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    #247911 - 01/15/21 01:22 PM Re: Open college classes to everyone [Re: aquinas]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3801
    ...and, like Wagyu, not necessarily with any objective standards for certifying this branding...
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    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #247912 - 01/15/21 01:37 PM Re: Open college classes to everyone [Re: aquinas]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3801
    Your thoughtful analysis is closely related to why our DC attends a small regional public uni--the programs of value to DC are either actually higher-ranked than their equivalents at most of the first- and second-tier privates within the preferred region, or are certified by national professional organizations, with a strong track record of graduate acceptances at the range of institutions that would interest DC at the next stage of education. Opportunities for intellectual and professional growth and development have been comparable, or even higher than in some larger institutions. For example, DC has been spending part of intersession writing the abstract for a poster presentation at the marquee academic conference in the more technical of DC's majors, resulting from research conducted last summer (under slightly involved public health restrictions!) in close association with three faculty members. I don't know that these opportunities are significantly less than those available at name brand unis.
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    #247913 - 01/15/21 01:43 PM Re: Open college classes to everyone [Re: mithawk]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3801
    mithawk, your son's reason for selecting his uni is a substantive one, and an example of thoughtful choices regarding college. (BTW, good for him that he put himself in a position to have such high-quality choices!)
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    #247914 - 01/16/21 04:46 AM Re: Open college classes to everyone [Re: aeh]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1645
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    Your thoughtful analysis is closely related to why our DC attends a small regional public uni--the programs of value to DC are either actually higher-ranked than their equivalents at most of the first- and second-tier privates within the preferred region, or are certified by national professional organizations, with a strong track record of graduate acceptances at the range of institutions that would interest DC at the next stage of education. Opportunities for intellectual and professional growth and development have been comparable, or even higher than in some larger institutions. For example, DC has been spending part of intersession writing the abstract for a poster presentation at the marquee academic conference in the more technical of DC's majors, resulting from research conducted last summer (under slightly involved public health restrictions!) in close association with three faculty members. I don't know that these opportunities are significantly less than those available at name brand unis.


    This is critical to any school. How much opportunity is there for research as an undergrad. I think that this is something students should research before applying. DD had a conversation with a young woman, undergrad Harvard, PhD Stanford in DD's field of interest. She told DD to send emails first week to the profs that she wanted to do research with. They would get her involved because that is how Harvard worked. And she said if she found a program in Madagascar (for example), Harvard would pay to send her there. These are important. I was wondering why this one boy left the sailing team. His Linkedin shows an amazing amount of research he has done at Harvard. Doesn't have time for sailing. Not just about the classes, it is the opportunity for extracurricular academics that make the difference, in my opinion. So you can get classes online or at any decent school but what can you get outside of that? aeh's post is example of what was available at the nearby public school.



    Edited by Wren (01/16/21 04:49 AM)

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    #247915 - 01/16/21 03:36 PM Re: Open college classes to everyone [Re: Bostonian]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2412
    As an adult, I am able to supplement my professional pursuits with leisure interests outside my workplace. Most quality programs are nested in larger research communities of practice or incubator networks outside the university proper. I suspect university students share similar capabilities.

    Again - part of the scope creep in the university offering re: cultural insularity. At some point, students cease to be “X school graduates”, and are just [insert profession], relying on the merits of their skills and experience. (And, dare I say it, initiative to seek out like minds in the larger community; less of a “what can I get” mentality than a “what can I contribute” one.)

    And lest anyone protest that elite extracurriculars happen only at elite universities...no. In my direct circle are Olympic medalists in swimming and rowing, world ranked ultra marathoners and triathletes, professional hockey players, Olympic fencers, and World Cup sailing winners. None attended elite universities to make or maintain these connections - the seeds were planted long before. They chose the programs that best nurtured their intellectual interests, some elite, others not, subject to their developmental maturity and family circumstances at the time.

    The older I get, the more firmly I believe that there is no one yardstick for success, or script for attaining any of its manifestations. At the end of the day, universities are universities, and country clubs are country clubs. There is a lot of value to be had by learning in depth at the appropriate phase in one’s development, and benefit to society of expanding access through online courses so that more people can achieve their full potential.


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    #247916 - 01/16/21 03:38 PM Re: Open college classes to everyone [Re: aeh]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2412
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    ...and, like Wagyu, not necessarily with any objective standards for certifying this branding...


    Exactly, aeh.

    Kudos to your DC, and thanks for your kind nod. smile
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    #247917 - 01/17/21 04:19 AM Re: Open college classes to everyone [Re: aquinas]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1645
    Originally Posted By: aquinas


    less of a “what can I get” mentality than a “what can I contribute” one.)



    I am confused by your post. I was not talking about sporting extracurriculars. I was talking about academic extracurriculars. The opportunity to do research with profs. Like aeh mentioned her son contributed on some paper. I do not think that if you are focused on becoming a world class athlete you should consider a top academic school. It would be hard. there are 2 brothers I know that are trying to manage engineeering while training for the Olympics. It is very hard.

    And of your quote, I disagree. It is totally annoying when some kid right out of school is focused on what they can contribute. Their big ideas. I think they should learn about the workplace, how the team works, and then be a part of it. Being the low peg, usually they are told how to contribute, not the other way around. That can change if they start their own business, but then the marketplace will dictate how they can contribute. I think that is why people many people complain about a lack of funding for the arts. They want to contribute their art but the marketplace isn't buying.

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    #247918 - 01/17/21 02:13 PM Re: Open college classes to everyone [Re: Bostonian]
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 262
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    Thousand of applicants are admitted to the most prestigious U.S. colleges each year, of course, but many of those schools have hardly increased their class sizes in decades, so as the U.S. population grows, the number of people who could do the work but cannot be admitted also grows.

    This is true, and as a result, a growing number of schools have increased the quality of their student body, rankings, and selectivity. Even 10 years ago, a place like Georgia Tech was considered a backup for people that couldn't get into more selective schools. Now it is one of the most selective tech schools around, and its graduates have fantastic job prospects.

    I also want to comment on the part of "could do the work" at places like Harvard and Yale (my nephew attended Yale). It is shockingly easy to graduate from these two places if someone wants to take easy classes. The hard part is getting in, not getting out.

    To illustrate how easy Harvard can be, an Economics major at Harvard only needs to take a single introductory calculus class (Math 1a). My son helped his roommates with that class, and he considers it easier than high school AP Calculus BC. Econ majors could push themselves further if they wanted to, both in terms of more math courses or more difficult math courses, but there is no requirement at all to do so.

    In contrast, UChicago expects its Econ majors to be comfortable with multivariable calculus and linear algebra to be able to pass their Econ courses. And we hear that Princeton, Columbia, and Cornell also have rigorous education requirements.

    I could write pages and pages about why Harvard makes it so easy to graduate, but in summary I think that the admissions office selects students who they believe will make a significant future impact, and further believes that for perhaps most of them, it won't be due to academics. Think of someone like David Hogg, who is currently a sophomore at Harvard.

    And after you take into account special cases like David Hogg, and all the institutional goals that Harvard has with regards to admitting ALDC (Athletes, Legacy, big Donors, and Children of Faculty) and URM (Under represented minority), I estimate that no more than 30% of Harvard's class is admitted due to pure merit. This means that there are a lot of academically talented students that go elsewhere.

    I am not defending this practice (as I said, I could write about this at length), but just explaining it. Many other selective colleges have a similar approach.


    Edited by mithawk (01/17/21 02:57 PM)

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    #247919 - 01/17/21 02:56 PM Re: Open college classes to everyone [Re: aquinas]
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 262
    Originally Posted By: aquinas
    Kudos to your son, Mithawk! Those are some terrific accomplishments. Sorry he's having to do all this in the middle of a pandemic. I feel for these students.

    Thank you. It feels like a wasted freshman year in terms of him getting to know his classmates.

    But I actually feel worse for the high school seniors graduating this year. The entire college admission process must be a nightmare this year.

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    #247920 - 01/18/21 04:30 AM Re: Open college classes to everyone [Re: Bostonian]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1645
    I agree that all standards have risen because it has gotten so competitive. And U of Chicago would be a much better choice for finance or economics than Harvard. Or the undergraduate business program at MIT which is supposedly the most competitive program to get into in the whole US. I do not know what makes it so great, but it is the premier choice for many. And whatever economics undergrad you take, you will have to go towards a PhD, where math will be required, since there are probably a million economics grads each year. What jobs are out there? DD had a conversation with some prof at Northeastern that builds marine robotics. He said you don't need comp sci for robotics anymore since they just buy a neural net package and stick it in. It would be great to get a top down view and see how the pathways are changing careers, options, opportunties. I remember my first job at Merrill Lynch as an analyst and I had a computer in my office. I used Word and excel, savings each program on a floppy that went to the word processing room so they could cut and paste into a report. Literally, cut (with scissors) and paste (with glue) and photocopy. Quant work used be economists. Now math and physics grads.


    Edited by Wren (01/18/21 07:01 AM)

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