A peek into the lives of those who learn, teach, research and work at the College.
June 14, 2013 by Admit It!
Admit It! The waitlist process can seem like a never-ending one. We have been faithfully bringing you updates on our waitlist progress. We are hoping this will be among the last of those updates.
Freshmen: This year we’ve found that more students are withdrawing their offer after depositing than is normal. As a result, we have been able to make a few additional offers since the late May “closeout” email. Those students have been contacted and we are awaiting their replies. We continue to monitor the status of the freshman class daily. We are fairly close to being exactly where we need to be. Just as before, any student who we wish to offer admission to will be contacted by phone and/or email. We hope to have the class finalized by the end of the month.
Students who are admitted now are not disadvantaged in the housing or Orientation processes. The other offices on campus are aware that students are still being admitted, and they work with those students to complete the necessary paperwork.
Transfers: We continue to make progress with the transfer waitlist. There are likely a few more offers to be made in the next day or so. We do anticipate that all students on the transfer waitlist will receive an email from our office early next week with an update. We will continue to monitor the status of the transfer class in the coming days to see if any additional admission offers are needed.
Hopefully this should do it for the 2012-2013 admission cycle. Now onwards to 2013-2014. If there are other topics you’d like to see us address over the summer in upcoming Admit It! blogs, please feel free to submit your ideas as comments.
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission
June 14, 2013 by Ariana Guy
Following Accounts of Statecraft provided by guest bloggers: Kelsey Sakumoto and Tom Scott-Sharoni
May 20, 2013
I look upon Monday, May 20, 2013 as a day of expectation, disappointment, trust and betrayal. This was a day that brought some National Security Fellows closer; yet tore countless friendships apart. It was a pivotal day.
Okay, so enough with the dramatics – this is what happened: the National Security Institute participated in Statecraft, an online simulation of international politics. It normally runs for seven to eight weeks, but our class got to test the brand new Statecraft Live, which runs the whole simulation in one day. We were split into “countries” and then given the monumental task of developing our militaries, negotiating foreign policy and improving the economy – all while pleasing our various domestic populations. There were six countries: NoVA, Canadia, the Kingdom of Alistar, Disneyworld, People’s Republic of the Cape, and N.K.A.C. (an acronym whose meaning was never made clear to me). Everything was great at first, with the trading and the United Nations meetings; but circumstances turned sour in no time at all.
We discovered how detrimental the lack of transparency truly is, as nations refused to trust one another, and all started moving towards a nuclear arms race. The day culminated with Canadia forcefully overtaking a neutral territory, high in resources, sparking unity amongst all other nations with plans for nuclear war. Of course, that’s when our class time ended, so we didn’t go any further than that (no war stories here, folks) – but we all ended the day with fond memories and the realization of how real international theories can be.
It was such a valuable experience, being in the position of an actual leader, with actual consequences. It was also beneficial to distinguish the diplomats from the war hawks – a distinction that will haunt classmates for years to come, as I refuse to let Canadia forget their destructive behavior!
Okay, now I’m officially done with the dramatics.
June 13, 2013 by Ariana Guy
Following Account of Sherman Patrick Provided by Guest Blogger: Sam Glover
Following Account of Stacie Oliver Provided by Guest Blogger: Evan Meltzer
Following Account of Melanie Nakagawa Provided by Guest Blogger: Jimmy Zhang
Following Account of NCTC Provided by Guest Blogger: Ryan Neuhard
May 17, 2013
Friday morning, the National Security Fellows visited the U.S. Capitol for a lesson in good, old-fashioned politics. We convened in the historic chamber of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where we were welcomed by Mrs. Meg Murphy who works in the Capitol and knows absolutely everything about Capitol Hill operations. In fact, she pointed out how we were sitting in seats that were once assigned to both Barack Obama and Joe Biden (in addition to other senators – former and current). She also let us in on some fun facts concerning the decor and senators’ favorite snacks. After Mrs. Murphy, we talked with Democratic staffer Sherman Patrick of Senator Chris Coon’s staff.
Sherman, a William & Mary grad, spoke to the Fellows about his role in working for the committee as well as his personal viewpoints and frustrations. On a daily basis, Sherman collects information to assist Senator Coons in his policy making. He regrets the current partisan divide on foreign policy and explained how the press has the potential to make senators say different things, as everyone wants a good camera angle when it comes to an important hearing. Ultimately, Sherman thinks that Congress needs better vision and a reevaluation of its priorities to be most efficient.
Stacie Oliver, the national security policy adviser to Republican Senator Bob Corker, spoke with us next. One of the interesting points she discussed was the importance of military equipment sales to foreign governments. In selling armaments, the United States maintains pressure points on other countries, inspiring international change. She also noted Congress’ increase in polarization following the 2006 midterm elections, which makes creating bipartisan solutions to foreign policy issues difficult. I particularly liked how Oliver found her degree in Education quite beneficial, as creating order in a classroom of young children takes the same tactical expertise as keeping the attention of government officials in a briefing.
Lastly, we met with Melanie Nakagawa on a visit to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Nakagawa was a senior staffer on the committee for many years, specializing in environmental security and clean technology advocacy, until she was recently selected by Secretary John Kerry to join the policy planning staff at the State Department. According to Melanie, it is vital for the international community to cooperate and promote access to water in regions of Africa and the Middle East. Difficulty or inability to access water resources increases the probability of regional conflicts, or different political groups fighting to gain control of these resources.
In sum, during our visit to the committee, we were able to appreciate the role of the legislature in coordinating foreign policy, and the importance of bipartisan cooperation in addressing national security challenges domestically and abroad. Furthermore, Mrs. Murphy, the woman who welcomed us to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee room, is also mother to our TA, Kathleen Murphy. D.C. strikes again! I swear the connections here are never ending.
We then drove to the discretely placed, unmarked, security-laden facility that houses the National Counterterrorism Center (N.C.T.C.). We had the opportunity to speak with several counterterrorism specialists and tour some of the building. It was indescribably cool. After leaving N.C.T.C., we proceeded to board the bus back home – but not without experiencing the infamous and ever-present D.C. traffic! Nonetheless, we made it to the Buchanan Apartments (or to our respective metro stops) in due time, excited for a weekend of rest and…rest.
June 6, 2013 by Edward Irish
Among the many complex paths of financial aid procedures, perhaps no other rivals the multitude of repayment options for student loans. New federal legislation seems to appear almost weekly, which makes keeping abreast of the rules challenging for many borrowers. Compounding the changes is the unfortunate and frustrating fact that Congress has decided to select winners and losers in the process. The difference between falling into a “good” vs “bad” federal category can be staggering.
Federal student loan repayment regulations greatly favor those who go into public service employment and non-profit employment vs. those in a regular private sector position. Consider two students, Amanda and Sam, who both graduate with a $50,000 federal student loan debt. Amanda decides to become a public school teacher with a starting salary of $40,000. She qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which will allow her to pay off her loan by making 10 years of loan repayments based on 15% of her discretionary income.
Since Amanda did not work during her last year in college and therefore had no income, her loan repayment per month for her first year will actually be $0. For the second, it will only be about $27 per month as her second year will be based on the September-December (approximately $13,333) portion of her first year of teaching. In years 3-10, she will repay $360 per month. Over the ten years, she will repay a total of $34,884.
Sam accepts a job a manager in a retail store. For his repayment, in contrast, he has several options, all of which pale in comparison to the bargain which Amanda receives. The standard 10-year repayment term for him is a loan of 6.8%, which results in a $575 per month repayment for a total repayment amount of $69,000, just about twice of that for Amanda. He can lower his monthly payments by repaying over 25 rather than 10 years, but the total repaid will be even larger. Moreover, depending on this plan, he may have to pay taxes on any amount not repaid at the end of 25 years. Amanda’s Public Service plan does not have a similar requirement.
Unfair…you betcha!…but those are the rules. Take advantage of them if you can.
See you next time.
June 5, 2013 by Arvin Alaigh
Before getting into the meat of this next entry, I would like to formally redact a statement that I issued in my last blog post. If my memory serves me correctly, I listed “eating Buffalo Wild Wings” as one of my hobbies – it is with a heavy heart (and most likely clogged arteries) that I must announce, as of Thursday, May 23rd, Buffalo Wild Wings and myself have decided to go our separate ways. Though we certainly had our fun over the past few years, it is time that our relationship must meet its end. You are undoubtedly asking yourselves how a holy union could possibly end so abruptly… Well allow me to be your muse.
I, Arvin Alaigh, have been a buffalo wing enthusiast for as long as I can remember. This particular Thursday, I was entranced by the temptation of 60-cent/wing night, so much so that earlier this day, I made the conscious decision of eating a light lunch. As a result, I was understandably famished by the time we finally headed to BWW around 7 PM. Once there I absolutely crushed my twelve boneless hot wings in about six minutes flat, scarfing them down with a tangible intensity that still haunts me today. This proved to be my ultimate undoing. The events that followed this “meal” were excruciatingly painful. Apparently, the Buffalo Wild Wings hot sauce has a corrosive property unbeknownst to most customers – I had the privilege of experiencing this firsthand. For the next few hours, I could feel my stomach and intestines slowly incinerating at the hands of this seemingly poisonous liquid. I spent the rest of the evening grimacing about in bed, chugging Pepto-Bismol, watching reruns of The OC on my computer and begging to God for mercy. I still felt aftershocks of my chicken wings the morning after, and it was then that I made the executive decision to sever ties with the restaurant. I acknowledge that I cannot blame anyone else for my misgivings, and I assume full responsibility for all events that transpired.
My first two weeks in Washington were mentally and physically exhausting, but in the most rewarding way possible. The Leadership & Community Engagement class consisted primarily of lectures, discussions and site visits. Though there was no set daily schedule, our activities fell between about 9 AM – 4 PM every day – the bulk of this time was spent visiting various individuals around the District. We ended up having eighteen site visits, most of which consisted of individuals representing their respective organizations in the nonprofit and/or political sectors. I could individually chronicle each detail of every site visit, but I feel that may be somewhat monotonous, and my goal with this blog is to secure my readers’ interests. For this reason, I’ll break down my top eight site visits (in no particular order) accompanied by brief descriptions –
- Class of 1975 alumna Karen Schultz was our first visit of the Institute, and undoubtedly she was one of the class’s favorites. Her political career was highlighted by the hotly contested race for the 27th District of Virginia in November of 2007. Though she ended up losing in a widely controversial fight, she gained much insight and expertise on how elections are run, much of which she shared with our class. But in my opinion, the most appealing aspect of Ms. Schultz was her authenticity and genuineness; frankly, she was one of the nicest, most sincere individuals with whom we had met. She has also been a faculty member at Shenandoah University since 1981, having served as the Director of the Institute for Government and Public Service at the university since 2009.
- Mike Henry is currently the Chief of Staff for Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, whose primary expertise lies in managing campaigns, boasts an impressive resume with a wealth of experience in local, state, federal and even presidential elections. In addition to this, he also worked with the ONE Campaign, a nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to ending extreme poverty around the world. Mike was relatively soft-spoken, yet he captivated the class with stories from his days managing campaigns, comparing them to his time at ONE. He also shared valuable insight on effective leadership qualities, speaking at length to Senator Kaine’s abilities as a leader and an effective agent of change.
- We met with Mickey Bergmen of the Aspen Institute on the third day of our site visits. He is the Executive Director of the Global Alliances program at the Aspen Institute, which serves as “the Institute’s expert platform for establishing and implementing partnerships between the Aspen Institute, US government and public offices, the US private sector, and local counterparts and communities throughout the world.” His work specifically deals with promoting private-sector relationships as a means of assisting relationships between nations with little diplomatic interactions, such as Israel and Palestine. He quickly won over our class with his kind and jovial nature, captivating us with many stories from his adventures facilitating diplomacy around the world. My personal favorite set of anecdotes was regarding his January visit to North Korea – he explained the dynamic of the government and its officials, and told several humanizing stories of people with whom he had met. He pointed out how Western society tends to villainize North Koreans, but his interactions with them showed that they were ordinary people, just like us. This was a theme throughout all of Mickey’s anecdotes – though we have our emotional differences propagated by our respective individual identities, at the end of the day, we are all humans. Regardless of whether we’re Israeli, Palestinian, North Korean, Russian or American, we will laugh, cry and emote, and it was refreshing to see Mickey’s candor in discussing this. In summary, Aspen was a phenomenal site visit. Though I am not particularly interested in mediating foreign relations, Mickey’s personability and knowledge made it one of the most captivating and enjoyable site visits of the two weeks.
- The Millennium Challenge Corporation is a foreign aid agency that was first commissioned by Congress in 2004, so it is still relatively new. Essentially, it distributes very large sums of money (usually in the hundreds of millions of dollars) to developing countries over a certain period of time. A nation’s eligibility is determined by its score on 17 different indicators under three categories: Ruling Justly, Investing in People, Economic Freedom. These indicators are compiled by outside parties, such as Freedom House, World Bank Institute, and World Health Organization. As for the site visit itself, it differed greatly from any other that we had – as we entered the office, we were greeted with an array of national flags and portraits of world leaders. Immediately, I felt a certain energy about the office; MCC’s staffers seem to don a motivated, professional aura that was especially fitting for such champions of international development. Our presenters were informative in detailing the specifics of MCC compacts, going in depth on the protocol of how they are granted and implemented. Though it lacked the personable quality that made Mickey and Karen special, we still loved MCC and its work. We witnessed an organization truly excel at what it set out to do – that is, to effectively distribute hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. Out of all of the sites our class visited, I believe that MCC objectively operated on the grandest scale, and as a result generated the greatest number of tangible results for those in need. I feel that their work environment was representative of how the organization itself ran – with great professionalism, efficiency, and aplomb.
Okay because this is a lot longer than I anticipated (and I’m not sure I want this post to be >2000 words), I will post my next four site visits as well as some reflections on my next entry.
~~STAY TUNED ~~
June 5, 2013 by Melody Porter
I was recently invited to share some remarks at the volunteer appreciation event at WindsorMeade, and wanted to pass them along to you, cyber world!
I first started volunteering because of Burger King. My youth group at church had begun a regular Youth Work Day on Saturday mornings, where a bunch of us would pile into the back of our leader’s truck, head to the homes of people who needed repairs and yard work done (but couldn’t do it themselves), and wrangle tools we were unqualified to handle, like hedge trimmers and spackle knives. The idea was that the folks who lived in these homes could stay in them longer, and we’d get a taste of what we knew was good for us – to give to others. Though, as I mentioned, a huge motivator for me was the promise of heading to Burger King afterward, getting a Whopper Jr., and acting like I was cool with a crown on my head. Whatever it takes, right?
Though, of course, you can guess that much more than I expected actually happened in those work days. I got to know some of those people whose homes we went to, and I learned how much I liked them. They’d bring out a tray of lemonade, or offer a rest in the air conditioning for a few minutes, and during that time, I’d tell them about school while they told me about their lives. Quite a few of those folks became long-time beloved by those of us in the youth group, and I remember keenly feeling a special kind of grace from them in the midst of my unpracticed yard work skills.
For many of us, community service begins something like this. We hear of a need and respond to it. Peoples’ yards are overgrown, and we have hedge trimmers; kids are falling behind in math, and we have accountants with free time on Tuesday evenings; families are struggling to get enough protein after a parent lost one of her two jobs, and the synagogue does a peanut butter drive. Problem solved. Right?
In my work in the Office of Community Engagement, we do a lot of service that looks much like what I’ve described. Hundreds of students each year go on alternative break trips and build a house with Habitat for Humanity, or tutor kindergartners each week at Matthew Whaley, or prep and deliver healthy meals to our neighbors in public housing. And that solves the problem, sort of. A family gets a safe, stable and affordable house that they can call home. A child gets the attention that she longs for and needs to be able to progress at school. And a family has the energy they need to focus for the joys and challenges they face every day.
Our goal, though, is that our service goes a little deeper than addressing the challenges before us as a community by solving them as isolated problems, and that our students begin to see the bigger equation. So we make sure they understand the issue ahead of time by having them seek resources and to learn in some depth about that issue. In a place known for its beautiful housing, why do so many struggle to find a permanent home? Why do children need volunteer tutors in kindergarten, when schools are supposed to be fully staffed? What does hunger look like in our community? What policies and choices make each of these struggles a reality for so many of our neighbors and friends?
We take that educational process, and add to it their participation in community service, and conversation with others who are serving along with them to reflect on their experience. Through this process, our students start to see that bigger picture – the master equation, perhaps, or the root causes that lie behind the need for their service in the first place. Then the next time they build, tutor or serve, they might do so better. And ultimately, our hope is that this process equips them to take action on a bigger scale so that the isolated problems don’t have to be solved one by one, but ultimately we can create communities that come together to heal and bring wholeness so that all can reach their full potential, not just stop gaps so that no one falls through.
This may sound like a pretty academic approach. Just get the students to study the issues, talk about it, and keep going back, and boom! things change.
What we know, though, is that this equation of community service can’t be easily reduced to study + service + reflection = change. Because what keeps most of us going back is that elusive, and sometimes unplanned for, connection that comes about when we step outside ourselves to interact with others we might not otherwise have met. When people know that we take them as seriously as we take ourselves, and when we get to know them with honest curiosity, there’s a kind of secret math that makes that whole – the relationships we develop through service – greater than their sum.
For a while after college, I volunteered as a Writer in Residence for a community arts program in my neighborhood in Philadelphia. I have to confess to liking the hoity-toity sound of my title at the time, but what it looked like in reality was me, up in front of a room of fifth graders – some of whom had never written more than a partial sentence and were in fact, more interested in slamming each other up against the wall – grasping at how to teach them to write poetry. As I sought resources for this daunting job, I met with a man who had done similar work in area schools for years. He had actually written the book on it. So he recommended lots of resources to me – including that book he had written – and others that had writing prompts and poem starters. But perhaps most helpfully, he told me that I absolutely had to read Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Friere, a man who was born in Brazil and developed critical pedagogy theory through his work as an educator around the world.
Maybe some of you have read it, too. But just in case, this is the part that blew my mind, and gave me helpful images and terms that helped me better articulate my understanding of what it means to “serve,” through the lens of education. Friere talks about how so often, educators become the “narrating subject” while students become the “listening object,” receptacles of knowledge who are expected to then be able to dish that exact knowledge back out. He calls it the “banking concept of education,” in which students – expected only to “receiv[e], fil[e] and stor[e] the information” are reduced to receivers of knowledge, not those who can explore it, mix it up or transform it in any way. And the outcome of this is that hierarchies between student and teacher are deepened.
What he proposes instead, is an approach focused on inquiry, where dialogue is central between the student and teacher, and where both are changed in the process. And the result is, as he says, “a constant unveiling of reality,” which helps people realize their “vocation of becoming more fully human.”
Of course, he says a lot more than that. But I bring these words to you today because for me, they touch on the soul of not just education, but also community service. I think it was brilliant for that poet to suggest that I read Friere, because the heart of his message isn’t only true about teaching. It points to how we should be interacting with each other, particularly when we’re in contact with people who are in some way different than us. If we do service right, with humility and curiosity, and looking for ways we can all change, service helps us become more in touch with reality, more connected to each other as we break down hierarchies, and it centers us in the deep pursuit of what it means to become fully human.
It puts us in touch with what in South Africa is known as Ubuntu – that people are people through other people, and that we can’t exist as humans without each other. Service isn’t just about the little acts we do, but about the big things that can happen – in our hearts and in our societies – when our vision and perspective is changed like this.
That’s what happened to me when I was hacking away at bushes at the homes of my fellow church members when I was a teenager. And that’s what happened to me in those Philadelphia classrooms, and later as one of the students happened upon me as I gardened in my front yard after class one day – and she continued to stop by and help me water and weed from time to time.
I’m betting that’s what’s happened to you, too, as you’ve been engaged in service with WindsorMeade. Along with so many others who have experienced the broadening that happens beyond what we might expect when we embark on this adventure of growth and love, I am happy to celebrate that with you.
June 4, 2013 by Erik Michel
To those reading this, my name is Erik Michel, but you probably already knew that because my name is already on this post. I’m a member of the Class of 2014 at W&M. Currently, I’m in DC as a New Media Fellow with the W&M DC Summer Institute. The Institute is run through the school’s Washington Office located near Dupont Circle. Before this summer, I’ve only been to two areas of the city: The National Mall and the zoo. But let me tell you, Dupont is a pretty swank place, and it’s right near the heart of the city. For two weeks I spent time in the classroom in Dupont and various site visits all around the city. Now, I’m a week and a half into a 10-week, full-time internship at the DC Shorts Film Festival.
The first two weeks of classes feel like ages ago, but many of the things we learned have stuck with me. Our teacher, Professor Ann Marie Stock, jam-packed our time together with awesome discussions, fun guest lecturers, and really cool site visits (National Geographic, Discovery Channel, C-SPAN, the Newseum, The Smithsonian Museums of American History and of the American Indian, just to name a few). I could tell you countless details about this time, but there’s not enough space here to cover it all. Overall, though, there were two things that I learned over this time. Firstly, don’t go to film school. I’m a Film Studies Major (technically, it doesn’t exist, but I like to pretend it does), so film school seems like the next logical step. But I met quite a few people out in the working world who do film-type things, and the ones that did go to film school even said that it’s not really worth the money you put into it. I’m sure that most people reading this don’t care about the importance, or lack thereof, of film school, but the next thing I say should appeal to anyone reading this.
From National Geographic to the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting (Look it up. It’s pretty cool), one message resonated throughout the week: it is better to do something you love than to get payed for something you don’t enjoy. Sure, it’s a simple message, but it comes from the heart (Arthur reference. I couldn’t help myself.). Some people I know are stuck doing something they think will make them successful and rich, but is a very boring job. Others are stuck doing something they hate for very little money, but I’m sure each one would say the same thing. So have fun with what you’re doing in life. And don’t be dead-set on doing one thing either. Keep your options open.
After the class ended, I said goodbye to Dupont Circle (though I still visit sometimes), and hello to Penn Quarter, where the DC Shorts Office is, just a few blocks East of the White House. The office is small compared to most of my other fellows (except for my office mate and fellow New Media fellow Gina), comfortably fitting only about 6 people, but thankfully, the other people who work there are nice. My supervisor, festival director Jon Gann, has been in the DC area for years, running the festival as it is going into its 10th year. And as things are starting to come together, things are starting to get stressful, but I’m excited for the rest of the summer.
Anyway, I’m sure you’re tired of reading this. It’s mostly a jumble of words. I’ll write more often and not try and squeeze 3.5 weeks into one blog post. Erik out.
June 4, 2013 by Andrew Schwieder
Now that I have finished up my 2nd year at StAs I feel like I now know enough about the British system to comment on it. The first thing that students at StAs will come to know is that your reading is fundamental and the primary source of learning. Now this does not mean that lectures are unimportant or lacking in substance, but they are supplemental to your reading, as opposed to the other way around. The degree of this depends on the type of class, but it still seems to be the case in most social science courses.
Now, an important consideration to keep in mind at StAs is the relative importance of the grades of students in the Programme. Within the British system students are only expected to pass their first two years of stud, a 7 on the 20 point scale (or a D- at W&M) for classes in which a student does not seek honours, and an 11 on the 20 point scale (or a C-) in their 2nd year in classes in which a student seeks honours classes. The only determinants of whether a student at StAs receives a 1st class (>16.5), a 2nd class (10.5-16.4), a 3rd class (7-10.4), or a fail (<6.9) are the final two years of study. This basically means that a student can have a 0.7 GPA average by W&M standards for the first two years, but still get a 1st class (the closest comparison to W&M standards would be a 4.0) if they get good grades in their last two years.
NOW, THIS IS NOT THE CASE FOR STUDENTS OF THE PROGRAMME. No matter which institution students of the Programme start, our grades in our first two years do matter for our GPAs. Practically, this means that students within the Programme have to hold themselves to higher standards and if they want to get the higher marks, they must do it consistently over four years and not just in two.
Also, a warning on languages, they are treated differently in Europe and if you take an entry level class you should expect to commit to becoming at least functionally fluent by the end of your first year (I have heard that if you take an intensive course then you should expect to reach the vocabulary of a 14 year old native speaker by the end of your first year). This study is also largely on your own, you will be expected to learn vocabulary on your own with class time devoted to going over grammar. Also, a warning to students going into 2nd or 3rd years of study, students who spent the first year at William & Mary and the second at StAs found that the courses’ vocabulary/usage/expectations did not have as much desired overlap between their first year at W&M and their 2nd at StAs, you will now likely be warned by your advisors, but I’m including this warning just in case. If you are committed to doing a language (or required as in the History major) either try to discuss the differences in the programs with your advisor, go a level down from what you believe to be your ability, or simply do not do it.
Exams at StAs as you can imagine are very important. They count for 40-60% of your grade in just about any class with the notable exceptions being languages. With such a high emphasis placed on the exams, the lead up to exams is treated as very important with ‘reading weeks’ (either one or two weeks between the end of classes and the start of exams) in order to give students a chance to study. My experience with exams is that they are mostly consistent across subjects depending on the area of study. In my international relations and philosophy class I was given two hours to complete three essays (other subjects that I believe this to be the case are English, History, etc.). However, it is a general rule that exams last two hours no matter the subject. The grading of these exams places just as much emphasis on how well you conducted your essay as on your knowledge of the subject. This means that American students are at a disadvantage because students within the British system have been conducting practice essays of these tests for several years, even before university so it is imperative for these students to learn as much as possible about the system in which they are being graded and the rubric on which they are graded.
Note: the expectations of students within the Programme are changing all of the time, part of the nature of being a new program. So some of the information above could change in the next few years, for instance the conversion rates of grades from the 20-point scale to W&M grade has already been changed in this past semester.
June 4, 2013 by Admit It!
We Admit It! Transfers, it’s your turn. The transfer waitlist was officially activated yesterday. We will continue to review the transfer waitlist and make an initial wave of offers over the course of the next day or so. The initial wave consists of about 25 new offers of admission (originally there were about 100 students offered a place on the transfer waitlist).
NOTE: Those being offered admission are being sent an email and mailed packet only. These students are not being called. So if you’re waiting for the “Good News,” CHECK YOUR EMAIL. That email provides a link to an admitted transfer student website and a link to paying your deposit online. We would appreciate a quick reply so that we can keep this process moving.
Then the waiting game resumes. We will await responses from those offered admission and proceed accordingly. We will likely have additional information in mid-June for all those not yet contacted. That information will come via email.
As always, post any questions as comments below. We’ll respond as quickly as we can.
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission
May 29, 2013 by Admit It!
We Admit It! The Class of 2017 is complete. Last night we in essence closed the waitlist for freshman applicants. An email was sent to all those remaining on the freshman waitlist letting them know that at this point, our incoming class is full. While we do not anticipate being able to admit additional students to the Class of 2017, we do allow students the opportunity to remain on the waitlist until August 1 by completing an online response form (linked in the email).
Should any additional spaces in the entering class become available between now and August 1, we will reactivate the waitlist and consider only those students who complete the new response form. Those who complete that form will not hear from us again unless we are able to make them an offer of admission. Please note that the chances of being able to admit any additional students are incredibly slim. If we are able to admit additional students, it would likely be only a small handful.
We recognize that this is disappointing news for many of you. We do hope however that this provides some closure and allows you to move forward confidently and enthusiastically with your plans to attend another institution. We wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors at whichever institution that is. They are lucky to have you, and we know you will have a great collegiate experience.
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission