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Value-added education

pmyenpmyen Registered User Posts: 539 Member
edited April 2007 in Smith College
I remember reading Lauren Pople's book "Colleges that Change Lives" several years ago when my oldest son applied to college. One enlightening concept for me was the notion of "value-added education" which considers how much learning is acquired while in college. Some of the schools that he mentioned took students that were B and C students, and prepared them well for graduate and professional school and the working world. Although Smith attracts some of the best and the brighrest women, I do think the education there also is value-added as some student truly find their own place while there. It is a place where women are challenged to do their best, and also to explore all areas even (or perhaps particularly) those traditionally pursued by men. My daughter is a sophomore and I have seen her blossom intellectually and socailly during her short time there. She also has received tremondous support from faculty and other students. We received the good news that she is a finalist for a major fellowship. She received help from her advisor and also students who previously had won fellowships. One of them is even coaching her on the interview. Anyways, like many parents on this board, I am very appreciative of the education my daughter has received.
Post edited by pmyen on

Replies to: Value-added education

  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    I agree. The "value added" component of Smith is part of what makes me such an enthusiast for the institution. And frankly it makes me more willing to assume parental loans than I would for some other options.
  • bjacobsenbjacobsen Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I appreciate your comments. My daughter decided on Smith over McGill. While McGill would save us a lot of money (which doesn't gorw on trees in our house) we decided that Smith is worth the extra dollars. You seem to think so and it helps to hear this. Is your daughter there now?
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    Define "there." She's enrolled at Smith but is currently located in Budapest on a semester abroad, this following a semester in Washington, the two comprising her junior year.

    She's looking forward to being back at Smith. Even being in the "Smith bubble." LOL, but I think she's had a big enough dose of the real world for just the moment. I don't think she really ever comprehended how easy Smith made things for students until she was "away."

    And, to your point, yes, Smith is a case where I think the extra dollars are worth it...there are many schools that I don't feel that way about. McGill is a good university in my opinion and I'd take it over many American uni's. I had a professor client from UCLA who was offered a position he couldn't turn down at McGill.
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    “we decided that Smith is worth the extra dollars. You seem to think so and it helps to hear this”.

    Bjacobsen, I’m very familiar with McGill (I almost applied) and like the college very much. And who doesn’t love Montr
  • BJM8BJM8 Registered User Posts: 1,279 Senior Member
    Great news RLT...Congrats to you and your D! ;)
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    Well thank you BJM…..I have to admit, though, all the credit goes to my daughter, Smith and friends, and my brilliant wife, whose genes are thankfully dominant over mine. I’m only kept around for laughs and giggles and to take out the garbage.
  • pmyenpmyen Registered User Posts: 539 Member
    The latter roles are vital ones! Congratulations on your daughter's acceptance and decision. I'm sure she will have exciting and rewarding college years ahead.
  • ieparentieparent Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    I just read your post to me. It is a huge help to hear your insight esp. today as I mull over the whole process in my head. I will have my daughter read this. Thank-you so much for your comments. They do ease some of our anxiety. She has a lot to look forward to at Smith. Smaller classes,stellar teachers, proactive advisors etc.... all of which are harder to come by at a large national school.
  • pmyenpmyen Registered User Posts: 539 Member
    leparent,
    Thanks for your note regarding your daughter's decision between McGill and Smith. Both are excellent schools. I think you have mentioned all the advantages of a LAC such as Smith and I do believe that Smith succeeds in its mission of providing a great education for women that will prepare them for whatever endeavors lay ahead. However, unless your daughter durrently is going to single sex high school, I do think she needs to think through how she will find going to a women's college. There are some inherent advantages of such an environment (leadership opportunities, close female friendships, mentoring, alumnae networking, role models, etc) but it certainly is not for everyone. My impression is that most of the students who decide to transfer from Smith do so for social reasons as they found they preferred being in a co-educational environment.

    Going back to the value-added theme, my daughter is going on a field trip this weekend with her sociology class to visit the Japanese -American embarkation center during the Second World War and the Japanese-American museum in L.A. Quite a 3 day field trip! Apparently the dept. had some extra funds when a speaker could not come to campus, and they decided to sponsor the trip instead. Smith seems to have the financial resources to provide some of these unique and, I am sure, memorable learning opportunities.
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    Indeed they do. Smith pays airfare and lodging for members of my daughter’s sectioned club to travel to DC for national meetings.

    The obvious benefit is even those students’ without the means to pay for airfare and lodging aren’t dissuaded from joining a club for fear or embarrassment due to being unable to join their fellow students during aforementioned trips b/c of finances.

    And Smith has vans that can be used by clubs to travel to other campuses or towns for any educational/club event. Many colleges, including Holyoke, have vans for said use, but they’re limited to travel of 100 miles or so. 100 miles for Holyoke gets you nowhere. Smith has allowed women to take vans as far as DC. I know my daughter’s club has taken the van to Tufts, Harvard, Bowdoin, and M.I.T for (cough) meetings----great way to meet guys.

    Smith also underwrites the insurance expense of Zipcars, which can be rented by anyone 18 or over. Only 30 colleges in the country have use of Zipcars, Harvard, Wellesley, Brown, Columbia, M.I.T. Georgetown, etc. It might be seem like a small perk at first blush but can be a substantial benefit when invited- or self-invited ;) to a party, social event, play, musical performance, debate etc, at a *co-ed* college (think Harvard, Brown, Amherst. Tufts, etc) and the bus schedule is unworkable.

    No one perk in of itself is a reason to attend Smith; however, when all of them, and many more not mentioned, are all considered together, they aptly demonstrate Smith’s immense commitment to enriching every woman’s college experience in as well as out of the classroom.
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