Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CVC Day 3 - The Schools Before the Storm

In the interest of being realistic - I'm going to just summarize the schools we visited yesterday in bullet form because I don't know if my brain can handle typing up cohesive paragraphs. I'll try to add pictures later!

University of Vermont
  • Flagship land-grant university of Vermont with 10,000 students 
  • Focus on experiential learning, a global green consciousness, and has the bonus of having a hospital on campus for nursing, pre-med, and science students
  • Walking distance to downtown Burlington (if you need help picturing it, it is like a bigger more developed Ithaca, New York)
  • Has an Honors College (admitted students usually have 2190+ on the SAT and 33+ on the ACT) where students get better housing, participate in 4 honors seminars, and write a senior thesis. All applicants are already considered for Honors admission, no separate application is required. 
  • Largest classes can be over 200, but most are under 40
  • Offers merit scholarships of up to $12,000 
Champlain College
  • Unique small college that prides itself on being agile and moving with the market - constantly adding and elimiting programs based on where jobs can be found
  • Students are given a three part education: a liberal arts core, LEAD life skills (things like financial literacy, job search skills, and volunteer experience), and their major
  • About 2000 students in the fields of business, education, information technology and communications and media
  • Known for top game design and cybersecurity/digital forensics programs
  • Upside-down curriculum, so students begin taking courses related to their major from the first semester
  • 88% of graduates are employed after graduation, 3% go directly to continue their education - putting them with fewer than 10% of students unemployed. 
  • Admitted student profile has risen pretty dramatically in recent years, but definitely a school that values potential and effort. I was completely impressed to find this gem. The type of student that would find the best 'fit' here is typically the type who is techie and loves solving puzzles, is eager to learn, and wants to be within walking distance of a fabulous town.
  • My absolute favorite quote from this trip so far came from the tour guide at Champlain "it is a cold place with warm people."
St. Michael's College
  • Catholic college of the Edmundite order - there are retreats offered for students of all faith traditions and social justice is a pillar of the campus. Religious Studies and Philosophy are required courses for all students.
  • Division II athletics with the #1 graduation rate for student athletes in their division
  • Many students pursue careers in human services and financial services. 
  • Amazing wilderness excursion opportunities for students with multiple weekly trips within a 200 mile radius of campus. All equipment is supplied by the college and trips only cost $5-$10.
  • One of only four Catholic colleges in the Northeast to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.
  • The top 10% of the first year class is a part of the Honors program, which gives participants access to an honors seminar, honors housing, and a senior capstone project.
  • Testing Optional - yay!
  • For students interested in becoming an EMT or Fire Rescue professional, students can be a part of the volunteer Fire & Rescue corps to gain hands on experience while at school. 

New England Culinary Institute
  • As is obvious by the name, this is a culinary school but it offers additional degree programs in the business side of food in addition to both Associate's level and Bachelor's level culinary education. 
  • More than any school we have seen, the students were truly regionally diverse with MANY coming from outside Vermont. 
  • I was lucky enough to sit at dinner with Chef Erika (pictured above!), who I later learned is far too humble given her amazing accomplishments. She is currently working to secure a stage at 11 Madison Park- there is certainly a lot of passion for food at NECI and undoubtedly some rising stars.
  • Culinary education is not for everyone. The intensity, hours, physical demands, and skill required mean that many attempt and few complete. But NECI has a focus on farm to table cooking, teaching students about loving the food not just preparing it.