College Bound: Operation Varsity Blues – We-Ha
We-Ha.com will be posting a series of Essays / Blogs / Thoughts on the topic of going to college – primarily a set of Thoughts and Thoughts, along with some practical tips, intended to help students and parents to embark on this journey. . While many of our readers are experts on this subject, many others are less knowledgeable and have little outside support. We hope this will be of use to all readers as they go through the various stages of entering and leaving college.
By Adrienne Leinwand Maslin
Like many of you, I was stunned, stunned, stunned, stunned, and had to tilt my chin up when I heard about the college admissions scandal known as Operation Varsity Blues.
You all know the story now. Fifty rich, or famous, or rich and famous parents bribed their children‘s path through some of the country’s most elite universities – University of Southern California, UCLA, Stanford, Georgetown, and Yale among them. The scandal included varsity athletics staff, test overseers for the College Board, a university consultant who was the mastermind of it, a very young 36-year-old man who traveled back and forth across the country taking tests. SAT exams for others and who asked for accommodations usually only for students who absolutely need it, a clothing designer and, of course, famous actors. One of these actors is a favorite of mine. It kind of gave new meaning to the name of a show she starred in: Desperate housewives.
My reaction had several layers. Would parents really commit criminal acts to ensure that their child‘s acceptance at Yale or Stanford? Why? Will they really pay bribes, cheat and photoshop their child‘s facing the body of a water polo player to secure admission to Georgetown or USC? Once again, why? And how would the student fare? Would she be able to maintain acceptable grades in rigorous classes? Would he be able to discuss important issues with his classmates and teachers?
As all of these questions ran through my head, the one I kept coming back to was this: There are approximately 3,500 institutions of higher education in the United States. Almost all are “good ‘colleges and universities, defined by me as colleges that help young adults learn, think, face challenges, prepare for careers, broaden their horizons, and become the people they want to become. Would like nothing of the 3,499 others do it?
During a 45-year career in higher education administration, both as an administrator and as an assistant professor, I have marveled at the talented and passionate professors and staff with whom I worked and whose main goal was to help students succeed. In all the colleges and universities where I have worked, large and small, known and barely known, this has been done thanks to rigorous courses taught by professors who are specialists in their discipline and who are extraordinary teachers.
It is accomplished with librarians that are phenomenal! No matter where I have worked, librarians have been some of the most knowledgeable, professional, and generous employees.
With student services professionals – enrollment staff, guidance counselors, academic advisors, disability support specialists – who are always devising new, more effective ways to help students achieve their goals.
Good colleges are those where student activities, counseling, and residential life staff try to make every student feel included and welcome and offer activities that appeal to a wide range of interests; where finance staff continually strive to make the payment issue easier for students by developing broader and more flexible payment options; where IT staff make sure the college has all the on-campus technology that students, faculty, and staff need to do their jobs; and where maintenance staff rearrange furniture, plow snow, rearrange furniture, paint desks and classrooms, rearrange furniture, mow lawns and rearrange furniture for the myriad of events taking place on the campus every day.
Every person who works in a college has a role in a student’s education and a good college is one where every employee understands this.
Choosing a college can be difficult, although there are ways to make it easier. Books, books, and other books have been written about the college selection process. In my next blog post, I’ll try to reduce the great advice offered in these books to a shorter and, perhaps, more manageable form.
For now, the most important thing to remember is that there are some 3,500 higher education institutions. Each of them is just the right place for someone. Our country’s colleges and universities are incredibly diverse – as diverse as the students who attend them. This is the concept to keep in mind when starting your research.
Adrienne Leinwand Maslin recently retired after a 45-year career in higher education administration. She has worked in public and private institutions, urban and rural, large and small, for two and four years, and is Dean Emeritus of Middlesex Community College. She has held positions in admissions, affirmative action, office of the president, human resources, academic affairs, and student affairs. Maslin holds a BA from the University of Vermont, an MA in Education from Boston University, and a PhD from the University of Oregon. She is currently creating a TV / online series on life skills and social issues for 9-12 year olds, believing that the more young people know about important social issues, the easier their transition to college and adulthood will be. . You can find information on this series as well as contact information at.
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