Alvernia University

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Campus is soo quiet today. But this time next week will be crazy! (at Alvernia University)

Campus is soo quiet today. But this time next week will be crazy! (at Alvernia University)


College Choice: Points to Consider

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.

Accreditation
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.


College Jargon for High School Students

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:

Associates Degrees
Bachelor’s Degrees
Master’s Degrees
Doctorates

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.

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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.

Matriculate
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.

FAFSA
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.

Associates Degree
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.

Bachelor’s Degree
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.

Major
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.

Master’s Degree
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.

Terminal Degree
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.

Certificate
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!


be a better _______

alvernia-students - andy kaucher:

In the ongoing adventures I’m taking part in, the most looming quest I just started involves grad school.

I’ve changed my mind multiple times over the past year, in terms of what and where I want to study after my time is done here at Alvernia.

A few months ago I sat down with a professor here at Alvernia to talk about graduate school and she gave me some of the best advice I’ve gotten over the past few years.

She told me not to think about what lies at the end of grad school, be it the lure of a job or a promising career.  Go to grad school just because you want to study more of something you love. Go to grad school because you have one passion or desire you need to embrace or have one burning question you need to answer. Go to grad school because you want to be a better doer of whatever it is that you do.

That advice still sticks with me. I keep looking at schools and telling myself not to think of the opportunities I’ll have after I graduate with an MFA or PhD or whatever, but to think of the opportunities I’ll have while I’m studying and learning more about what I’m passionate about.

So, to all you ambitious students out there thinking about grad school:

Don’t do it just because you’ll get a job with more prestige or more money or because you think it’s the easy way out or the right continuing step in your education.

Do it because you want to be a better you and a better doer of whatever it is that you do.

-andy-


Jul 3

What’s on your bucket list?

A model P-51 Mustang fighter plane occupies cherished space in the office of Alvernia Criminal Justice Chair and retired FBI Agent, Ed Hartung. Ask him about the model, and he’ll tell you that the Mustang is his favorite airplane.

So he was very excited when his wife — Alvernia psychology professor Peggy Hartung-Bowen — surprised him with a ride aboard a P-51 Mustang fighter plane during a World War II weekend at the Reading Airport early this summer, a week before the pair set out on a week-long motorcycle trip. (Yes, that’s right… a motorcycle trip.)

But when the Dixie Wing pilot, John Currenti, discovered that Hartung also had a pilot’s license and had flown an impressive 87 combat missions in Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker refueling planes during the Vietnam war, Hartung’s ride in the P-51 became something more. Hartung took the stick and flew the Mustang for a full 40 minutes.

Flying your favorite fighter plane? Check.

Spending a week exploring the countryside with the wind blowing through your hair? Check.

What’s on your bucket list?

Below, Dr. Hartung (left) climbs into the P-51 Mustang’s cockpit.

Hartung and Currenti take off from Reading Regional Airport:

The KC-135 Stratotankers that Hartung flew in Vietnam were 136 feet long with a wingspan of 131 feet.

By comparison, P-51 Mustangs are only 32 feet long, with a wingspan of 37 feet.  


Jul 2

10 Questions to Ask on Your Campus Tour!

alvernia-admissions:

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Hello everyone! I have given and shadowed many campus tours in my day. This is your sneak peek into college campus life, make the most of your visit at each campus so that you can make an informed decision about where to spend the next few years of your life. Feel free to make a list of questions to ask before your visit. 

Listed below are top 10 questions that students should ask on campus tours: 

10. What are ways that students get involved on campus and off campus?

9. What health and wellness services are offered on campus? What are the local medical facilities available (Drs. offices, hospitals, etc.)?

8. For student athletes, what is the relationship like between the athletics department and the faculty? Are reasonable accommodations made for athletes?

7. How should students approach securing an internship? What is the process? Should students talk to their advisor, their department, career services?

6. What is there to do on and off campus for fun? What event venues, coffee shops, stores, museum, movie theatres, bowling alleys, parks, are nearby?

5. What study abroad opportunities are available? Is there a difference in tuition/fees between the home institution and the institution abroad? Are there scholarships available (at the institution, locally, nationally, and internationally)?

4. What is the food like on campus? Are their options available for special dietary needs/food allergies, etc.?

3. Is there university or public transportation available on and off campus for students? Are there discounts for students?

2. What are the extra fees that students face (ex. Printing costs, books, laundry, etc.)?

1. What financial aid is available for students (based on merit, need, outside scholarships, etc.)?

Happy touring this summer!

-Melissa Manny, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions


Two weeks ago, Alvernia announced a fun summer Instagram contest for students and alumni. And so far, more than 70 #getrealAU photos have been submitted, showcasing how Alvernians are spending the summer of 2014 — Getting Real at work and internships, volunteering, visiting new places, even skydiving. While some students are at the beach or going on hikes, others are learning new skills in summer jobs, or even dressing up like superheros and visiting children in hospitals.The contest runs until August 1st, and new winners are selected every week. So show us how YOU Get Real! Follow us on Instagram at @alverniauniversity, and submit your entry by tagging your photos with #getrealAU.

Two weeks ago, Alvernia announced a fun summer Instagram contest for students and alumni. And so far, more than 70 #getrealAU photos have been submitted, showcasing how Alvernians are spending the summer of 2014 — Getting Real at work and internships, volunteering, visiting new places, even skydiving.

While some students are at the beach or going on hikes, others are learning new skills in summer jobs, or even dressing up like superheros and visiting children in hospitals.

The contest runs until August 1st, and new winners are selected every week. So show us how YOU Get Real! Follow us on Instagram at @alverniauniversity, and submit your entry by tagging your photos with #getrealAU.


Empty spaces & painted faces

VIA alvernia-students blogger - Andy Kaucher:

A few weeks ago I dropped this little note on a post:
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So, to everyone (the grand audience of all you out there reading the fantastic AU student blog!) I now share what my grand plan is for this summer and the coming year.

5 weeks ago yesterday I met my parents for lunch at the GoggleWorks (for any of you who don’t know what that is, read here). I questioned why we met for lunch at an art center cafe and not a restaurant, but hey, my parents haven’t always made sense (and man, do I love that).

They said, after lunch, we were gonna roll upstairs and meet somebody. I figured Pops knew some person with a studio, and they just wanted me to meet him/her.

We cruise upstairs and meet with the gallery director and she starts showing us an empty artist’s studio. I caught on quickly, but still had no definite idea what was going on.

Fast forward to today and I’m just about settled in to that same studio (after an application was handed in, after I was juried in to the studio, and after three paintings have already been completed).

Move in was relatively easy, as I didn’t have too much to move, just a cabinet, some previous artwork, and a small couch and chair.

I made sure to take time that first day to paint. My whole reason for being there is to paint, so I wanted to start on day one.

So, here’s “Moving Man.” a 14” x 18” acrylic & ink on canvas.

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Much more artwork to come, as I’ll be spending 20+ hours a week in my studio creating. Should be a great year. I’m not sure where I’m headed after graduation next May, but I’m sure I’ll be doing something creative.

If you’re ever over at the GoggleWorks, make sure to swing by studio #317, as I’ll probably be there.

Make sure to check out my always growing online portfolio.

And most importantly…

keep it real and never take yourself too seriously, Internet.

-andy-


Nothing says cute quite like five just-hatched American Kestrel chicks in a nestbox.
Alvernia biology professor Jim Klucsarits has been working to save the American Kestrel for more than 25 years through Hawk Mountain Sanctuary’s American Kestrel Nestbox Project. Through the project, he monitors the netting and breeding success across the county. Last week, a new bird-cam was installed in a Kestrel nestbox — and already, five eggs have hatched! This bird-cam is a new endeavor. Until now, Klucsarits has been studying kestrels through banding, electronic trackers, and visual inspections of more than 120 boxes spread out through more than 500 miles. 
Visit Hawk Mountain online to view the webcam, and turn your sound up!
» Read more about the crusade to save the American Kestrel in Alvernia Magazine

Nothing says cute quite like five just-hatched American Kestrel chicks in a nestbox.

Alvernia biology professor Jim Klucsarits has been working to save the American Kestrel for more than 25 years through Hawk Mountain Sanctuary’s American Kestrel Nestbox Project. Through the project, he monitors the netting and breeding success across the county.

Last week, a new bird-cam was installed in a Kestrel nestbox — and already, five eggs have hatched!

This bird-cam is a new endeavor. Until now, Klucsarits has been studying kestrels through banding, electronic trackers, and visual inspections of more than 120 boxes spread out through more than 500 miles.

Visit Hawk Mountain online to view the webcam, and turn your sound up!

» Read more about the crusade to save the American Kestrel in Alvernia Magazine


The FCC made a ruling on Net Neutrality today. Are you paying attention? You should be.
Imagine you’re a small business with a website. Now imagine if that website was slower than a big business competitor - because that competitor paid more money to internet providers like Comcast or TimeWarner.
Still confused? » Learn more about Net Neutrality

The FCC made a ruling on Net Neutrality today. Are you paying attention? You should be.

Imagine you’re a small business with a website. Now imagine if that website was slower than a big business competitor - because that competitor paid more money to internet providers like Comcast or TimeWarner.

Still confused? » Learn more about Net Neutrality



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