I came across an article I found interesting. It lists the 17 biggest differences between college today and college 10 years ago and it’s amazing what a difference a decade can make. As a mother of two children under 5, I can only imagine how much more it will change in the next 10 years.
For space reasons I am only going to list four of the ways college campuses have changed and these are the issues we find ourselves addressing most with the domestic and international students we work with at International College Counselors.
I’ve listed the two points that interest me the most at the top but otherwise this is exactly from the article. I have also included the URL below for those who’d like to read the entire piece.
1. Obsession about majors. Many schools encourage students to declare majors right when they come in. Many parents discourage students from considering majors in which there isn’t a clear path to a high-paying (or, at least, some kind of) job. And many students think it’s a point of special pride to do a double (or sometimes even triple) major. Not to mention picking up a minor or two on the side.
2. Longer time to degree. The four-year college degree has largely faded, despite much hue and cry: Today, five, six, or even seven years is more common. Some reasons: more onerous requirements, bad advising, students working while at college, and students taking more semesters off. But the gravy train might be coming to an end: States are beginning to place caps on the number of semesters students can attend while paying in-state tuition. Hey, times are tough everywhere (especially in California and in Florida).
3. Community college explosion. Community colleges are flourishing, with new ones sprouting up all over the place. Indeed, more than 40 percent of U.S. college students now are enrolled at community (or junior or two-year) colleges. As before, community colleges are attracting students who are interested in getting associate degrees or some college experience before transferring to four-year colleges. But in a new twist, some students at four-year colleges now are picking up courses at community colleges from time to time–when they want to be closer to home, need less expensive credits, want to take classes with a professor rather than a TA, or can’t get into classes they need at their own school.
4. New online opportunities. In addition to distance-learning institutions, such as the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, and Devry University, a number of big-name schools have put up selected courses at free, “opencourseware” sites. This is something great: top-notch professors in your own living room at no charge! Check out www.oyc.yale.edu (for Yale University), www.ocw.mit.org (for MIT), www.webcast.berkeley.edu (for UC-Berkeley), and www.ocw.consortium.org (for a general, worldwide directory).
17 Ways College Campuses Are Changing http://www.usnews.com/blogs/professors-guide/2009/05/20/17-ways-college-campuses-are-changing.html
If you have any other college admissions questions for a college counselor, I’d be happy to answer them. Please write me here or at my personal email which can be found on my International College Counselors college counseling website.
Mandee Heller Adler, Founder and Principal of International College Counselors