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Carolyn’s College Corner: Colleges of Wisconsin

Carolyn’s College Corner

COWS: Colleges of Wisconsin, or a Tale of Four Colleges

In early May, I toured four different colleges in Wisconsin as part Wisconsin-Cropof a Continuing Education program for educational consultants. These schools put on these tours a couple of times a year in an effort to bring students to this much-maligned state! Personally, I fell in love with Wisconsin. Granted, I was there at the beginning of spring, a time when love is in the air, the birds are chirping and flowers and trees are budding. That being said, I am sure the winters bring new meaning to the word cold, but each school chips away at that objection ably. I would not hesitate to send one of my own children to one of these schools. For those of you who know me, my oldest went to Maine for college – a fact he has not let me forget! Good news is they appreciate their home and where they came from. They realize how good they have it in sunny Colorado!

First stop – Marquette University in Milwaukee. A wonderful option in the Jesuit school consortium, Marquette is often over looked by Coloradoans in favor of Creighton or Gonzaga. Marquette University is:

  • Jesuit – lifelong learning is the foundation of the Jesuit tradition. Inquiry and critical thinking is the cornerstone of the education. Service is a strong component here – 97% of students do some kind of service learning
  • Diverse – 30 foreign countries are represented here encompassing all cultures and religious beliefs.
  • Urban – wonderful downtown location with easy access to all many activities and cultural events city has to offer. The biggest surprise to me was how cosmopolitan and hip Milwaukee is – it is like a mini Chicago. I loved it!
  • University – there is a University Core of Common Studies with requirements across 9 disciplines. They are not crippling to a schedule, in fact, I believe they help students open their minds to areas they would not have normally considered.

Marquette is comprised of 83 majors, 7 colleges, boasts a 4 year graduation rate, and 1 campus.
Colleges are as follows:

  • Klingler College of Arts and sciences
  • College of Business Administration
  • Diederich College of Communications
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Nursing

Student apply directly into a specific college, usually a 1st and 2nd choice are required. It can be hard to move from a college into Engineering as it has very sequential course work.
Admissions are conducted in a holistic manner, meaning the entire application is considered, not just grades and scores. GPA is unweighted, rigor of curriculum is considered, essays are read and evaluated, and then test scores are reviewed – in that order. Mean ACT score is 27 and mean SAT is 1210.

There are multiple scholarships available as well – see the website for more particulars.

Second stop – Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. An unusual school in the higher education firmament as it is one of the only schools that offer a music conservatory side by side with a liberal arts program. Some highlights are:

  • ¾ of the school is arts and sciences and ¼ the conservatory of music. About half of the students double major in a conservatory/arts and sciences major, a 5 year program
  • One application for everyone. Music auditions for the conservatory or mandatory with 4 on campus auditions and 12 regional auditions
  • The most competitive disciplines are voice, piano, and strings. Always looking for students with talent in more obscure instruments
  • Classes in music for non-music majors
  • Non-music majors can participate in music programs including chamber groups, symphony and vocal ensembles.
  • All concerts are webcast
  • Language requirement – 200 level
  • Capstone for all students – paper, recital, and/or presentation.
  • Laboratory research common with access to paid summer internships

The Lawrence Personality

  • Curious students
  • Engaging
  • Collaborative (you kind of have to be in music!)
  • Positive and friendly
  • Energetic
  • Academic but well balanced

Lawrence has a residential campus – all 4 years, and is located in Appleton, a medium size community along the banks of a lovely meandering river.

Third stop – Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin. South of Appleton and north of Beloit, Ripon is set in the rolling hills of central Wisconsin. Named one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America,” downtown Ripon boasts an eclectic mix of architecture, shops, restaurants and coffee shops in one little down town. Ripon College consistently shows up on lists of colleges that offer the best value, which measure value, quality and overall student satisfaction. Ripon’s rating hovers around 95%. Here are a few facts:

  • 32 majors, 48 minors and pre-professional programs are available
  • Pre-professional programs are customized course plans setting the student on track for competitive placement in engineering, law, and medicine, among others.
  • 80% acceptance rate to medical school – twice the national average
  • Committed to affordability with 98% of students receiving aid awards
  • Scholarships range from $10,000 to full
  • Awards from $1,000 to $5,000
  • Grants college/state/federal from $600 to $19,000
  • Federal loans
  • 4 year graduation guarantee, assuming student is in good standing academically and does not change majors
  • Median class size is 17 with a 12:1 student/faculty ratio
  • Study abroad programs available
  • Division III athletics with 21 varsity teams

Fourth stop – Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. Beloit College has always been one of my favorites. As a Colleges That Change Lives school, it produces top notch students. A few fun facts:

  • Top 20 college for producing future PhD’s
  • Top 21 college for training future leaders in science, international relations and business

The town of Beloit has come a long way since I first visited it 5 years ago. A former General Motors town, it has had to pull itself up by the bootstraps to overcome the economic crash and reinvent itself. Both the town and the college have an eclectic mix of things going on:

  • Believe it or not, Beloit is the home of the Beloit International Film Festival.
  • Organic potato chip factory
  • Organic market
  • Home of The Mind Set List; a list published in August with a snap shot of how the incoming freshman class views the world
  • Study abroad and international studies are strong with over 30 programs.
  • One of the best museum studies program in the country with a world class Archeology department and museum. The Indiana Jones character is based on an actual professor from Beloit, complete with bullwhip and hat!
  • 85% receive financial aid

Students coming to Beloit are:

  • Not likely to follow the crowd
  • Risk takers, out of the box thinkers
  • Interested in many things – open minded
  • Leaders, not followers
  • No core curriculum
  • Every student’s course of study or major is different

Carolyn’s College Corner: Scholarship & Financial Aid

Carolyn’s College Corner: Scholarship & Financial Aid

A Few Tidbits Going Forward…

New college search engine based on costs
It may be a bit late for you to fully benefit from this new college search engine, but it might help you compare the colleges that you’re already applying to. CollegeRealityCheck.com is sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the interactive search tool takes into consideration factors such as “net price based on actual family income, projected monthly student loan payments, and potential earnings after graduation.” Their byline is: “Compare colleges by facts, not fluff.” Worth a look!

FAFSA
For those of you who will be filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to apply for need-based financial aid, paper versions of the FAFSA are no longer being mailed to high schools. You are strongly encouraged to complete and submit the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If, however, you would like a paper copy of the application, you may request one by calling toll-free the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). You can also access a PDF version of the form that you can complete online, print out and mail, or print out, complete by hand, and mail. Read all about FAFSA filing options at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/options.htm.

If you’d like a quick way to determine if you’re likely to qualify for need-based aid, access the Fafsa4caster via a link on the FAFSA home page: www.fafsa.ed.gov. Also, you can access a pdf version of the publication Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid, that includes basic information about student eligibility, the application process, and aid programs at http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/pubs. Also, here’s a good website for understandable explanations of financial aid applications: http://www.finaid.org/fafsa/.

Keep in mind that you can’t file the FAFSA before January 1 (when the current tax year is over), but most colleges need your FAFSA results in February, so aim to file no later than February 15

College Opportunity Fund for all students planning to attend college in Colorado
CollegeInColorado.org provides a link to the application for the College Opportunity Fund stipend that provides a tuition cost break for in-state students attending Colorado colleges and universities.

Reminders

Send your scores
Remember that most colleges require that you have your standardized test scores sent directly from the testing agency. To send your scores, go online to http://sat.collegeboard.org/scores/send-sat-scores (SAT) and/or www.actstudent.org/scores/send (ACT) and have a credit card handy. (College Board allows students who have taken the SAT with a fee waiver four no-charge score reports sent to colleges, in addition to the up to four reports that you may have requested sent straight to colleges when you registered for the test.) Also, keep in mind that in most cases, you may choose to send either your SAT or ACT scores. A small number of colleges, though, require SAT Subject Test scores in addition to ACT scores. Do your homework and know what your colleges require.
Gap Year Fair
Sunday, January 19, 2014, 1:00-3:30pm
Denver Academy, 4400 E. Iliff Avenue
If you’re even contemplating the benefits of a gap year — stepping off the education conveyor belt for a year to do something stimulating, eye-opening, energizing, and worthwhile, this will be well worth your time, so check it out!
Many reputable organizations that offer gap year programs will be available to offer information and answer questions.
Find out about the organizations involved at www.usagapyearfairs.org/programs
SAT/ACT test dates for early 2014
SAT – January 25th and March 8
ACT – February 8th and April 12th

Scholarship Opportunities

(While I would like to take credit for all the below information, I must give credit where credit is due. Thank you Kent Denver for the following information. I think there are some great possibilities here and within our own community)

SMART Scholarship (Science, Technology, and Research for Transformation)

  • Sponsored by the Department of Defense Defense (DoD) to “support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.”
  • $25,000 to $38,000 per year depending on one’s major. (For a list of majors, go to: http://smart.asee.org/about)
  • Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0, be able to participate in a summer internship, and be willing to work for the DoD after college graduation.
  • Application materials are at http://smart.asee.org
  • Deadline: December 16, 2013

Dell Scholars

    • $20,000 scholarships awarded to 300 high school seniors every year!
    • An initiative of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which “recognizes students who have overcome significant obstacles to pursue their educations. In turn, these scholars serve as positive role models and change the trajectories for their siblings, friends and their communities.”
    • Minimum GPA: 2.4
    • Applicants must demonstrate financial need, self-motivation, and “determination to succeed.”
    • “The Dell Scholars Program is more than a check. Rather, the program aims to provide students with everything they need to begin and complete college.” In addition to scholarship money, “the Dell Scholars Program provides its students with technology, a private scholar networking community, resources, and mentoring to ensure they have the support they need to achieve their college degrees. Scholars become part of a support network for each other that is made up of themselves, their schools, families, peers and a dedicated Dell Scholar team at the Michael & Susan Dell foundation.”
    • The online application is easy to complete. Applicants selected as semi-finalists will be requires to submit additional materials. Find more information and a link to the application at www.dellscholars.org.
    • Deadline: January 15, 2014

SAE Engineering Scholarships

  • Applicants must enroll in an ABET-accredited engineering or related program, meet minimum requirements pertaining to GPA or ACT/SAT scores, and complete an essay about their engineering goals, plans, and experiences. (ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.)
  • Scholarships range from $400 to full tuition
  • Learn more specifics and access an application at http://students.sae.org/awdscholar/scholarships (In the “Type of Scholarship” box, click on the “Freshman Year of College” link)
  • Deadline: January 15, 2014

PFLAG Denver Scholarship Program

  • Sponsored by the Denver chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
  • One $2,500 and two $1,000 scholarships “for LGBTQ high school seniors and their straight allies to recognize those students who are beacons in their communities, to encourage them to pursue post-secondary education and to promote a positive image of LGBTQ youth”
  • Applicants need a 2.5 GPA or better.
  • For the application, along with FAQs, go to www.pflagdenver.org
  • Deadline: February 28, 2014

What is a Lantern Walk?

The Lantern Walk – The Celebration of St. Martin

In early November, our Lantern Walk affirms symbolically that light can continue to shine even as the light and warmth of the sun are waning. Now light and warmth come more from our homes, and from the fellowship of friends and family. Carrying a light into the darkness in the company of others – as we do during the Lantern Walk – can be reassuring.

American Waldorf schools have adopted the Lantern Walk tradition from its European heritage. The walk is celebrated around the time of Martinmas, November 11.

From France comes the legend of St. Martin, who as a young man passed under an archway in the city of Amiens and found a destitute beggar there. Martin tore his own cape in half, to cover and warm the beggar. After a dream the following night, Martin was convinced he was to devote his life in service of all humankind, and became the patron saint of beggars and outcasts. A gentle and unassuming man, he brought light and warmth to all those whose lives he touched, hence his association with the lantern.

Lantern Walk Mother & Child

DWS Soccer Players Head to State Championships

DWS Soccer Players Head to State Championships

Three High School students from The Denver Waldorf School have been playing on the Denver Christian Boys team this season. Senior Xilal Rima and Juniors Ian Connolly and Matthew Douglas-May will take the field in two playoff games this weekend in Colorado Springs. They are a strong team and beautiful to watch. If they win this weekend, more tournament games will follow. We wish them the best of luck!

2013 DWS Boys Soccer Action

2013 Boys Soccer Block

2013 Boys Soccer

2013 Boys Soccer Header

 

The DWS Junior Class Presents…

The DWS Junior Class Presents…

Junior Class Play Flyer

Friday & Saturday, Oct. 25th & 26th at 7 pm

In ancient times, knowledge was given through stories and parables. Humans instinctively knew the symbols and meaning hidden in the yarns that storytellers told.

As man matured and developed the capacities of reason, our understanding went from instinct to thought. Stories flowed from picture images to the abstract. The way to hold this thinking was through the development of an abstract alphabet, to written words, to books.

Books then allowed us to form our own pictures, to create dialogue human to human.
It has taken thousands of years to form this knowledge. What if it all suddenly went away? What if we were not allowed to read books and form our own pictures? What if we were not permitted to leave the cinema and talk with one another about what we experienced?

What if our feelings were spoon-fed to us, and our thinking took place without perspective?
Initially, Fahrenheit 451, a novel by Ray Bradbury, was a protest against censorship and government overreach during the Joseph McCarthy/House Un-American Activities (HUAC) Committee hearings of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The play is an updated version that takes on the power of technology and the two-dimensional nature of television. 

The 11th Grade will perform this fast-paced, challenging play on Friday and Saturday, October 25th and 26th at 7:00 p.m. in the Ginny Boone Oppenheim Festival Hall. All are invited and encouraged to support our students’ performance of this important work.

by Mr. David Johnson, Director

Back-to-School Preparations

Back-to-School Preparations

It’s that time of year! The Denver Waldorf School administrative offices are buzzing with activity as we prepare to welcome all of our new families and welcome back all of our returning families.

Emails with information and forms will be sent out on Monday, August 5th. If your student’s 2013-14 registration is complete and you do not receive your Back-to-School email, please contact Christa Gustafson, Main Office Manager, at 303-777-0531 x 100 or dws@denverwaldorf.org. We’re looking forward to a great year!

A Waldorf Spotlight on Rachel Ladasky

A Waldorf Spotlight on Rachel Ladasky, The Denver Waldorf “Bluebell Garden” Nursery

476095_10151122445125550_1500954163_o-1The Denver Waldorf School is opening a second, off-site nursery school to enhance our early childhood education program and meet the growing demand for Waldorf education in our area. We have located a church site at 17th and Dahlia in Park Hill and, if all goes according to plan, The Denver Waldorf School will open “Bluebell Garden” in fall of 2013. In preparation, The College of Teachers has offered Rachel Ladasky, Morning Glory Lead Assistant, the position of Lead Nursery Teacher and she has accepted.

6881168698_afe57bd532_o-1Rachel first came to The Denver Waldorf School as an intern in Morning Glory Kindergarten and then worked as a substitute and Lyre Assistant. She attended a Waldorf nursery school herself and was also a volunteer French teacher and substitute at River Song Waldorf School for two years. Rachel holds a BA in French and Education from Colorado State University and a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Waldorf Education from Antioch University New England. Congratulations, Rachel!

A Conversation With Rachel Ladasky …

Hi Rachel! Tell us about the name for the new nursery site?

“Bluebell flowers are known as fairy thimbles. As the fable goes, you ring a bluebell to gather the fairies in the forest. Bluebells are such delicate, sweet little flowers. They have this connection to the fairy world and the spirit world and that’s right where the little children are, still connected to the heavenly realm.”

Why did you want to become a Waldorf early childhood education teacher?

“In early childhood, everything is new and magical and exciting to them and watching it unfold is just incredible. The Denver Waldorf School Nursery Program is such a bridge between home life and Kindergarten. It’s their first experience of school, the whole world is new to them and they’re safe and secure. There is beauty everywhere and it’s a good place to be. I get to help them grow into themselves and be happy and secure.”

What are you most looking forward to next year?

“I’m really excited to have my own class and I’m really ready for it.
The space is so sweet and warm and cozy, it’s the perfect space to hold the children and gently introduce them to Waldorf education.”

You have spent time in more mainstream educational environments ~ what draws you to Waldorf education?

“Waldorf is so much more heartfelt and purposeful. Not just with the children but among the faculty as well. There is no way I could go back after experiencing and seeing first-hand the love the teachers here have for the children. Having such a strong philosophical foundation that we’re all working out of is so unique. To be in a school that honors the children’s development to help their growth versus focused on what they need to know, that is truly beautiful.
Here, it’s magical and it’s fun and it feeds my soul.”
~Interview by Jennifer Parker, Community Development Coordinator

Fall 2013 Middle and High School Cross Country

Fall 2013 Middle and High School Cross Country

runningclubCalling all runners!

The Denver Waldorf Middle and High School Cross Country teams are beginning to gear up for the fall season.

Our inaugural season last fall was a success and we’re looking for our second year to be even better. If you are interested in participating on the Cross Country team next fall, please let Jennifer Parker know at communicate@denverwaldorf.org so that we can add you to our email distribution lists.

All you need is a pair of good running shoes!

Informal, optional practices for both Middle School and High School runners will begin on Tuesday, July 23 and will occur every Tuesday and Friday morning from 7:00 am ~ 8:00 am.

The team will meet at the Boat House at Washington Park. Just show up when you can. Depending on the interest, we may increase the frequency of the runs after the first couple of weeks.

Formal practices will begin Monday, August 19 (time and location TBD).
The first race of the season is Thursday, Sept. 5.

For questions or summer workout ideas, please contact any of the coaches:

Oza and Milan Klanjsek – oza_miki@comcast.net
Tim Williams – timbobwilliams@gmail.com

We hope to see you there!