.)
You scroll down and choose “academics” which brings up a list that looks something like this:
Now what? You start clicking on things at random. Matriculate? What the heck does that mean? Terminal degree? Am I going to die? Is a certificate the same thing as a degree? Major - okay that looks familiar. I think.
Don’t get discouraged. It’s just college jargon.
Here’s a helpful vocabulary list of important terms. Oh, I see you cringing. But if you’re thinking about college, you should know - you’ll be here to learn.
Generally speaking, this is a formal term that means you’ve completed all of the admissions requirements needed to start working towards a degree. Some schools use ‘enrolling’ and ‘matriculating’ interchangeably. Others require more general work before you actually start working towards your degree.
Once you choose a major and have a few colleges in mind, you’ll fill out all kinds of admissions and financial aid forms. Start with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA) - which needs to be filled out every year that you expect to be in college.
Undergraduate vs Graduate
Undergraduate students are pursuing their first four years of college. Having completed their undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) work, graduate students are pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees.
An associates degree usually involves two years of full-time study. Some students will choose to earn an associate’s degree at a community college, and then transfer into a four-year college to complete a bachelor’s degree in the same subject area. Areas of study for AS degrees are often limited, or generalized to areas like business or science.
A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years to complete. The two most common bachelor degrees are Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS). When going for a bachelor’s degree, you choose a ‘major.’ You’ll learn a lot about your major, but you’ll also learn skills that will help you in any career - like writing, communicating, culture and math skills.
This is the ‘major' area that you want to study for your bachelor's degree. You'll be expected to take certain classes for 'credit' that will count towards your degree. You can also choose to 'minor' in another area that you find interesting. If you're really ambitious, you can choose to 'double-major' in two different subjects. For example, maybe you want to study criminal justice and are thinking about becoming a Criminal Profiler. Wouldn't being trained in psychology help with that, too? You can choose to major in both subjects or major in one and minor in the other. It's all up to you.
In high school, you learn a little bit about everything. For a bachelor’s degree, you start to focus on one general area (your major). For a master’s degree, that focus becomes tighter, and graduates are considered ‘experts’ in their fields. Students pursuing master’s degrees usually need to earn their bachelor’s degree first. Some pursue academic masters’ degrees with the intention of continuing on to earn a doctoral degree. Some master’s degrees, like the Master in Business Administration (MBA) are considered ‘terminal degrees’ in their field. Master’s degrees usually take one to two years of study.
Some colleges point out the number of their faculty that have ‘terminal degrees.’ This means that these people have earned the highest academic degree offered in their respective fields. For most areas, that means they’ve earned a doctorate. But for other areas, it might mean a master’s degree or even a bachelor’s (like a BA in Engineering).
Doctoral Degree (or Doctorate)
While there are a few exceptions, most students pursing doctorates have already earned their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The time required to earn a doctorate can vary greatly, depending on the program’s requirements and the time students devote to coursework. Research doctorates (like the Doctor of Philosophy - or Ph.D.) require students to produce their own research in a given field. Earning a Ph.D. doesn’t mean your area of study is philosophy. Students can earn Ph.D.s in many fields, including history, communication, leadership, and economics. Professional doctorates (such as a Doctor of Physical Therapy - DPT, and Doctor of Medicine - MD) prepare students for careers in specific fields.
Certificates are awards that show a recipient is proficient in a certain area, and are often helpful for professionals looking to advance in their chosen field. For example, a school teacher might pursue a Principal certification or Special Education certification in order to expand their work duties and pay.
Other college terms have you stumped? Just ask!