Special Programs

The University of Utah’s Bargain Honors Program

The University of Utah’s Bargain Honors Program

High-quality education in the form of Honors Colleges in Public Universities is becoming ever more common. Within the University of California system most have, including UCLA, UCI, and five of the six colleges of UCSD, special honors programs. The reason behind the growth of these honors programs is public universities want to keep their best students at home, in state, and challenged by a curriculum many believe can only be obtained from the most selective universities.

 

Udacity and the Evolution of Nanodegrees

Udacity and the Evolution of Nanodegrees

The problems facing higher education today are legion: escalating tuition costs; spiraling student debt; political correctness; underachieving students; professorial emphasis on research to the detriment of undergraduate teaching; adjunct professors earning starvation wages, and we’ve barely scratched the surface.

One company, however, within the MOOC (massive open online courses) ranks, Udacity, appears to have latched onto a solution that addresses many of the abovementioned ills: its nanodegree programs.

Post Baccalaureate Medical Options

Post Baccalaureate Medical Options

Should you, after graduating from college, hear the call of medicine, regardless of whether your transcript contains a generous dose of premed classes or not, all is not lost. You still might address your medical aspirations by joining a Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program (PB).

The list of programs, there are several hundred, can be found on the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) site, and span the universe of making a career change, enhancing your academic record (improving your GPA), or being part of a group underrepresented in medicine, or economically or educationally disadvantaged.

The ROTC Option

The ROTC Option

If you have contemplated applying to a service academy such as West Point or Annapolis, or if you are applying to one of them, you might want to also consider applying for an ROTC scholarship at one of the more than 1100 colleges that are part of the ROTC program.

The Reserved Officer Training Corp (ROTC) originated with the National Defense Act of 1916.  Each branch has its own unique requirements, service obligations, and availability. If you wish to get a better sense of the workings of the various programs, take a look at the ‘Guide to Understanding ROTC Programs here.

Save Thousands of Dollars with Western University Exchange (WUE)

Save Thousands of Dollars with Western University Exchange (WUE)

Last year 26,700 students from fifteen western states (including California) saved $210 million by enrolling in universities and colleges outside their home states through the Western University Exchange (WUE)—pronounced “woo-wee”-- program. That ‘saved’ sum almost equals 4,200 students’ paying full, out-of-state costs for one year at UC Berkeley.

The Honors College and ASU’s Barrett’s Honors Program

If you want a solid alternative to the elite private college experience, without the $230,000 price tag, then public college honors programs warrant consideration.

Though honors programs within many public colleges have been around for years, including University of Michigan’s LSA Honors Program, and University of Virginia’s Echols Scholars Program, many students and their families are unaware of the opportunities honors programs provide.

College Coop Programs

In Germany, the economic powerhouse of the European Union, its century old Apprenticeship program, also called the Dual System, is a critical component in its current economic prosperity. The program integrates apprenticeship with ‘vocational schooling,’ and involves the cooperation among businesses, government, and ‘chambers’ (employers’ organizations). This apprenticeship program transitions students, year after year, into world-class workers with real responsibilities. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the US had something similar?

While the German apprenticeship program begins in the high schools, the US has ‘coop’ programs available in certain colleges. In a coop program, a student spends six months in class and then takes that classroom knowledge and works, either domestically or internationally, for a company the next six months. The benefits accrue to both companies and students.

Getting on the Rhode (or Fulbright) to Undergraduate Greatness

A stellar undergraduate performance shows a solid work ethic and a propensity to learn. Add to the mix, a Fulbright or Rhodes scholarship and you are among the most elite undergraduates in the country. Only 865 Fulbright Scholarships (to graduating seniors from US campuses—all told there are 8,000 Fulbright awards granted each year) and a mere 32 Rhodes Scholarships were awarded this past year. Aiming to be a recipient of either one is an excellent way to bolster your undergraduate experience. Even falling short will end in excellence—and that, after all, is the intention of your college years.

Yale University in Singapore—the Liberal Arts in Asia—and its Discontents

The small city state of Singapore, with a population of just over 5 million, is quickly becoming the educational hub of Asia. Prior to the turn of the 21st century, Singapore offered postsecondary degrees almost solely through its two large flagship universities: National University of Singapore (NUS), and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Then, in January 2000, Singapore Management University opened its doors, followed by Singapore Institute of Management (2005), Singapore Institute of Technology (2009), Singapore University of Technology and Design (2011), and, coming soon, Yale/NUS (2013).

School Year Plan—Why the Type of School Year Plan might be important to you

“The Sizing up Survey” in the Fiske Guide to Colleges asks a number of preference questions to help students figure out good college matches: location, setting, size, cost, athletics, extracurricular, public vs. private, campus culture, academics, and ‘other factors.’ Unfortunately, in certain areas, especially ‘academics’, many students not only don’t have any answers, they don’t even have a clue what they’re looking for, nor do they have much time to contemplate what an ideal learning experience might be. One area to get a grasp of ‘academics,’ beyond whether the school has general education courses, a core curriculum, or distribution requirements, is to know how colleges divvy up their school year, and how these various divisions might jive with learning styles.