College Visits over April Vacation

We are ALWAYS stressing how important it is to go out and visit colleges.  Being on campus is the very best way to get a feel for a school and find out if it’s a good fit for you.  April vacation is next week (if you needed reminding 😉 ) and it’s the perfect time to go out and see some colleges.  Classes are still in session, so you get to see the campus in full-swing.  Many schools have events planned for next week to cater to the April vacation crowd.  I’ve listed some Open House and Information Session events that have come across my desk – feel free to check them out!  Follow the links to RSVP.  I’ve added some out of area schools if you’re interested in a road trip!

Babson College (Wellesley, MA) – April 24.  Spring Preview Day
Bryant University (Smithfield, RI) – April 20-24.  Junior Welcome Days
Champlain College (Burlington, VT) – April 25.  Saturday Visit
Clark University (Worcester, MA) – April 20-24.  Campus Visit and Information Session
Colby Sawyer College (New London, NH) – April 25.  Preview Day
Colgate University (Hamilton, NY) – April 25.  Saturday at Colgate
Drew University (Madison, NJ) – April 25.  Full Impact Day.  (Check out our 50 States, 50 Colleges on Drew!)
Endicott College (Beverly, MA) – April 21-25.  Junior Group Information Session
Elms College (Chicopee, MA) – April 25.  Open House
Emmanuel College (Boston, MA) – April 25.  Explore Emmanuel Day
Fitchburg State University (Fitchburg, MA) – April 25.  Saturday Information Session
Franklin Pierce University (Rindge, NH) – April 25.  Saturday Tour
Gordon College (Wenham, MA) – April 20.  Gordon Experience Day
Hampshire College (Amherst, MA) – April 22.  Campus Visit Day
Hartwick College (Oneonta, NY) – April 25.  Saturday Visit
Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Geneva, NY) – April 22.  Junior Visit Day
Johnson State College (Johnson, VT) – April 24.  Spring Open House
Johnson & Wales University (Providence, RI) – April 25.  Campus Preview Day
Lafayette College (Easton, PA) – April 25.  Junior Visit Day
Lasell College (Newton, MA) – April 25.  Junior Experience Day
Lyndon State College (Lyndon, VT) – April 24.  Spring Open House
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (North Adams, MA) – April 20 and April 25.  Preview Days
Niagara University (Lewiston, NY) – April 25.  Open House
Regis College (Weston, MA) – April 21-23.  First-Year Information Session
St. Anselm College (Manchester, NH) – April 20-24.  Junior Visit Days
Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ) – April 26.  Spring Open House
Skidmore College (Saratoga, NY) – April 24.  Introduction to Skidmore for Sophomores and Juniors
Smith College (Northampton, MA) – April 25.  Spring Preview Day
Southern New Hampshire University (Manchester, NH) – April 25.  Spring Open House
Springfield College (Springfield, MA) – April 20, 22, 24, and 27.  Junior Visit Days
Sterling College (Sterling, VT) – April 25.  Spring Open House
Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY) – April 25.  Saturday Visit
University of Vermont (Burlington, VT) – April 25.  Jumpstart for Juniors (open to sophomores, too!)
Wagner College (Staten Island, NY) – April 25.  Saturday Overview Day
Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA) – April 25.  Junior Open Campus


This list is far from exhaustive – visit college websites to see their visit schedule!



50 States, 50 Colleges: California

It’s been almost two months since I drew California and have been doing research on this post!  What has taken so long?  Yes, it’s been busy in the guidance office, but I’ve also had a hard time picking a California school to spotlight.  First – there are SO many colleges to consider.  Secondly, I’ve tried to stay away from those big schools that everyone has heard of.  The original goal of this series was to expose our students to schools they may not have heard of, or may not know much about.  Sure, there are a million interesting things I could tell you about USC or UCLA, but you probably already know some of them.  With that in mind, I chose Saint Mary’s College of California.

College in the Spotlight:  Saint Mary’s College of California

St. Mary’s Chapel by rocor, on Flickr

Location:  Moraga, CA (20 miles east of San Francisco)

Enrollment:  2,873 undergraduates

Fast Facts

A cornerstone of a Saint Mary’s education is the Collegiate Seminar.   While there are 35 majors and minors to choose from, all students participate in the Seminar program which follows a Great Books program.  In a nutshell, this curriculum (which is practiced in some form at over 100 colleges in the US, and exclusively at a few) makes use of the texts that are thought to be the foundation of Western culture.  Students are required to take four Seminar courses, and they are integrated into all subject areas.  The idea is that all disciplines are connected and examining these works can help students see those connections.  All courses are discussion based and, according to the book Colleges That Change Lives:  40 Schools That Will Change The Way You Think About Colleges (more on that below!), challenge students to “read carefully, draw sharp conclusions, listen to other people, and disagree civilly.”

Like other colleges we’ve spotlighted, Saint Mary’s also has a January term program.  All students participate in this month-long program, where a single course is studied in great depth.  The College encourages students to explore areas of interest that may be outside their major.  Here are a few examples from this past January term:

  •       Bay Area Wild – Students explored the Northern California coastline, mountains, forests, and bay area then returned to campus to work on developing their notes into essays and other forms of creative writing
  •       Crime and Punishment – This class aims to correct the misinformation of the criminal justice system that many Americans have learned from television and movies
  •       London:  The History of Science – Examines the progression of scientific ideas since the start of the Renaissance.  This course took place in London and in surrounding cities, where many scientific advances occurred

As mentioned above, Saint Mary’s College of California was named as one of the Colleges That Change Lives.  This organization publishes a book dedicated to helping college-bound students (and their parents) learn about colleges that offer transformative educational opportunities.  Check out the article on Saint Mary’s here.

College basketball fans may already know of Saint Mary’s College.  Since 2005, the school has appeared in the NCAA Tournament five times, even making it to the Sweet Sixteen in 2010.  Saint Mary’s hosts 17 NCAA Division I teams nicknamed the Gaels.  The “Gael Force” is the cheering section, which has the reputation of being one of the loudest in the country.

For more information on Saint Mary’s College of California, visit