Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 10 SMC Questions

So a while back we had one of our fabulous SMC Knightchats where people (this time parents of prospective students) got to ask us their questions and we got to talk about all that is awesome about SMC. Needless to say, the parents had A LOT of questions, and I realized that many of them were wondering similar things. So, for your convenience and pleasure, I present to you the top 10 questions asked at the SMC Parent Knightchat (and you can click some of the question titles for more information!)

[P.S. our next parent chat is THIS THURSDAY at 7pm and our next student chat is Thursday March 24 at 7:30 pm. Click here to get to the chat page!]

1. Application Deadlines:
Deadline for regular decision: February 1st
EA2 Decisions will be mailed January 26th
Regular Action Decisions will be mailed March 17th

2. What sets SMC apart from other colleges?

If you ask a handful of SMC students what makes our college unique, you’ll get a huge array of answers from the courses and professors to the location and clubs. However, one thing that almost all SMC students will tell you is special about being a student here is the sense of community on campus. It often sounds cliché or even fake, but spend a few hours on campus and you will realize that SMC is a very special place to be and it is filled with amazing people to live, work, and have fun with. Somehow, students have come from different parts of the country, bring different experiences, and have different interests, and yet we all come together to make SMC what it is.

3. Double majors

A lot of people ask about whether or not students can have a double major while studying at SMC. The answer is yes! Double majors are challenging, of course, but certainly possible. The most important thing for students wishing to double major to do is talk to their advisor(s) early on about setting up a 4 year plan that allows the student to complete all major requirements as well as the Liberal Studies Requirements (LSRs).

On a related note, a student is required to declare a major by the end of sophomore year and a large percentage of incoming first year students come in with an “exploratory” major. For the first two years, it is also fairly easy to change majors and paths of study. Once students complete sophomore year, it is more challenging to change majors but may still be possible.

4. Study abroad

One out of every three SMC students studies abroad during their time here. Almost every student who goes abroad does so during his/her junior year for one semester. Of course, there are exceptions and a handful of seniors may go abroad for their first semester or some juniors may pick year-long programs abroad.

SMC makes it extremely easy to study abroad. Our study abroad coordinator, Peggy Imai, knows everything there is to know about going abroad. She can provide students with information on almost any country and study abroad program that is out there. The steps to applying for study abroad are simply laid out and, provided students are organized and prepared, the process goes very smoothly.

Where can you go? EVERYWHERE! Students have studied all over Europe from Denmark to Greece, in South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, and even some programs in the USA.

Fun Fact: SMC still provides students 100% of their financial aid money when they study abroad

5. Internships

A typical SMC student receives at least 10 internship emails a week. We are encouraged to hold at least one internship during our 4 years, but many students hold a new internship each summer or earn college credit by participating in an internship during the semester. Internships are available locally or country-wide with alumni in just about every field of study, and getting your internship approved for credit (even if it is over the summer) is fairly easy as well. Joanne LaBrake Muehlberger is the intern coordinator for the college and works with each student to find internship opportunities and placements.

Extra: the career development office will help students with everything from resume building and cover letter writing to interview skills and professional etiquette.

6. When can you visit?

There are a handful of special dates for accepted students to visit SMC. We have 3 Accepted Student Academic Days this semester: 2/28, 3/7, and 3/28. We also have 2 Accepted Student Open House programs (this is a full day program) of 4/9 and 4/16.

Campus tours are also run weekly, every hour on Tues-Thurs and every half hour on Monday and Friday. There are also information sessions and a few Saturday tour options. Students may also sign up for an interview (hosted Monday-Friday) to meet an admissions counselor, ask questions, and help SMC get to know you better.

To get set up for any of our visit programs, visit our website or call 800-SMC-8000.

7. Financial aid (FAFSA, when does it come, loans, work study, etc)

We are always getting questions about financial aid. The first thing to know is that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be completed by February 15, if that is possible. This form can be filled out and submitted online. This will ensure that students are evaluated for loans, grants, and work-study offerings.

ALL students are considered AUTOMATICALLY for merit-based aid. These awards will be sent to students within a few weeks of an acceptance letter being sent out. Awards range from $1,000 to full scholarship. Book award students are eligible for additional scholarships ranging from $5,000 to full scholarship.

8. Athletics

SMC is a Division II school for all sports with the exception of the ski teams (Nordic and alpine). Our 21 varsity sports teams participate in the NE-10 conference (and many sports compete against teams in other conferences).

The best first step for a student interested in playing a varsity sport at SMC is to fill out the prospective student athlete form on the athletics website, and to get in contact with the team’s coach. Many students have the opportunity to meet with a coach during a visit to the college, and some teams host overnight recruiting visits with prospective student-athletes.

Fun Fact: SMC also has club and intramural sports for those students who don’t want the large commitment of a varsity team.

9. Saint Michael’s as a Catholic College

Many people ask whether a student who is not Catholic will feel uncomfortable at SMC. The unanimous answer to this is no. About 60% of our students are Catholic, but of the 40% who are not, many still attend regular services either at our chapel or in a nearby community. All SMC students are respectful of the religious affiliations of others, and Campus Ministry will help any student find a place to worship or additional resources regarding faith and spirituality.

Being a Catholic school is, of course, a large part of what makes SMC the great place that it is. The Edmundites, the French order that founded SMC, hold very strong values of community and service that truly show through all of the clubs, organizations, teams, and classes on campus. Whether a student is Catholic or not, their experience at SMC will somehow be influenced by Edmundite values.

10. Clubs/social activities/volunteering/weekends

There is NO shortage of things to do at SMC. Students can tap dance, fight fires, play with rescued greyhounds, have a child they mentor, ice climb, attend a Zumba class, become a class office, and EVERYTHING in between. Check out the Student Life section of our website for more information on all of the activities for students.

On the weekends, campus is always full of activity, as students here don’t go home. Every Thursday afternoon, campus receives an email with a listing of the social events for the coming weekend. These can be anything from pizza and a movie to tie-dye, ice cream sundae parties, or rock band tournaments. Socials happen in all areas of campus and are completely free!

Best part of the weekend? Every Friday and Saturday night the Residence Life staff grills FREE FOOD in the Quad for all students. That’s right, FREE.

Hope you enjoyed the top 10. As always, questions can be directed here, my VYou Account, or my formspring. I've been getting a lot of questions lately and I'm trying to keep up/space them out, so check back if you haven't had yours answered yet.

Stay warm!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I just got accepted into SMC as an intended Psych major. I'm really interested in, at some point, doing study abroad. Have you studied abroad...

YES I studied abroad last fall in Florence, Italy and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I've been itching to travel more and go back to Italy since I returned last Christmastime. Study abroad is one of those things that I can't support enough for anyone and everyone that can work it into their four years (everyone can if they try!). The classes are so interesting, the places you go and people you meet are amazing, and the experience really is life changing.

You can scroll back to last fall (2009) in my blog (the archives are listed to the right side) and read about all of my adventures in Florence and beyond!

What do you want to know about SMC?

Monday, January 17, 2011

What other blog do you author?

I helped to create and now contribute to the SMC athletics blog. It's a collection of student athletes posting about the activities of their teams.

Check it out here

Questions? Answers

Friday, January 14, 2011

Formspring: swimming question

sorry the question isn't in the title. I'm always having to repost my answers here because they accidentally go to another blog I author..fail. Here's the answer and you can check out the full question on my formspring page!

I think coming onto the team with those times is just fine, especially since freshman tend to improve the most out of anyone since there is such a big change in practice style.

We practice 5 days a week (8 practices are offered but not all are required) for 2 hours. Typically we do about 30 minutes of dryland training and swim in the other hour and a half. The yardage can go anywhere from 4000-7000 depending on the day,the set, and your training group/lane.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have more questions!

What do you want to know about SMC?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Reasons SMC is GREAT

Hey all,

So I have to admit, this blog is not my own original work. We recently got an email from Mike Samara, one of the Deans of the college, with a "year in review" type of thing about SMC. As I was reading, I thought "hey, this is some stuff people might want to know". So I'm putting it here for you to enjoy.

Before I do that, I told you about my new VYou account last post and never linked you to it, so it's linked here now.

Moving on the things that are awesome about SMC.

672 students made Dean’s List last semester and the average grade point average for all undergraduates in the fall of 2010 was 3.11.

Orientation was flawless this year largely due to the energy and commitment of our orientation board and leaders.

Residence Hall staff has been superb and were well-prepared with an excellent staff training program last August.

Student Government’s executive board members and class officers have been outstanding.

Approximately 400 M.O.V.E. volunteers performed over 13,000 community service hours during fall semester 2010 with a solid commitment from our first year class.

Wilderness programs drew approximately 350 participants.

27 SMC Fire Department members and 28 SMC Rescue Squad students responded to 211 Fire calls and 669 Rescue calls during fall semester which includes calls from the campus but mostly from several surrounding communities.

Fall semester featured approximately 30 programs that were part of our GOT SKILLS efforts promoting human dignity and diversity. Nearly 3,000 were in attendance at these events.

"One promise that we make to each other at Saint Michael’s College is that we can count on one another to be treated with decency and respect. GOT SKILLS programming attempts to reinforce this important message. Faculty, staff and student leadership collaborate widely to sponsor programming which brought such programs as Dr. Paul Farmer, the Dear Hilary Campaign, the Student Association sponsored “Not in my House” panel, and Common Ground and Campus Ministry’s prayer vigil drawing about three hundred outside of the Chapel remembering LGBT victims of bullying that had taken their own lives across the country."

Campus Ministry’s Retreat programming was very successful in the fall with about 150 students participating in four Leap and Emmaus Retreat weekends. Further, about 30 students were trained as Liturgical Ministers last fall.

Student athlete leadership along with Athletic Department personnel created and implemented an outstanding new student athlete orientation program.

The 99% Academic Success Rate (ASR) for Saint Michael’s student athletes is the best in the Northeast Ten Conference and the second best in Division II nationally. The ASR is the number of varsity athletes who graduate within a 4 to 6 year period.

1571 students attended and participated in programs and activities sponsored by our Alcohol and Other Drug Task Force which is committed to raising awareness and promoting educational outcomes regarding the pervasive cultural issues associated with the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs.

Our Residence Hall Association was very active and involved during fall 2010 reporting high attendance at weekly hall programming activities. For example, 331 students participated in a Pizza Putt night on a Friday night in the fall, just one of many activities sponsored by the RHA.

We continued a very strong floor visitor program with a member of our faculty and a staff member teaming up with each first year hall RA to work with every wing of first year residents in the quad. During the fall of 2010, 120 programs occurred with 1,895 students attending programs on the following topics:
o Transition Issues
o Sustainability
o Alcohol and Other Drugs
o Safety/Sexual Assault
o Diversity, Cultures, and Globalization
o Stress Management

Our First Year Student program office and residence life staff sponsored 90 weekend hall programs attracting 3,931 students.

Late night weekend cook-outs remain popular attracting between 400-600 students each Friday and Saturday night between 11pm and 1am outdoors in the quad.

Larger campus wide programs like comedian Nick Cannon, the Halloween dance, the Welcome Back Bash, Friday Knight Dry, and Jib Fest were very well attended.

So there's just a little taste of why SMC is my favorite place to be. I've linked you to just about everything I can in there too, so click away and learn why SMC can be your favorite place too!

My life continues with doubles for swimming. We returned from DC on Sunday and were back in the pool on campus yesterday. There are 3 meets in the next week so we're working hard to get ready for those. I'll keep you updated.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Oh hey there 2011

Hey all,

So here it is, 2011, the dreaded graduation year. I should probably be filled with wise words on the passing of another semester, looking to the future, where I've been and where I'm going. Maybe I am, but I'm not feeling so inspired to share them just yet. I think that happens a lot. I feel like I want to change the voice of my blog, or the topics, or the feel. Sometimes I worry that I'm not reaching enough people or helping enough people. So maybe in 2011 I won't completely change my life, but hopefully I can impact the lives of some others while making little changes to mine. And hopefully I can share those experiences here with all of you.

In the meantime I've got a new toy and a new way to use it. I'm the proud owner of a Macbook now, which is lovely since my old computer didn't work unless it was plugged in. So with this new treat comes new powers (and thus a new responsibility). I'm going to be a lot more savvy with videos now, since I have cool video editing things on here AND since I have a built in camera.

This brings me to the newest way to get your questions answered by me: VYou! Now you can go to my page, ask me questions, and see me answer them in video form. Don't worry, you can still post here, my formspring, the SMC facebook, SMC 2015 facebook, or anywhere else you can think of. This is just a new fun way to get your questions answered and actually see me answering them (in case you didn't believe it was me last time)

So ask away and I'll check in soon!