Posts Tagged ‘university’

7 Ways to Choose Your College Classes

Categories: College Life

Even if you’ve known you wanted to graduate college with a degree in bio-physics since you were 7 years old, depending on which college or university you wind up at, there’s a good chance you’ll have to take some classes outside of your major. There are core classes you’ll be require to get credits for, and even just extra credits you’ll have to fill.

So, how do you choose classes that are out of your normal comfort zone? You’re in luck because we have to have 7 ways to choose college courses outside of your major:

1. Peruse through the entire course guide
If you’re at a larger university, this can be a daunting task, but you never know what you’ll find! There are so many intriguing, even fun, college courses being offered these days (like all of these pop culture courses).  Make sure you look through all the classes so you don’t pass over something that might be right up your alley.

2. Choose by professor
Did you have a professor who just taught the most interesting lectures on what could be the most tedious subject ever? If you found a professor who can keep your eyes open and neurons-a-firing, don’t let him/her slip through your fingers. It’s kind of like what your grandma would say about your girlfriend, “She’s a keeper.” Find another class they teach and sign on up.

3. Ask your friends
Ask your friends if they’ve taken any classes that they recommend you take. Your friends are a great source of information because they know you better than any counselor or adviser. If they think you’ll enjoy Mummies 101, you should probably trust their judgment. That is, if you trust their judgment in judging what you’d like.

4. Do some research
Course selection is almost an entire course within itself. And just like any other class, you should probably do some research. If faculty reviews are public at your school, take a look-see. Insight into what others think about a class can help inform your decisions. You can also always hit up RateMyProfessors.com.

5. Take a class outside of your comfort zone
One of the best ways to expand your mind and widen your view of the world, is to take classes about things that might make you uncomfortable at first. Take a class in a religion that you don’t practice or a history class about a country you’ve never heard of before. While your major provides the opportunity to focus in on one field, your entire college experience is about widening your horizons.

6. Channel your inner artist
A lot of us have inner artists that come out to breathe less and less frequently as we get older. So, college is a great time to give your inner artist some oxygen. Take a painting class, bongo class, creative writing class–whatever it is–just sign up; give your inner artist some room to walk around and express itself!

7. Does it fit in your schedule?
The college student’s MO is creating a school schedule that fits perfectly with their nap schedule. Or work schedule. Or whatever. The cool part about college is that you have the liberty, most of the time, to design what time you wake up and what days you wake up. You could schedule a semester with no classes on Fridays, or no classes before noon. That’s why college is magical.

How have you chosen your classes? Leave a comment below!

 

Ranking Colleges the Moneyball Way

Inside Higher Ed‘s Ryan Craig recently penned an article about implementing the same principles the Oakland A’s general manager, Billy Beane, used to form a better baseball team on, ahem, valuing colleges. It’s called Moneyball, or in this case, Moneycollege.

The concept of  ”moneyball” was that Beane hired and fired his players based on statistics that, although reliable, were generally being ignored by the Old Boys’ Club in favor of less reliable facts and mere opinions.

So how does this relate to college?

Well, Craig argues that just like baseball in the recent past, higher educations focuses on “what’s easy to measure.” In baseball, values of players were assigned based on many superficial “numbers”–height, physique, age, speed of pitches, you know, all the pretty things in life. In higher education, Craig says we’re basically focusing on the equivalent to what they were wrongly concentrating on in baseball: research, rankings and real estate. These are all countable measurements and easily comparable. But unfortunately, those don’t even come close to the measurements that should be taken into account like, uh,  student learning and student outcomes. Duh. Aren’t you curious to know how your college ranks in getting its students hired and happy and healthy following college graduation?

While so many schools are pouring energy into these antiquated measurements, like how many big buildings they have or how much research their faculty can produce in the smallest about of time, they are ignoring what is actually occurring in the academic landscape. States are cutting their budgets, people are afraid to go into debt for an education they’re afraid isn’t worth the reward, and more and more people are taking their education online.

Just like Billy Beane was struggling with a paltry budget to create a World Series-winning team, colleges with small budgets are in the same boat. How can they compete in this game of rankings if they don’t have the research, rankings and real state of colleges with bigger budgets? Well, maybe in the future they’ll be able to beat the system by playing moneycollege. If they can gather the data showing the right stats–students on-base percentage, or in academic terms,  student success rate, who knows how the higher ed game can change.

Which college statistics are most important to you?

15 Most Artistically Inclined Colleges and Universities

Are you the type of person who sees a white wall and gets instantly inspired to paint a mural? Or, while you’re supposed to be paying attention to your teacher talking about the fall of the United States economy and our sad plummet from world power, do you happen to be snapping your fingers to the song you’re silently writing in your head? Or, when your mother asks, “Why in the world are you banging your head against the wall?” you respond with solemn remorse that it’s your desperate attempt to rid of your writer’s block so you can finish your Samuel Beckett-inspired one man puppet play once and for all!?

Then perhaps these schools are for you. The Daily Beast produced this list of colleges and universities that are the most creatively inclined.

The rankings were drawn based on how imaginative the schools’ student bodies are, the creative atmosphere the colleges foster, and the percentage of students majoring in visual or performing arts as well as the number of official campus clubs with artistic missions.

1. California Institute of the Arts

2. Emerson College

3. Berklee College of Music

4. New York University 

5. Mannes Colleges (The New School)

6. Muhlenberg College 

7. SUNY College at Oneonta 

8. University of Southern California

9. Colorado College 

10. Vassar College

11. Occidental College

12. Kenyon College

13. Wesleyan University

14. Whitman College

15. Cornell University 

Are you an artistically inclined student? What schools are you looking into?