Travel Time with HECA in RI: URI, Salve, & Bryant

Our hardy group was up and out at the bus for an early morning start of 7 a.m. No stopping for breakfast in downtown Providence or at our lovely hotel, the Hotel Providence, formerly a children’s clothing store. Like many urban areas, repurposed buildings abound in the Renaissance City.

The first stop of the day was the University of Rhode Island (URI).  You can click on the link and find out about number of students, graduation rates, cost of attendance and the like because that’s not what I want to tell you. Here are three interesting items I learned about URI during this visit:

  • The Pharmacy Program (Pharm.D) is direct entry, takes 6 years and URI receives approximately 900 applications for 130 spaces. There is a slim chance of transferring in with 4.1 the average GPA for this year’s incoming class. As an alternative, students can earn a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • The 5 year International Engineering Program culminates in a degree in Engineering and a World Language. The languages offered are Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish and German. A highlight of the program is the year abroad, spending one semester at a partner engineering institution and the next semester at a global engineering company.
  • The Center for Career & Experiential Education, directed by Dr. Kim Stack offers myriad opportunities for students to engage with that office, beginning with Freshman Seminar. “What Can I Do With This Major” and “My Next Move” are mandatory for first year students as part of this seminar with assignments built around exploring these sites.

 We headed to Newport, home of the United States Naval War College and Salve Regina University (SRU). Salve Regina, founded by the Sisters of Mercy, has a beautiful campus with many historical buildings. Ochre Court, which houses the Admissions Office and other administrative departments, was the former summer residence of a real estate magnate. This impressive 50-room mansion marked the beginning of our visit.



My top three takeaways from my second visit in less than a year are:

  • Salve has a direct – entry Nursing program with about 80 acceptance annually. Transferring into the program is seldom an option. It’s also crucial to pay attention to the requirements because Earth Science in high school is not an alternative to Anatomy and Physiology, Physics, Biology or Chemistry.
  • Students can major in Cultural and Historic Preservation leading to careers as museum curators and historical archivists among many other paths. Starting this year, a new major Historic Preservation and the Traditional Building Arts. According to the website, this major “combines a liberal arts education with training in one of the areas of traditional building craft: carpentry, iron and metalwork, stonework and masonry, flat and decorative plasterwork, and furniture making and restoration.”
  • A member of the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA), SRU co-hosted the ICSA National Championships during the spring. Students interested in sailing may want to check out this co-ed team, which came in sixth in the LaserPerfomance Team Race National Championships in May.

Bryant University in Smithfield, RI, which is named after Smithfield, London, was our last stop for the day. A private four-year university, Bryant focuses on business programs within a liberal arts framework.

Several items caught my attention during this early evening visit:

  • Earl Tupper, the CEO of Tupperware, donated the land for the Smithfield campus (Bryant was formerly located in Providence) with the stipulation that no Greek specific housing be on this campus. (While researching Earl Tupper, I discovered a woman, Brownie Wise, was responsible for the home parties made famous by Tupperware). Bryant’s mascot is Tupper the Bulldog.
  • Bryant has a fly-in program that reimburses students for up to half of their airfare (up to $150). If students matriculate, they will receive the remainder of the airfare but no more than $300. This is for high school seniors or students considering a transfer from another institution.
  • The U.S. – China Institute gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in all aspects of China through activities such as seminars, study abroad, and language programs. Furthermore, the Confucius Institute reaches out to the K-12 community and the community in general with educational offerings.

Thank you to all the people at the University of Rhode Island, Salve Regina University and Bryant University. On a personal note, it was great to see Cindy Bonn (Dean of Admission – URI), Kim Stack (Director, Center for Career & Experiential Education – URI), Colleen Emerson (Dean of Undergraduate Admissions – Salve Regina), and Priscilla Alicea (Director of Admission – Bryant) on this trip home.

“There’s nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

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May 2021 Update

Professional development continues to be a major factor in my work life. With physical visits to campuses curtailed during 2020 (most are re-opening for in-person visits), I spend about 7 -10 hours per week on virtual visits with college admission counselors. The IECA, one of my professional organizations, regularly conducts College Conversations, an hour-long presentation with time built in for Q & A. To date, members of IECA had sessions with the colleges on the chart. Additionally, I added to this list by facilitating sessions in my capacity as the college counselor for the Montessori School of Raleigh where, along with the students, we learned more about UNC Charlotte, UNC Wilmington, the College of Wooster, Queens University of Charlotte, Muhlenberg, Elon, Western Carolina, North Carolina Central, the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Did you know UNC Wilmington has a major in Coastal Engineering or that Western Carolina (along with UNC Pembroke and Elizabeth City State) is a NC Promise institution? A NC Promise school’s in-state tuition is $500 while non-residents pay $2500 per semester.

Our virtual world allows for hours upon hours of accessible college information sessions. I had to step back and limit myself to a reasonable number of hours of “college visits”.

I challenge my students regularly to move beyond their comfort zone and during the height of the pandemic, I stretched myself way beyond my level of comfort. I am one of 14 co-authors of Becoming The Shero, an anthology depicting the journeys of entrepreneurs at different stages of their lives. My story is in the Embracing the Pivot section.

Another way I stay current is through my new position at Providence College. As of August 2020, I am the College Supervisor for the School Counseling Program. What does the college supervisor do? I supervise the students in the program during their 2-semester internship at a school, where they are directly supervised by their Site Supervisor, a certified professional school counselor. It is the student teaching equivalent for school counseling.

Reading is a daily pleasure for me. Here are nine books (not in chronological order) that helped me to educate myself about current events and issues of social justice:

  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents ~ Isabel Wilkerson
  • How to Be An Anti-Racist ~ Ibram X. Kendi
  • Stamped From The Beginning ~ Ibram X. Kendi
  • I’m Still Here ~ Austin Channing Brown
  • The Color Of Law ~ Richard Rothstein
  • We Want To Do More Than Survive ~ Bettina Love
  • Down Along With That Devil’s Bones ~ Connor Towne O’Neill
  • Interrupting Racism: Equity and Social Justice in School Counseling ~ Rebecca Atkins & Alicia Oglesby
  • Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race ~ Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D.

To stay up-to-date on trends in college, career and paying for college, see my list of books under the “Parent Resources” tab.

I challenge my students to be lifelong readers. I am practicing what I preach. What are you reading today?

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