Tuesday, May 31, 2011

College Prep Tip of the Week: Plan Ahead

College Prep Tip of the Week: Plan Ahead

"In a speech to Congress on Feb. 24, 2009, President Obama encouraged every American to complete at least one year of education beyond high school, whether at a community college, or a four-year school, or through vocational training, or an apprenticeship. This checklist will tell you how to get ready for that education — and how the government will help you pay for it." - http://studentaid.ed.gov

The website studentaid.ed.gov provides a great road map of the college planning process for students (of any age) who haven't attended college or trade school and parents of students in elementary and secondary school.

Having a checklist such as this provides you with a plan, a compass if you will, to help navigate the path to college. This particular list is great because it talks about the academic and financial preparation families should have for education beyond high school. The page is split into sections for students and parents, explaining what to do and which publications or web sites might be useful.
The three basic principles outlined on this site are:

College Preparation Checklist

At UAF you can contact the Financial Aid Office for information on where you can find money for school; you can talk with an Admissions Counselor for questions about what classes to take in high school; and you can explore your career options with our Career Services Office.

Of course, we encourage you to visit campus so that you can meet with representatives from these offices and our academic programs. For information about how to visit, got to: http://www.uaf.edu/admissions/info.

Until then, happy planning!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Making the most of your campus visit

UAF's Discover UAF: Inside Out event is just around the corner (June 24th) and so I felt inspired to share this little nugget with our followers.

I found the advice listed below in an article on the College Board website in a section dedicated to helping students prepare for their college search process. (I highly recommend checking in out!) As you read through the article you will notice that there are links you can click on. These links will (more often than not) take you to a UAF website. My advice: click through and read more about these areas and then...COME VISIT US.

If you haven't signed up for
Discover UAF: Inside Out, it's June 24, 2011 and you can sign up by clicking here!

Campus Visit Checklist - www.collegeboard.com/student Make the Most of Your Trip
Visiting a campus helps you get a sense of what that college — and life for its students — is like. This can make a difference when you’re deciding whether the college is a good fit for you.

When you’re planning your trips, make sure that you allow enough time to explore each college as fully as possible. Wander around the campus by yourself and imagine being a student there. Here are some things you can check out while you’re visiting.

Admission and Academics
Find out what you need to do to apply. And see if the college environment supports your educational goals.

Participate in a group information session at the admission office.
Interview with an admission officer.
Pick up financial aid forms.
Sit in on a class that interests you.
Meet a professor in your chosen major or in a subject area that you may want to pursue.
Get business cards and the names of people you meet for future contacts.

Campus Life

Daily life has a big effect on your happiness — and your success — at a college. Get a feel for student life and decide whether the college is a setting where you can thrive.

Take a campus tour.
Scan bulletin boards to see what day-to-day student life is like.
Talk to the coaches of sports in which you might participate.
Go to the career center and learn what services it offers.
Plan an overnight with a student.
Ask to see the residence hall where most freshmen live.
Visit the cafeteria, fitness center, library, bookstore and other campus facilities.
Walk or drive around the community surrounding the campus.

Campus Media

Tune in to learn what’s happening on campus and what’s on students’ minds.

Listen to the college radio station.
Read the student newspaper.
Review other student publications — department newsletters, alternative newspapers, literary reviews.
Browse through campus blogs.

Current Students

Being on campus gives you a wonderful chance to talk to the students who currently go to that college. You can ask questions like these to see what their experience is, and what yours might be like:

What are the best reasons to go here?
What do you do on weekends?
What do you love about this college?
What do students complain about most?

Photo credit: Todd Paris, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Marketing and Communications
Participants at the Spring 2011 Inside Out event pose for photo opportunities with UAF's mascot, the Nanook.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

College Prep Tip of the Week: Take Algebra II

As the video shows below, Algebra II is tough, but not that tough. Students thinking about going to college should plan to stick with Math for at least 3 years (preferably 4). At UAF we require math as a part of the undergraduate core curriculum. Having a strong background in math will provide you with a strong foundation for success!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

University of Alaska Fairbanks to launch new outdoor facility

University of Alaska Fairbanks to launch new outdoor facility
by Jeff Richardson / jrichardson@newsminer.com
May 16, 2011 | 873 views | 4 4 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
FAIRBANKS — The University of Alaska Fairbanks is about to start work on the first steps of a new Outdoor Education Center, launching a facility that officials believe could ultimately transform winter recreation on campus.

Vice Chancellor for Students Mike Sfraga said the outdoors center is part of an effort to gradually turn UAF into a more enjoyable place for students, particularly during winter months. Chancellor Brian Rogers challenged administrators last year to eye the campus with that goal in mind.

The centerpiece will be a new climbing wall near the campus sledding hill, capable of simulating rock climbing in the summer months and an ice wall in the winter.

“The big idea is, how do we transform this campus to reflect the student that goes here?” Sfraga said. “A little more adventurous, a little more outdoorsy.”

The new climbing structure, which would be more than 30 feet tall, would supplement a less-sophisticated climbing wall inside the nearby Student Recreation Center.

UAF’s student government allocated $50,000 toward the project, which was matched by Rogers using privately raised money from the UA Foundation.

Sfraga said it should be just enough money to build the wall. Designs for the new facility should be completed by the end of the month, with construction starting in July.

UAF Outdoor Adventures coordinator Mark Oldmixon envisions a structure that will be useful to everyone from novices to elite climbers. The new wall will be able to provide technical climbing training, such as lead climbing and belaying skills.

“Our current climbing wall is awesome and gets a ton of use, but it’s limited in its educational value,” he said.

Two other elements of the park are envisioned after the climbing wall is completed, although funding for those pieces still hasn’t materialized.

A “ropes course” is tentatively planned for an area near the roundabout on lower campus, providing an area strung with ropes for skill development and exercise. A third piece would include a terrain park for snowboarders below the Butrovich Building.

Oldmixon said each piece of the planned center will have education potential, including possible use by ROTC students or campus clubs. The areas will be fenced and well-lighted, with limited hours and staff oversight.

“It’ll be heavily supervised,” Oldmixon said. “Definitely not a free-range activity.”

Sfraga said a second phase of the outdoors education center has been discussed and could include a series of zip lines from upper campus to the climbing wall. That phase is more a dream than a well-defined goal.

“That’s the grand plan,” Sfraga said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get there.”

The concept of the outdoors center has been discussed since last fall, spurred by Rogers’ desire for a more inviting campus environment. Sfraga envisions the new additions as pieces that will allow UAF to retain more students and boost recruiting efforts.

A handful of questions remain about the projects, including how their operations will be staffed and funded.

Sfraga said UAF should be able to handle some of the added workload with existing employees, but more personnel likely will be needed to oversee and maintain the facilities. He said campus officials will evaluate those needs later this summer.

Sfraga said the outdoors center probably won’t require an added fee for UAF students, although some equipment rental may be involved. Off-campus school groups and Scouts could be potential users, and those groups would likely pay an undetermined cost to use the facilities, he said.

Sfraga said he would like to see the climbing wall completed in time for UAF student orientation in late August, although he admits that timeline will be tough to achieve. A fall opening is more likely.

“It’s still a vision, but we’re working toward the reality of this,” he said.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - University of Alaska Fairbanks to launch new outdoor facility

College Prep Tip of the Week: Envision Yourself in College

Monday, May 9, 2011

In the news: Joe Alloway, Admissions Counselor and Graduation Emcee

UAF announcer finds graduation a special thrill
by Jeff Richardson / jrichardson@newsminer.com
May 08, 2011 | 1026 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
University of Alaska Fairbanks admissions counselor Joe Alloway poses for a photograph in Signer s Hall Wednesday afternoon, May 4, 2011. Alloway, who will be emceeing the UAF graduation ceremony for the third straight year, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
University of Alaska Fairbanks admissions counselor Joe Alloway poses for a photograph in Signer's Hall Wednesday afternoon, May 4, 2011. Alloway, who will be emceeing the UAF graduation ceremony for the third straight year, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
FAIRBANKS — Diplomas won’t be handed out at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for nearly a week, but Sunday’s rapidly approaching commencement ceremony is already making Joe Alloway nervous.

Alloway, an admissions counselor at UAF, isn’t among those sweating out final exams. He’s more likely having flashbacks to some of last year’s graduates, which included daunting pronunciations like Okechukwu A. Opara and Mindona M. Krzykowski.

It’s Alloway who acts as emcee at the event, reading off more than 1,000 names and dozens of doctoral theses in a little more than two hours.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - UAF announcer finds graduation a special thrill

College Prep Tip of the Week: Be determined