Tagged: admissions

09 Aug

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Coming for a tour? Make a weekend of it!

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By Mack the Knight

Plan on visiting the Mount soon for an admissions event? Make a day or weekend of it in the beautiful Hudson Valley!

Newburgh Waterfront

Fantastic places to eat like Billy Joe’s Ribworks and Blu Pointe, a gorgeous walk along the water, and even the option for a cruise on the Hudson River, the Newburgh waterfront has it all.

Walkway Over the Hudson

The Walkway Over the Hudson is a former bridge turned walking pathway suspended above the glistening Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, NY, about a half hour from the Mount’s campus. The views alone are worth the trip, and the Walkway society will often hold events over the summer like Movies Under the Walkway, fireworks, and more. Continue Reading

14 Mar

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Mind the Gap

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For better or for worse, the question we ask of our high school seniors tends to be “Where are you going to college?” and not “When are you going to college?”. In many parts of the country, it’s assumed that graduating seniors will be entering a college of some sort (whether it be a community college, a state school, or a private institution) just a few short months later. As we rapidly approach enrollment deadline season, it’s time to start asking if now is the best time for your child to be packing their bags.

I fully understand that it’s my job to guide students from high school to college. Trust me when I say that I’m not encouraging hesitant college-hopefuls to give up the search and resolve to a life without higher education. The Grateful Dead are long gone, so any hope of following them on tour around the country through one’s 20’s is unfortunately useless. What I’m suggesting is a short break between high school graduation and college enrollment. A semester or two can make a real difference for some.

Now, before you go and refund your child’s enrollment deposit, it’s essential to sit down with them and discuss their options. For those who might be experiencing sudden cold feet, a gap year might not make much difference. The same goes for students who are having second thoughts about their major, school choice, or roommate. These are largely reconcilable concerns that a little can-do attitude (and a chat with their Admissions Counselor).

Obviously, there are a number of drawbacks to waiting a year to enroll at a college. You know by now how much I love lists, so let’s cut to the chase:

Institution practices are shaped to fit a traditional model: College admission departments design their activities and programs around the assumption that most students do not take a gap year. College fairs, high school visits, Open House, Accepted Student Day, and Orientation are all scheduled to align with the needs of high school students and their parents. The application process also typically requires a number of documents that rely on a student’s relationship with their high school. If your child is planning on taking a gap year, consider contacting their guidance counselor for a copy of their official transcript and a letter of recommendation. Acquiring those documents after graduation isn’t impossible by any means, but it’s far easier to get it done early and have the files on hand.

Going to school ISN’T like riding a bike: Momentum is everything in learning. We’ve all heard of the dreaded “summer slide” that robs students of their mental acuity after a season without studying. There are studies which suggest that the “slide” isn’t as damning as once thought, but the truly troublesome bit comes from breaking a habit of education. Retraining oneself to wake up on time, get to class, take meaningful notes, study, and complete assignments can be a real drag. Be mindful of letting a gap year turn into gap years.

The work/school balance: Unless your student is financially sound enough to take a year off without any form of income, exiting high school might necessitate employment on their end. Depending on the nature of the work, it might become problematic or detrimental to walk away from their occupation to pursue education at a later date. Falling into the rhythm of regular employment leads us back into my last point: momentum towards a college degree gets lost all too easily.

There are plenty of upsides to taking a short break before starting a college degree program. At the end of the day, it’s our duty to ensure that our children and students are making progress and growing into productive, happy adults. Whether it takes a year of soul-searching abroad, a semester working a part-time job, or a few weeks on a road trip with friends, it’s essential that there be some kind of personal progress being made. When they’re finally ready, you know who to send their college application to.

How do you feel about gap years? Are they a waste of time or a chance to grow? Let me know what you think on Facebook and Instagram!

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05 Mar

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The Best Laid Plans

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By Dan Fenyo

Bill Evans, famed jazz pianist of the Miles Davis sextet, wrote an outstanding article that was featured within the liner notes of Davis’ iconic album Kind of Blue entitled “Improvisation in Jazz.” The article itself is a terribly insightful read, but you’re currently busy reading MY article, so I don’t want to let Evans steal all my spotlight for now. For now, I want to draw your attention to the opening of Evans’ commentary:

“There is a Japanese visual art in which the artist is forced to be spontaneous. He must paint on a thin stretched parchment with a special brush and black water paint in such a way that an unnatural or interrupted stroke with destroy the line or break through the parchment. Erasures or changes are impossible. These artists must practice a particular discipline, that of allowing the idea to express itself in communication with their hands in such a direct way the deliberation cannot interfere.”

You may be asking yourself how jazz improvisation, Japanese art, and college admissions are related about now. Well, today I want to talk about planning for college and, more specifically, what to do when those plans go wrong. Navigating the choppy waters of college admission isn’t easy and frankly, if everybody could do it as well as Bill Evans and Miles Davis could improvise jazz music, I might be out of a job! It’s natural for you and your child’s plans to go awry. Sour notes and torn parchment are all a part of the process but, as we approach nearer and nearer to the enrollment deadlines of many colleges, it’s time to start thinking about what to do when things aren’t going according to plan.

What sort of things can go wrong in college admissions, you might ask. Well, there are a few common ones: Continue Reading

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27 Feb

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No Student is An Island

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By Dan Fenyo

We’ve all heard that classic maxim of reliance on others: “No Man is an Island.” For college students, John Donne’s immortal wisdom rings all the more true. While there may be a certain population of students who, without any exceptional support or guidance, find academic success, and graduate in four years, they are undoubtedly a minority.

Today, I want to talk about support for students on campus and the Student Support Center at the Mount. In many ways, higher education represents a new foray into independence. For some students, the sudden onset of autonomy can be empowering and awakening; for others, it can feel a big like being stranded on an island. Before you unload the minivan and leave your freshman at his or her dorm, rest assured that the Mount offers a number of resources to students to assist in their transition to college through the SSC. As usual, I’ll be talking primarily about the services offered through MSMC, but it’s always important to check to see what resources are offered by all the schools your student is considering attending.

The Student Support Center at the Mount is a broad umbrella that actually encompasses three separate departments: the Office for Student Success, Counseling Services, and Disability Services. For today, I’m going to focus on the OSS, but if you can’t possibly wait until later this week to learn about Counseling and Disability Services, you’re always welcome to contact those departments directly! Continue Reading

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22 Feb

Comments Off on Resumes and Interviews and Travel, Oh My!

Resumes and Interviews and Travel, Oh My!

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By Dan Fenyo

Step 1: Go to college

Step 2: ???

Step 3: Land your dream job and live a successful life

That’s the plan for most college prospects, right? There’s a pervasive myth that seems to imply that recent college graduates can flash their degree at the front door of any business and expect to be hired on the spot. While that would be nice, we know how absurd it seems. The job market certainly isn’t getting any easier to navigate; the population of degree-holding graduates is constantly increasing, causing competition for sought-after positions to intensify dramatically. A diploma alone isn’t enough to compete for employment. When 50 applicants all hold the same degree from equally respectable institutions, your child will need a competitive edge to stand out in the crowd. That’s where the MSMC Career Center comes in.

When your child wanders into Aquinas 151, what can they expect to find? Well, first off, flexibility! Students are welcome to make an appointment Monday through Friday as early at 8:30AM or, if they’re strapped for time, just drop in! Once they’re in the door though, they can check out any of these amazing resources offered free to students:

Career Counseling

“What can I do with my degree?” is a common question from college students. For some majors like Nursing or Education, the employment prospects might seem fairly obvious whereas some majors like Public Relations, Criminology, Human Services, or Psychology might not seem to translate into eponymous professions in quite the same way. When a student sits down with one of our career counselors, they’ll have the opportunity to take a personality evaluation test like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator which can help suggest potential job prospects to which they’re well-suited. Is your child an ENFP? Maybe they’d make a great landscape architect! More of an INTJ? Perhaps working in a microbiology lab could suit them! Once a counselor identifies a student’s vocational strengths and aptitude, they’ll work one-on-one to find relevant internship opportunities in the local area. Continue Reading

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