Honors College

<p>Can any upperclassmen comment on the Honors College activities prior to the start of classes? What was your experience? Thanks a lot!</p>

<p>This info is two years old, but here goes:</p>

<p>My son's class went about an hour away to an outdoor team-building camp. It seemed to be fun and accomplish its goals. One other thing I remember him mentioning was a campus-wide team scavenger hunt. I know there were other activities, but I don't really remember what they were. It is well worth moving in early to participate in these things as well as getting a jump on the large move-in crowds.</p>

<p>Is there a separate orientation for those in honors housing or are you talking about freshmen orientation?</p>

<p>The Honors College does have their own orientation.</p>

<p>The activities I mentioned were for students in the honors housing, but may have also included honors students who lived elsewhere.</p>

<p>There is a separate orientation for those in honors housing. It starts a few days before regular freshman orientation so they can do both. I for one recommend it, altho' it's not mandatory and you can live in honors housing w/o doing the honors orientation. The biggest benefit is getting to move in early and avoid the crush and the craziness (at least that is a benefit to me as a parent). The additional benefit to the kid is they get a few extra days to meet people, make friends, get used to the campus. There will be the usual activities like campus tours, talks about dorm life, etc, but also talks about honors courses and activities and other stuff.</p>

<p>This was my second time doing the college freshman thing and I thought it was worth while (such an option was not available to my oldest at her honors college; we arrived along with several thousand other people). It is esplly good imo for oos kids, so they can have a few extra days in a slightly quieter atmosphere to get used to their new home before classes start.</p>

<p>btw, other people move in early too for various reasons, like the athletes, the RA's, the Arrival Survival helpers, etc., so there are a fair amount of other Pitt students about and a buzz is starting, so it's fun w/o being overwhelming.</p>

<p>Thanks for the info about the honors orientation. My daughter has paid the deposit and will be attending Pitt in the fall. I appreciate all of the positive comments here about Pitt and the honors program. Hopefully the honors housing application will be accepted. </p>

<p>I made the mistake of checking out "Student Reviews." Not much good going on at Pitt according to that site. Must be the 10% or so of the freshmen that did not return who post there. Any other words of advice, support, suggestions etc will always be welcomed.</p>

<p>Trust me, bluejay, your daughter will love Pitt. The Students Review website is the most unreliable thing I have ever seen. I hate it even more than US News. Anyone can just go on and make 100 posts about any school. It takes one very angry person to make a school's grade an F. I will refund your daughter's tuition if she doesn't like Pitt.</p>

<p>You're on! Oh, wait, she has a full OOS tuition scholarship.</p>

<p>Oh well. I would've done it, too!</p>

<p>But seriously, I have only met several people who have said they didn't like Pitt. And all of their reasons had to do with being in a city. So as I've said before, as long as she likes the urban atmosphere, there is nothing to not like about Pitt.</p>

<p>Pat, I was also troubled by the remarks about Pitt on studentsreview dot com, as I mentioned a few weeks ago. The reason is that some of the posters on the parents forum were saying that when they read the reviews for the schools their kids attend, they definitely had the ring of truth to them.</p>

<p>Despite that, my daughter is attending Pitt in the fall. Like bluejay's daughter, she is also OOS and attending on a full-tuition scholarship. I think the school is a bit large for her, and I personally would have preferred something more intimate. But it was her decision to make, and she is very excited about Pitt's setting in an interesting urban area and the friendliness of the kids she met there on a visit. So I have my fingers crossed that the honors program will provide a small-college feel.</p>

<p>LurkNessMonster, I am not saying that all the posts are untrue. I am just saying that it is extremely easy to post false reports. How many actual Pitt students have you met that don't like the school? As you said, your daughter "is very excited about Pitt's setting in an interesting urban area and the friendliness of the kids she met there on a visit." That is hard evidence. That is how you judge a school.</p>

<p>The Princeton Review "The Best 361 Colleges" 2007 Edition-- Quality of Life Ratings</p>

<p>"This rates how happy students are with their lives outside the classroom, on a scale of 60-99. We weighed several factors, including students' overall happiness; beauty, safety, and location of the campus; comfort of dorms; quality of food; ease of getting around campus and dealing with administrators; friendliness of fellow students; and the interaction of different student types on campus and within the greater community."</p>

<p>Here's Pitt's score, along with a couple other schools that Pitt applicants most commonly apply to:</p>

<p>University of Pittsburgh- 89
Michigan- 85
University of Virginia- 84
PSU- 84
Cornell University- 83
New York University- 80
OSU- 78
University of Delaware- 76
University of Pennsylvania- 75
Boston University- 70
University of Maryland- 70</p>

<p>I think that learning how to write clearly and intelligently is one of the most important goals of a liberal arts education. Way back when, when I was an undergrad, I placed out of the writing requirement. I have regretted that every day since. </p>

<p>I am afraid that my daughter will place out of Pitt's writing requirement, based on her SATs. If that happens, I want to try to talk her into taking a writing class anyway. Pat, do you have any suggestions? Or does anyone else have any experience with this?</p>

<p>LurkNess, there are a TON of English composition courses. Here's just a few to give you a taste:</p>

<p>English Comp 0203 Seminar in Composition: Women’s Studies
English Comp 0205 Seminar in Composition: Film
English Comp 0207 Seminar in Composition: Education
English Comp 0550 Introduction to Journalism
English Comp 1310 Newspaper Reportage
English Comp 1320 Feature Writing
English Comp 1391 Writing the Review
English Comp 1392 Documentary Film Writing
English Comp 1393 Sports Writing
English Comp 1394 Science Writing
English Comp 1395 Public Relations Writing
English Comp 1397 Creative Corporate Writing
English Comp 1398 Corporate Speech Writing
English Comp 1399 Topics in Non-Fiction: Newspaper
English Comp 1401 Topics in Non-Fiction: Magazine
English Comp 1403 Topics in Non-Fiction: The Electronic Media
English Comp 1405 Broadcast Writing
English Comp 1760 Advanced Reporting
ENGCMP 0400 Written Professional Communication
ENGCMP 0410 Writing for the Legal Professions
ENGCMP 0420 Writing for the Public
ENGCMP 0440 Critical Writing
ENGCMP 0450 Research Writing
ENGCMP 0515 Persuasive Writing in Advertising and Fundraising
ENGCMP 0550 Topics in Public and Professional Writing
ENGCMP 1200 Advanced Topics in Composition
ENGCMP 1210 Tutoring Peer Writers</p>

<p>Pitt also has a very strong Writing Across the Curriculum Program, which has been mentioned in US News. So your daughter will still have a writing requirement even if she tests out of basic english composition.</p>