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Morning Meeting Recap: Summer Activities

This morning I had the pleasure of meeting with several parents in the library. We discussed activities that students and families can do over the summer to work toward college goals, such as building a résumé, participating in summer programs, and researching colleges. Please review these documents:

Meeting Notes

Sample Résumé

Scholarship Info

Summer Program Info

Morning meetings will start again in the fall, likely continuing on Wednesdays. I hope to meet more of you then to discuss topics like financial aid, standardized tests, and more. Schedule to follow in the coming months.

Posted by Emily Parliman on Wednesday June 1, 2016
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Visit to the Five College Consortium - Massachusetts

Last week I visited five colleges in Massachusetts: Smith, U Mass Amherst, Hampshire College, Amherst College, and Mount Holyoke. Smith College was gracious enough to host me, and about 30 other college counselors from around the country, at a wonderful two-day program. Check out Smith by Smithies to learn more about Smith from the students’ point of view.

Smith's beautiful campus:

Smith College

On Friday we learned about what makes Smith different from other colleges and heard from a faculty and student panel, and got information about selective college admissions in general. We learned that students at women’s colleges are more likely to major in STEM, get a PhD, go on to medical school, and do internships and research.

Smith’s dean of admissions stressed that in the admissions process, jobs like babysitting and working at a fast food restaurant are just as valuable as other experiences. When you’re listing your activities and clubs, focus on quality rather than quantity. You don’t need to be a member of 20 different clubs; it’s better to be dedicated to one or two. And instead of participating in an expensive service program abroad, think about doing service work in your local community. The dean said, “It doesn’t matter what you do-- just that you do something.”

On Saturday the group took a bus tour of four other colleges; the round-trip driving route to cover all five colleges is a beautiful and green 30 miles. Through the consortium, students can take some courses each semester at one of the other schools, giving them the resources of a large coed research university. Students take advantage of this-- 46% of Smithies take a class at one of the other consortium schools. A shuttle bus system transports students from one school to another.

Here are highlights from the tour:

Amherst College

Amherst College

-Founded in 1821

-1,785 students

-Four museums: Emily Dickinson Museum, Beneski Museum of Natural History, Mead Art Museum, and the Folger Shakespeare Library (here in DC!)

-Fun fact: Amherst has a fully functioning organic vegetable farm, which provides food and employment for students and interns.


Hampshire College

-Founded in 1965, opened in 1970

-1,400 students

-Curriculum is organized into five interdisciplinary schools: Cognitive Science, Critical Social Inquiry, Humanities Arts and Cultural Studies, Interdisciplinary Arts, and Natural Science.

-The college has a working farm. Its CSA program allows 210 community members to purchase a share of the harvest and pick up fresh organic produce weekly.

-Prominent alumni include filmmaker Ken Burns, and author and mountain climber Jon Krakauer

-No grades; only written evaluations

-Completely test-blind-- even if you send SAT/ACT scores, the college won’t consider them.


University of Massachusetts - Amherst

-Founded in 1863 as the Massachusetts Agricultural College, now the largest public research university in New England

-22,250 undergraduates, 6,400 graduate students

-Nine schools/colleges within the university

-21 Division I athletic teams (10 men’s, 11 women’s)

-Fun fact: Hadley Farm Equine and Livestock research and education center is home to sheep, goats, horses, alpacas, and more

-Fun fact: the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, opened in 1973, is 28 stories tall, the tallest library in the world. The collection of Du Bois himself is housed in Special Collections.


Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke

-Founded in 1837 as the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, the first of the “Seven Sisters”

-Women’s college, 2,183 students

-One of the only liberal arts colleges in the northeast that hosts a western riding team as well as a dressage team


Smith College

Smith College

Smith College

-Women’s college in Northampton, Massachusetts. The college has about 2,500 students total, and the city has 29,000 residents.

-Students at women’s colleges are more likely to major in STEM, get a PhD, go on to medical school, and do internships and research. Very supportive alumnae network.

-Open curriculum with no distribution requirements. Professors report a higher level of engagement in courses because the students’ course choice is so intentional.

-Strong advising: Students get liberal arts advisors before they declare their major. Those advisors also help students find internships.

-40% of students major in STEM. It’s the first women’s college to have an engineering major, which was started in 2000.

-87% of students do research with faculty, and 30% of faculty publications were coauthored by a student

-Praxis: guaranteed paid internship funding for every student in the summer after junior year. 450 students take advantage of this each summer.

-15% of students are international students, 40% are students of color, and 22% are first generation students

-House system: Students live in one of 37 houses with 15 dining rooms. There’s a piano in every house and afternoon tea on Fridays. The house system is strong-- at graduation, names are called by house rather than alphabetically by name. There are different themes at each dining room.



I hope students will consider some of these colleges in their search. Please let me know if you have any questions about these schools or any others!

Posted by Emily Parliman on Wednesday June 1, 2016
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Morning Meeting June 1, and a Reading Suggestion

Don't forget to follow this blog for college counseling news and information. All the updates from my email newsletters will be posted here, so you can always refer to the blog if you’re looking for information you might have missed in an email.

*Morning Meeting - June 1*

The next morning meeting for parents who would like to learn more about the university process will be Wednesday, June 1 at 8:30am in the library. We’ll talk about what families can do over the summer to work toward students’ college goals (essays, starting applications, participating in summer programs or other activities).

*Reading Suggestion*

Frank Bruni, a columnist for the New York Times, wrote a book called Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be - An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.

In response to a student looking for consolation after being denied by all of the Ivy League schools, Mr. Bruni explains in a New York Times article that there is a lack of “logic” and “integrity” in the admissions process. At many highly competitive colleges, who gets admitted is far from straightforward. Mr. Bruni notes that among many other factors, each college must find students for its sports teams, orchestras, and debate teams; each college must create a class that is diverse in terms of geography, racial and ethnic diversity, and academic majors.

These are all factors over which students have no control! It’s important for families to keep these things in mind, and not to take admission decisions personally.

Posted by Emily Parliman on Tuesday May 24, 2016
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Upcoming events and SAT score information

Princeton University Information Session
Learn about the academic and social opportunities available at Princeton
Date: Sunday, May 22
Time: 2:00 - 4:00pm
Location: Washington Marriott at Metro Center, 775 12th St. NW, Washington
RSVP by email, deadline May 19: uaoffice@princeton.edu. Provide your name, school name, and number of people attending with you.

Five Colleges Program - Information Session
Meet admissions officers from Bowdoin, Carleton, Davidson, Haverford, and Vassar, five of the top liberal arts colleges in the US.
Date: Sunday, May 22
Time: 1:30pm
Location: Hyatt Regency Bethesda, One Bethesda Metro Center
RSVP online: http://admissions.vassar.edu/visit/area/students.html

Coast to Coast College Tour - Information Session
Meet admission representatives from Dartmouth, Princeton, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, and Vanderbilt.
Date: Thursday, June 9
Time: 7:00 - 9:00pm
Location: Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, 2800 S. Potomac Ave. Arlington, VA
RSVP online: www.coasttocoasttour.org

New SAT: Free Practice Test
The Princeton Review will offer a free practice test to help students get familiar with the SAT.
Date: Sunday, May 22
Time: 9:00am
Location: The Princeton Review - Bethesda Classroom Suites, 7514 Wisconsin Ave. Bethesda
Register online: PrincetonReview.com/events

Morning Meeting - June 1
The next morning meeting for parents who would like to learn more about the university process will be Wednesday, June 1 at 8:30am in the library. We’ll talk about what families can do over the summer to work toward students’ college goals (essays, starting applications, participating in summer programs or other activities).

New SAT score information
With a newly designed SAT now offered (the first test administration was offered in March), many students have questions about how the old SAT compares to the new one. A May 11th story from the Washington Post explains the differences in scores between the old and new SAT, and how new SAT scores compare to ACT.

Highlights from the article:
New SAT scores versus Critical Reading and Math scores on the old SAT:

  • A new 1200 corresponds to an old 1130.
  • A new 1300 corresponds to an old 1230.
  • A new 1400 corresponds to an old 1340.
  • A new 1500 corresponds to an old 1460.
  • But a new 1600 is just as perfect as an old 1600.

Here’s how new SAT scores compare to ACT scores, according to a College Board analysis. The ACT, now the most widely used admission test in the country, has a maximum score of 36.

  • 1200 on the new SAT corresponds to 25 on the ACT.
  • 1300 on the new SAT corresponds to 27 on the ACT.
  • 1400 on the new SAT corresponds to 30 on the ACT.
  • 1500 on the new SAT corresponds to 33 on the ACT.
  • And 1600 on the new SAT still corresponds to a perfect 36 on the ACT.
Posted by on Friday May 13, 2016
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PSAT 10 Score Reports Available

For seconde students who took the PSAT 10 in March, paper score reports have been delivered. Students may stop by the Vie Scolaire to pick up their score reports and original PSAT 10 booklets. Notification emails have been sent to the student and parent email addresses that were listed on students’ registration forms. To help you understand the score report, please review this brochure.

To view PSAT 10 scores online, if students have not already done so please create a College Board account.

We also recommend that students create a Khan Academy account. This is a great online resource for further test prep.

Students can explore their interests through the personalized MyRoad tool and learn more about careers and majors at Big Future.

Interested students can take the PSAT/NMSQT in October 2016, when they are in première. Information will be sent at the beginning of the new school year. Spring of première is a good time to take the regular SAT for the first time. Students will have time to practice, increase their skills, and test again if they want to improve their scores.

Posted by on Wednesday May 11, 2016
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Essay-Writing Workshops for Premières

For première parents: You should have received an email invitation last week for the college essay-writing workshops that Erin Finney (Teacher of English) and I will hold in June. These emails, from our Communications department, would have gone to the email address at which you receive the Rochambeau Headlines newsletter. There are still spaces available. Please refer to the sign-up page for more information.
Posted by on Tuesday May 10, 2016
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Première College Info Session Recap, Essay-Writing Workshops

Last night I hosted a college information night in the library for première families. Thank you to those who attended! To ensure that all receive this important information, here are the parent packet, student packet, and presentation. This information was distributed at last night's session and was also sent to students’ Rochambeau email accounts. Please read these documents thoroughly with your student, and remind your student to check his or her Rochambeau email account regularly. I send many important communications through email, and also in the school Headlines newsletter.

As a reminder, due to an exam having been scheduled for all premières during the time the college counseling STUDENTS’ meeting had been planned (Monday, May 9 at 2:30), the counseling meeting is CANCELED. 

I encourage students to make an appointment to meet with me one-on-one to discuss university plans. Students can stop by my office or email me to arrange a date.

Première parents should have received an email invitation earlier this week for the college essay-writing workshops that Erin Finney (Teacher of English) and I will hold in June. These emails were sent by our communications department, and would have gone to the email address at which you receive the Headlines newsletter. Here is the sign-up page with more information. There are still spaces available.

Posted by on Friday May 6, 2016
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Morning Meeting Recap

This Wednesday I had the pleasure of meeting with nine parents. We discussed an overview of the application and university systems in the US, UK, and Canada. A handout of the notes is available for those who could not attend.

The next morning meeting for parents who would like to learn more about the university process will be Wednesday, June 1 at 8:30am in the library. We’ll talk about what families can do over the summer to work toward students’ college goals (essays, starting applications, participating in summer programs or other activities). I hope to see you then!


Posted by on Thursday May 5, 2016
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Choose groups to clone to:

Bradley Campus
Maternelle • Preschool
7108 Bradley Blvd Bethesda, MD 20817
301.767.1683
Rollingwood Campus
Elementary
3200 Woodbine St Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.907.3265
Forest Rd Campus
Elementary • Secondary • Administrative Offices
9600 Forest Rd Bethesda, MD 20814
301.530.8260
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