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    PS. We're in the region, and I'd never recommend Evergreen to someone who is even remotely concerned about college as a credentialing process.

    Evergreen is unfortunately shorthand for "alternative education; not real college." I don't say that to denigrate anyone who has attended there. Merely to point out that as far as rigor goes, it is little different than homeschooling or self-study, and carries similar weight with outside agencies.

    Most STEM graduate programs, for example, simply don't accept transcripts from them because they don't contain information that can be used to compare candidates to those from other institutions.


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    Thanks for the information on Evergreen. I kind of wondered how that would work. It would be nice if they took early entrants. It seems like it could at least be an interesting high school substitute. smile

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    I'm mostly staying out of this thread because it's pretty US-specific (thank goodness!) but as an academic I will say one thing: when considering perceived university rankings, it really matters what your child will be doing with the degree, because universities are not homogeneous: good departments can exist inside not-so-good universities and vice versa. So do you pick good department or good university? One approach would be: if your child expects not to use the specific education in the department (the major to you I guess) then pick good university, for impressing people later. If s/he does expect to use it (e.g. to go on to graduate school) then pick the good department, because people in the business know the departments and couldn't care less about the university overall. [ETA and for, you know, actually getting a good education you couldn't just as well give yourself, i.e. learning from real experts!] Most people should care a lot more about the quality of the department than they apparently do.

    In the UK, what you want to look at as a serious potential scholar is the RAE data for your subjects of interest - this tells you how good the department is at research, and nothing about teaching, but tbh teaching ratings are more or less synonymous with spoon-feeding ratings in practice, and not of much interest to our children.
    http://www.rae.ac.uk/results/selectUOA.aspx

    More stars is good, more staff submitted also typically good.
    You'll see that it doesn't match that well with popular perception, especially for less ancient subjects.

    Don't know what the closest US equivalent is - does someone else?

    Last edited by ColinsMum; 07/25/13 10:15 AM. Reason: momentarily lost the plot and drank the Koolaid

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    I suppose I should keep in mind that at this point, DS5 plans on being some sort of ecoterrorist and DS2 acts like a little cage fighter. Perhaps I should be saving for their "bail and legal defense" fund.

    In any event, it is a long way off but I am glad to hear it isn't all doom and gloom.

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    Originally Posted by KJP
    Thanks for the information on Evergreen. I kind of wondered how that would work. It would be nice if they took early entrants. It seems like it could at least be an interesting high school substitute. smile

    Absolutely-- it's very Sudbury-like in many ways.


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    Quote
    I'm mostly staying out of this thread because it's pretty US-specific (thank goodness!) but as an academic I will say one thing: when considering perceived university rankings, it really matters what your child will be doing with the degree, because universities are not homogeneous: good departments can exist inside not-so-good universities and vice versa. So do you pick good department or good university? One approach would be: if your child expects not to use the specific education in the department (the major to you I guess) then pick good university, for impressing people later. If s/he does expect to use it (e.g. to go on to graduate school) then pick the good department, because people in the business know the departments and couldn't care less about the university overall. Most people should care a lot more about the quality of the department than they apparently do.

    YES. A thousand times yes.

    This is what drives me nuts about the US ranking systems. They generally seem to pretend that those differences don't really matter, or only matter in a few fields that are obviously radically set apart from mainstream liberal arts curriculum-- like fine/performing arts, or engineering.

    Otherwise, they make no distinctions. So if Princeton is #3, what does that mean? Does it mean that it has the #3 theoretical mathematics program? The #3 creative writing program? Anthropology? Of course not.

    It's stunningly difficult to ferret that information out and mostly, it becomes most efficient to do so by parsing which graduate programs have the highest ratings in particular disciplines-- because THAT is relatively easy to discover based upon publication rate and rankings, grantsmanship, graduate placement, etc.

    One reason why dealing with a polymath is so frustrating in this climate is that a great many lower-tier schools do have just one or maybe two (often related, like math-physics or anthro-archeology) excellent programs, but the rest of the campus is rather lackluster. Finding a place which is a good match for a child who has three or four serious interests as potential majors is a bit of a challenge.


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    We probably have much of that information collectively here, though. People might prefer not to say precisely what field they're in on the public forum, or, come to that, to express in public unfavourable opinions of departments, though... A possible protocol would be to ask here

    "Does anyone know what [university] is like for [subject]? PM me. I'll summarise, preserving respondents' anonymity."

    For a poster I recognised, I'd be happy to respond to such a request, where I had anything to say.

    Last edited by ColinsMum; 07/25/13 10:31 AM. Reason: over-optimism

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    Another comment on Evergreen:

    - They accept 98% of the students that apply.
    - SAT ranges (25% to 75% range for attending students):
    Critical Reading - 510-640
    Math - 460-590

    When you have a kid with scores that are something like CR 800/M780 (as many of us out here do/will), this just doesn't seem to make sense no matter how open the curriculum is. I do have a cousin and also a niece who attended Evergreen. They were both kids that struggled to succeed at other colleges -- one made it through Evergreen and the other did not. For the one who made it through, it was great that he found it. I honestly don't know if he would have made it through any other four year college.

    That is the problem with people at work or marketing materials from the colleges themselves -- they are not really looking at many kids with profiles like our kids have...

    Again... if you want feedback on a specific major at a specific college, my advice is to go to College Confidential, create an ID for yourself, and post the question on that college's specific forum. Or if you are looking for colleges that are strong in a few different majors, go post one question on the "College Admissions" forum out there. It is a pretty good "crowd sourcing" way to generate a list of colleges -- the parents in particular have pretty deep experience in a lot of cases, and there are lot more people reading with kids in college than out here. We are a pretty small pool, and most of our direct experience is going to be 20-30 years old (since the majority of posters out here have kids that are younger than college age).

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    * Truthfully, I think that he's got some inner hazy mashup of smoking jackets and men discussing their progeny at 'the Club' with fresh-scrubbed girls strolling earnestly through bright fall foliage in cardigans, plaid skirts, and saddle shoes.

    I can't imagine an image that would make my D run faster in the other direction. smile

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    Yes, but DADS like that image-- particularly when the vision is boy-free. With their teenaged daughters, they like that a lot. LOL. grin

    My DD probably wouldn't be too keen on it, either-- though the 'intellectualism' part of things, she'd love. Talking about everything from Plato to Bose-Einstein condensate and all points in between in a single conversation that revolves around Batman.





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