Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Colleges That Change Lives: University of Puget Sound, Whitman College, Willamette University, The Evergreen State College, Reed College

For those of us who have struggled to meet our children's educational needs in public schools only to find private schools won't accept them either, college seems all the more an unrealistic opportunity. The non-profit group Colleges That Change Lives offers a less traveled road....but also maybe a higher road.

 ...To find a college that changes lives, look for these distinguishing attributes:

  • Low student-to-faculty ratios that foster collaboration, engaged learning, and personal attention. Classes are taught by professors, not TAs.
  • Faculty are dedicated and passionate about teaching, advising, and mentoring undergraduate students.
  • A commitment to undergraduate education that focuses on the liberal arts and sciences. Opportunities for undergraduate research are prevalent.
  • A living and learning environment that is primarily residential and emphasizes the benefits of community, personal growth, participation, and involvement.
  • Smaller student enrollments that allow students to be known and recognized as individuals.
  • Out-of-classroom learning opportunities that provide students with an added perspective about themselves, their interests, and the global community. Participation in internships, study abroad, service to others, and special interest activities is common and expected.
  • Holistic admission policies including "test-optional" applications for admission. These schools take into consideration everything about an applicant—not just their numbers on an application.
  • Alumni networks that help graduates with professional and career development opportunities as well as foster lifelong friendships based on an involved and engaged undergraduate student experience.
  • An ideal living and learning environment where students can meet and exceed their own expectations for personal intellectual growth.


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