Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hope College

Hope College is a College That Changes Lives.

Hope College has been a friendly member of Holland, Michigan since 1864. Holland, interestingly, is the "Tulip Capital of the World." Tulips of a rainbow assortment aligned every street in the city. The tulips give Holland its quaint, warm, friendly, semi-nostalgic feel.

While at Hope College, I met wtih Bill Vanderbilt, the head man in admissions. I also had a chance to spend quality time with Josh Banner, a former Casady teacher and currently the Minister of the Arts and Worship at Hope College.

Josh and I go back to when we were 13 years old. Josh just finished his third year leading worship at Hope's chapel services as well as their Sunday night gathering, a voluntary service, that is attended weekly by over a 1000 of Hope's student body. Hope College offers an outstanding liberal arts education with the kind of spiritual shading that provides students a safe place to explore issues related to faith and culture.

For example, in October I visited Hope, and I attended an evening showing of Lars and the Real Girl.

After the movie, 150 or so students interacted with Hope faculty in the theology, psychology, and English department. It was so refreshing to listen to students and faculty exchanging ideas, dialoguing honestly and genuinely about topics and themes ranging from loneliness to sexuality, from the value of community in a preson's journey of healing, to the "balm" of the imagination through the arts to aid in the healing process.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meeting with Dartmouth Dean and a Times Article

Greetings, folks.

Sorry it has been awhile.

I've been a bit out of pocket at the Woodbound Inn located in a remote, rustic part of New Hampshire. Been attending the 40th annual Fitzwilliam Conference. The conference is made up of elite, liberal arts college deans and college counselors. This was my second year to attend. Most of the "old guard" know Dr. Rumsey. "How's old, Tom?" Bill Elliot, now semi-retired Dean of Admissions at Carnegie Mellon, asked me, just before he teed off on the first hole yesterday.

Anyway, I've emerged from the mountains and am now by the bay in Boston.

Just came off of an amazing visit with the Dean of Admissions at Dartmouth this afternoon. Dean Maria and I sat out in the New Hampshire sunshine, dangled our feet over the "Senior fence", and talked about a cadre of college admission topics ranging from "hooks" to parental advice [she has a sophomore daughter at Wesleyan], from the "rich and global diversity of thought and ideas and worldviews" that shape Ivy campuses today [Dartmouth boasts 50 states and 60 countries represented in student pop.], to the "crushing volume" of this year's applications [25,000 for 6 readers] and the challenges of preserving "thoughtfulness" in their reviews.

Tomorrow I'm visiting with Deans at BU, BC, and Wellesley. Very excited about reintroducing Casady to these fine institutions.

One other thing. Mark Hoven sent me an essay from The Times today. It's a parent's reflection on college admissions and temptations to lose the "big picture" with SAT statistics, etc. Parents - THIS IS A MUST READ.

Perspective. Perspective. Perspective.

Click here to read the article.

More from the field tomorrow.

Go Sox.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

OU Honors College Visit Part II

OU's Honors College admits students with the following:
* Top 10% of their class,
* a 3.75 GPA,
* a 29 ACT/1280 SAT,
* and a well-written personal essay.

When a Casady student applies to the Honors College, their application is processed differently than students from many other schools. The transcript is pulled up and looked over for evidence of rigor. HC admissions know *based on our school profile that less than 20% of the Casady Class of 2008 earned over a 3.75 GPA *on our 4.33 scale. So what about the rest of our students? Are they unable to gain admittance to the OU Honor's College? Is this proof that the Casady rigor is "screwing" our kids in OU's competitive admission pools?

Not so fast.

Lest we forget President Boren's words.

"OU knows Casady."

"OU knows the difference."

"Don't water down the curriculum."

"Maintain high academic standards."

HC Admissions echo President Boren's words. HC admissions know our school profile. And our demanding curriculum. And our reputation for grade deflation [no skeletons in this school's closet]. As a result, a Casady applicant to the Honors College will be seriously considered for admission with a 3.33 GPA or better. *Now this doesn't mean automatic admission. Test scores must be comparable. And the essay must showcase that they are ready for the Prospective courses - heavily writing intensive.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

OU Honors College Visit

We are still highlighting OU as our College of the Week.

I am excited about attending the OU Symposium for College Counselors in June.

I am equally excited about continuing to work with Andy Roop, our OU rep. He's the consummate pro at what he does.

I am also thrilled anytime that I can get some QT with this lovely gal. Dr. Vicki Schaeffer.

Yesterday I spent an hour with Dr. Schaeffer. While I waited to see her, I had a chance to walk the Honors College facility, see classes in action, and observe students in the learning center.

Quite impressive.

There was a palpable collegial feel about the Honors College.

Notably, here are few highlights I culled from the literature I read.

Fast Facts about OU's Honor College:

  • OU HC students graduate at a rate 20% higher than this or most university campuses in the country.
  • 40% of Honors College students participate in study abroad programs. Like Oxford. Or Italy.
  • Honors College students have earned National Scholarships and Fellowships: Rhodes, Gates Cambridge, Luce, Rotary, Goldwater [18 in 8 years!], etc.
  • Graduates pursue post graduate education at top institutions in the world: Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, John Hopkins, Lund (Sweden), Oxford, Sorbonne (France), Vandy, and Yale - just to name a few.

5 of the Top 10 Reasons to Accept the Challenge at the Honors College:

1. Private college education within a flagship university.
2. Smaller class size (19-22 students)
3. Leadership Center
4. Writing Center - provides one-to-one writing tutorial help
5. The only way to earn cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude recognition.

Tomorrow I'll share some of the golden nuggets from my conversation with Dr. Schaeffer.

But, boy oh boy, am I jealous for Scott Bennett and Summayah Anwar next year.

To learn more about OU's Honor's College and what Casady graduates like Scott and Summayah will participate in click here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

College Fair highlights

It was great to see some of our sophomores and juniors out yesterday for GPACAC's college fair. 50+ colleges. Many of the reps I chatted with spoke effusively of our Casady seniors. Washington and Lee, Washington and St. Louis, DePauw, Trinity, Hendrix, Austin College, St. Edwards - they were elated for Casady students matriculating, deflated for those who weren't, but excited about forging deeper relationships with Casady for years to come.

Four photogenic and soon-to-be-seniors who positively represented Casady class of 2010.

Next year we will host the GPACAC college fair. It will be another opportunity to showcase Casady. I can't wait!