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Baylor's Invitation to Excellence Program, January 2019 (Faculty Scholarship Questions)

panda522panda522 Registered User Posts: 16 Junior Member
Hello! I'll be attending Baylor's I2E program this weekend. I was reading over the program itinerary that Baylor sent via email, and I have some questions about the academic breakout sessions on Saturday.

1) How large are the groups of students in each session? I'm sure there are several kids with their families attending the event, so is it safe to assume the breakout groups on Saturday are fairly large?

2) How much interaction will students have with faculty on Saturday during the breakout sessions? According to the program itinerary email, it looks as if a student's interaction with faculty members on Saturday carries some weight in determining whether the student receives the faculty scholarship or not (depending on the quality of the essay too, of course).


Thank you!
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Replies to: Baylor's Invitation to Excellence Program, January 2019 (Faculty Scholarship Questions)

  • rjsharp7rjsharp7 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    My group was the code red activity which was fairly large since it had most kids who had majors in the sciences or liberal arts. We were separated into i think 4 main groups of science, physics, e-science, biology, chemistry, and neuroscience. Then, those groups all had smaller sub groups, so the actual activity part where discussion took place happened with about 5 kids and a professor and current student. For me, the professor sat in the back of the room and didn't say anything or interact with us much at all. At the end the scientific groups all meet up and attempt to put the info from discussion into a powerpoint. Then, we met up with the whole code red group and some students from the groups volunteered to present their group's part of the presentation. Sorry it's hard to explain all the sub-groups lol. Honestly, during the group try to give insightful feedback, but don't stress too much about faculty interaction. As I said, my prof didn't say much at all. Also, I was in an environmental science group and my major is in the liberal arts, so I don't think the professor's impression holds a lot of bearing. I have heard the faculty scholarship is based solely on the content and quality of the essay and I think being a NMSF holds some weight as well. However, I sincerely hope they just don't look to hand it out to NMSF and they do actually evaluate the essays.
  • rjsharp7rjsharp7 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    lol 5* science groups
  • rjsharp7rjsharp7 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    If anything, make an impression on the faculty during the Friday reception, hand out your cards!! professors will send nice notes in the mail, so that's fun :)
  • panda522panda522 Registered User Posts: 16 Junior Member
    @rjsharp7 thank you very much for your response! do you recommend that I bring pen & paper for Saturday's breakout sessions (to help with writing the scholarship essay afterward) or would that be inconvenient?
  • rjsharp7rjsharp7 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    @panda522 i would say bring pen & paper, other kids did and it's not really inconvenient
  • ratsnotmiceratsnotmice Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    edited January 27
    Just arrived home after long drive
    Nice event and wow a lot of people. Our first visit to campus and throughly impressed.
    Was anyone else placed in an academic breakout session that had absolutely nothing to do with their major, and was not one of the choices in the application?
    Kind of worried a mistake was made and may affect our chances.
    Any thoughts?
  • goblue99goblue99 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I attended the January I2E event with my DD. A few observations. There were a LOT more students there than we expected (they said there were about 900 students in attendance, which is triple what they advertised on their website ("About 300 students will be selected to attend each event")). They announced at the beginning that the applicant pool was so strong that they didn't want to turn people away (but I know some people on CC and otherwise did NOT get an invite, so they actually did turn people away). They split the masses into two groups - green and gold - and they did a tremendous job of running the program. The Friday reception at the Waco convention center was well organized - it was crowded and a challenge to interact with faculty, but my DD was able to talk with professors in her area/school of interest. The professors were impressive and it was a fun event. On Saturday, they split the parents and students - on the parents side, they had "breakout" sessions. I skipped the 'boring' topics (financial aid, study abroad, honors college details) since all of that info is general and can be found easily elsewhere. But I attended sessions that were set up sort of like actual "classes" that would be taught to the students: one was by a political science professor (about the electoral process, explained using role playing and game theory, which was extremely entertaining and informative), and the other was by a geoscientist (about reconciling the text of the Bible with the science of evolution, which was enlightening and impressive). Then they gave us free tickets to the Baylor-Alabama men's basketball game, which was great (Baylor won). I re-united with my DD after that for a closing session (typical stuff - a video of the school/traditions, an admissions official with nuts and bolts presentation, then a panel of current students).

    Overall I was very impressed with everything about the event. And I am very glad that we went, as we had never been to Baylor (or to Texas) before. After we got home after the event, we talked about it for a while and my daughter has decided to cross Baylor off her list. While it really was a well-run event, I was turned off initially by the sheer number of attendees. While I knew this was more or less a "marketing" event for the school, I had expected that there would be ~300 students there (based on Baylor's own website). Our intent on going was not to 'win' the scholarship (the odds of that - even with 300 people - were slim), so the increased numbers didn't bother us from that perspective. But it made it a much less intimate experience; everything was crowded. Even with the smaller break-out sessions, there was never a real opportunity to have any meaningful interaction with the faculty or administrators simply because there were so many people there. Even with that - and the little annoyances like bad traffic, limited parking, waiting in long lines for things - after we saw the mass of humanity on Friday night, my DD was still excited about Baylor (she is looking at other schools that are even larger, so the size of the school is not an issue for her).

    But she ultimately was turned off by the lack of diversity (in race and religion primarily, but also geographically - at least from our observation). Out of 2,000+ people (applicants, parents, current students, faculty), we could count on our hand the number of black people that we saw. And while my DD was attracted to Baylor primarily because it is a Christian college (we are Christians, she goes to a private religious school), it felt like - in my daughters words - a "cult" at Baylor .. the Christian (Baptist) faith was emphasized by faculty and students just a bit more than we expected. And, similarly, we knew that Baylor draws the majority of its students from Texas, but it seemed like 9 out of 10 people that we interacted with were from the state. My daughter was not looking at Baylor because of its "diversity", but it was a bit of a shocking reality check for her to see it in person. [Finally, while the campus itself is very pretty and well laid out (and easy to get around either with short walks or with shuttles/buses), the surrounding area is pretty bleak. We had heard that Waco was not the most happening town, so that was not a surprise either. But it just didn't "feel" right for my DD.

    That being said, the academics, campus, school spirit, weather, and kind people at Baylor were/all top-notch across the board and I couldn't say enough good things about those aspects - or how efficiently and well organized the I2E event was.
  • SAMomofOneSAMomofOne Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    We were not at the event but I am glad you shared your observations and experience. I hope Baylor personnel can benefit from your thoughts. My son is hoping to attend Baylor (he's accepted, just working on financial aid). We too are little concerned about the lack of diversity but I have spoken to several Baylor alumni who are minorities and they have expressed that they enjoyed their time at Baylor and did not have anything negative to say about the perceived lack of diversity. We are Texans though. : )
  • ratsnotmiceratsnotmice Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    DS was just notified he will receive the Faculty Scholarship!!
  • dpBU23dpBU23 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    congrats!! how notified?
  • MILWS101MILWS101 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Congrats!! Which event did he attend? November or January?
  • ratsnotmiceratsnotmice Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    Notified in his Gobaylor account, we attended in January.
  • CoffeeandbooksCoffeeandbooks Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    edited February 24
    @ratsnotmice Congrats!!! Which group was your son in? Does anyone know whether they notify the participants based on which group they were in or all of them at the same time?
  • ratsnotmiceratsnotmice Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    He was in the healthcare related group. Not sure of how the notifications are determined.
  • valarrievalarrie Registered User Posts: 27 Junior Member
    Congratulations to your son @ratsnotmice
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