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RPI Summer ARCH program - Run away

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Replies to: RPI Summer ARCH program - Run away

  • StudentsR1stStudentsR1st Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    Arch is not the same concept as co-op at a school like Northeastern. It is not a case of taking classes on campus during the summer so that one can co-op later. Co-oping earlier is likely to become more challenging as well. ARCH is rigid. You must take Jr classes during the Summer between the 2nd and 3rd year. You must be away from campus, or at least not taking classes during one of the two terms during the third year. There is no flexibility.
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    @Spark2018 #13
    I am including my answer here as well

    @Spark2018 I really would appreciate if you can let us know what are facts and what are fictions so that we can tell where there are "less facts than fiction". I do not know whether "uproar on campus" is accurate or an exaggeration from a frustrated parent.

    In my opinion, if there were less facts, I believe it is because RPI, for whatever reason withholding the facts.
    An example from my interaction with the career center. During the family weekend, I attended a session with CCPD. One parent asked given the higher number of students looking for internships, did RPI bring in more employers (not his exact words)? Instead of directly answering the question, the woman from CCPD responded that she would not worry about whether there was an increase in employers looking for RPI students for internship, but more on whether the students were utilizing all of CCPD's resources. ( I was guilty in not pushing for the same answer as I was so shocked on her "blaming the students" approach).
    After the Spring job fair, I assumed you have heard that students were complaining that many of the companies coming for the job fair were not aware of the Summer Arch, i.e. students would be looking for Fall/Spring internships.
    I have my opinion on why CCPD did not directly answer the question.

    You brought up Northeastern, I have no direct experience with Northeastern except listened to their presentation during college visit last year. My recollection was that they were very open with what they had accomplished and how they helped. But as you mentioned housing etc. I called Northeastern admission. The person answered the phone told me there was no specific requirement for taking a full course load in the summer. If you knew something more or that the above was incorrect, please share so that we can distinguish between facts and fiction.

    BTW, here is some stat from Northeastern.
    https://www.northeastern.edu/admissions/academics/experiential-learning/

    RPI ran 2 years of Summer Arch pilot program. Where is the data?
    I am not suggesting people not to look into RPI but do your due diligence, ask the hard questions (someone posted some suggestions) and ask for facts.
    My kid loves the school very much, but then she does not pay with her money and has not thought about getting a job yet.
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    edited April 12
    @StudentsR1st Thank you
    Arch is not the same concept as co-op at a school like Northeastern. It is not a case of taking classes on campus during the summer so that one can co-op later.

    @Spark2018 I don't know you, but I would consider equating Northeastern's co-op with RPI's summer arch as fiction.

    I am not an angry parent but just trying to understand the rationale and facts behind Summer Arch. I like my kid to live on campus for 4 years if possible (unless there are other reasons), therefore housing is not an issue for us. However, I support those who complained about housing. I cannot think of a good explanation on why a student is required to stay on campus during the summer after sophomore when the kid is already staying in a frat house during his sophomore year. (As of I understand, it is still a requirement as of today) I just speak up and ask more questions when a policy is not making sense.

    I am not going to ask people to run away or not to consider RPI, but do the due diligence.
  • Ultramarine777Ultramarine777 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    We visited RPI acceptance student day. DS liked it. We had lot's of conversations about Arch with professors. Thanks to this forum. They are all promising it will get better as they learned a lot from 2 years of pilot. They also said that this year Career center got 7 new employees that will be responsible for going out to different companies and building the relationships and they already have much bigger list of available opportunities, so looks like RPI is trying to improve their co-op/semester away program. They also said that they are aware of the students not being happy with the program and are trying to change to make it better. All can be just a sale pitch, but could be true as well.
  • lccr515lccr515 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Thanks for the update, @Ultramarine777. We are headed to take a second look at RPI Thursday, couldn't make the accepted students day. I have had concerns with what I've been hearing, and plan to ask questions, but it's reassuring that they are aware of and addressing some of the problems with Arch.
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    edited April 16
    @Ultramarine777 Glad that your son likes it. My DD decided RPI was the school for her during the accepted students day visit. Your son may want to join the class 2023 facebook page.

    Did they talk about what they had learned from the 2 years of pilot and what had been done to improve? What issues are they aware of the students being unhappy and what they have done to change it ? I had not asked those questions myself during my visits (and will be asking next time I visit) and only realized it when I read someone's suggestions here.
    Hopefully, the new hires can help this year's Summer Arch students.

  • RPIparent77RPIparent77 Registered User Posts: 21 Junior Member
    I am glad that my rant started conversation. These past few weeks we have been trying to work through this Arch thing. Here is where we are at. Financial Aid is overwhelmed with incoming Freshman and now Arch students. They are understaffed to handle all the incoming students. I have a bill due by end of April and still no responses from fin-aid because they are just overloaded! We still have zero clue where my child will sleep for Fall 2019 semester. Typically housing runs 2 semesters concurrently, however not the case with Arch. Apparently Fall housing for upperclass is on a lottery system that does not take place until later this Spring. Huge issue because if we have to scramble to find off campus apt they may all be taken on a full Fall/Spring year. RPI has deff not done its due-diligence to be sure the students campus life is a success. Housing is a key piece to a positive environment for classload success.I still do not believe this program was ready for a mandated launch! They don’t seem to have the staff, nor the processes in place. As one staff member explained to me, “we can’t push out upperclass housing yet until we know the incoming Freshman/Sophmore numbers”. I was dumbfounded that they mandate them to stay on Campus for the summer but could care less what happens to them after.
  • Ultramarine777Ultramarine777 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    @annamom, so below are my takeaways:

    1.They redefined the list of the classes offered during the summer. They picked required courses, so student have to take them anyway. Also they looked at the class that can be taught in the more condense time.
    2. If i understood correctly they offer 8 weeks of summer ( more traditional) and 6 weeks of summer sessions. So I guess if one takes 6 weeks of summer he can have more vacation time? This is something to look at especial if student already have AP classes to begin with.
    3. If the plans are changed ( let's say no co-op found) and you cannot go on the semester away when was original requested this can be moved to another time. That was important for me.
    4. As a part of the Arch they plan trips to actual companies and potential employers.
    5. They also plane some cultural outings and trips for kids during the summer so to make it more fun and to band them.
    6.If a kid has a lot of AP classes he/she can do arch between first and second year. Not sure we would want to do it, but may be an option for someone.
    7. Something to keep in mind. They track each visit to the Career center, that is to know if the kid relay does something in order to look for a job and how much effort he/she puts into the search.
    8. Also there is a way to get out or Arch if there is a solid opportunity for that summer. I feel it's not encouraged but doable especial if parents get involve :)

    I did not ask about housing as to me it's not clear where he will live and if he we wants to join a Greek life at all.

    I do believe it will still be a challenge this year as it will be the first real Arch experience with a lot of kids on the campus, but hopefully it will just get better every year.

    In general I do not like something that is mandated upon especially in the private institution, but i do not feel that bad about it now. Hopefully to see how this first year will turn out.

    How does your DD like RPI so far?
  • RegretfulRegretful Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    At admitted students day in spring of 2017 this program was sprung on us. It was one of the main reasons my child did not matriculate. Sounds like we dodged a bullet.
  • Ultramarine777Ultramarine777 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    @Regretful , where did you go?
  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU Registered User Posts: 1,546 Senior Member
    My DS is a current sophomore who will be doing ARCH this summer. It is one long session, not two short session like a community college might have. I don't have all the information but apparently, the students had/ have access to enough to make a plan.

    My DS and his roommates chose to live in Stackwyck this year because they knew it was approved for summer ARCH housing. I think the housing was a little less due to the shorter session. They moved in this Fall, will take a few weeks off when Spring semester ends, and a few more when Summer session ends. They are not moving out in between and will stay in their same rooms. They will get an off campus apartment together in the Fall 2019. DS didn't sign up for a meal plan for the summer and I will just give him more cash and probably put some on a RAD account that can be used all over campus.

    Regarding financial aid, the student can see the aid posted on their SIS account and the parent can see the April bill on the payer account and manually reduce it for the aid awarded. They are visible now. My DS's package did not change, other than maybe an increase with the increase in permitted student loans. There was no change with child #2 about to enter college. (Darn for us.) The Fin Aid office said that every thing just moves forward one semester.
  • Ultramarine777Ultramarine777 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    @TQfromtheU, Thanks a lot for the update from the current student. How does your DS and his friends feel about the ARCH? is it a lot of stress and negativity?
  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU Registered User Posts: 1,546 Senior Member
    DS is indifferent about Arch. College is college. College is a second "home" at this point and they are going with the flow. No more stressful than a regular semester. DS was at home last summer and took some classes, and came home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. He has a very nice tropical vacation planned when Spring ends and will be coming home to visit after Summer session. I'm glad it will not be cold during the Arch summer semester and I don't have to worry about him in all that snow. :-)

    My DS and at least two of his three roommates are not negative people so they are fine. They were sad that one roommate will be away a different semester and could not change it but otherwise they are ready. I've been sharing with DS what I have learned in the RPI parents' group regarding finding an internship/co-op related to his major. Per some of the parents, the career center has provided excellent guidance.

    Our general beliefs are "make it work for you" and "no whining"!
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    edited April 16
    @Ultramarine777

    My DD loves RPI, I think it is mainly because of the friends she made.

    Here are the courses for summer, https://sis.rpi.edu/stuclshr.htm

    It is divided into Term 1 (full term), term 2 (first 6 weeks) and term 3 (final 6 weeks). A normal load is 16 credits which is normally 4 courses, hence a student can maintain fulltime by taking 2 courses in term 2 and 2 courses in term 3 (or other combinations, such as 4 courses in a full term). Obviously a student can take 3 courses for 12 credits while paying a full tuition. Therefore taking the 6 week courses (for 2 classes) does not mean an easier summer and the student will have to take at least another course in term 3. Given the demand (as I have heard/read) of the RPI academics, I have concerned on how much DD actually learns. Last year, they told us about trips to companies and cultural outings, but given the tight schedule in the summer (say less weekends to catch up with the homework), I am not sure how many students can take advantage of it. I guess we will know by the end of this summer.
    They allow freshman students who have AP credits that put them into sophomore status to take Summer Arch early. Some people take the early Arch as it may be difficult for freshman to find an internship during the first summer anyway therefore may as well take the Arch early. In addition, IMO, if a student were "forced" to take courses in the summer, it may be beneficial to take lower level courses.
    3. If the plans are changed ( let's say no co-op found) and you cannot go on the semester away when was original requested this can be moved to another time.
    Did they explain how the financial aid work in the above situation? I suspect the student can still have the RPI scholarship for that "extra" semester, but what about other aids?
  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU Registered User Posts: 1,546 Senior Member
    I didn't get the sense that the semester away was flexible, other than for sports season related request.
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