Monthly Archives: February 2015

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New Oasis 2015 Chinese New Year Recap

The first week of Chinese New Year is nearly complete, and we are proud to share that many of our coordinators and schools hosted wonderful celebrations with our students.

We’ve compiled a quick recap of some of the events our coordinators put together this past weekend.

Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School:

Cherie Lachocki, student coordinator for Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, in Kernersville, North Carolina, invited 14 students and their families to a local Chinese buffet. 48 individuals gathered in the restaurant’s party room for nearly four hours!

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Cape Henry Collegiate School:

Dahl and Jack Evartt, coordinators for Cape Henry Collegiate School, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, took their students to Judy’s Sichuan Cuisine for a 10-course meal to celebrate the holiday.

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Gaston Day School:

Suzanne Riley, student coordinator at Gaston Day School, in Gastonia, North Carolina, hosted 15 students to a celebration of culture, where students ate traditional Chinese food, played Chinese instruments and even played video games together.  New Oasis President and CEO Sean Chen attended the festivities, as well as the Head of School at Gaston Day.

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Lehigh Valley Area:

Dan Kester, Nadine Wilkins and Patti Caplete, coordinators from Bethlehem Catholic High School, Allentown Central Catholic High School, Notre Dame High School, and Pius X High Schools, hosted a celebration at a local church, where more than 180 guests gathered to perform traditional dances, sing karaoke, eat Chinese food and share culture. The event was even covered in a regional newspaper!

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North Raleigh Christian Academy:

Tammy Shipway, student coordinator at North Raleigh Christian Academy, in Raleigh, North Carolina, organized a New Year’s Celebration attended by students, natural parents, host families, and NRCA staff.

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Vail Mountain School:

Students at Vail Mountain School, in Vail, Colorado, presented in front of the whole High School about Chinese New Year, and worked with American students to make nearly 500 dumplings for the high school’s students and faculty to eat. The project took two weeks to finish. Shiyao Xing led other Chinese students to teach American students on how to make dumplings.  Many students contributed and finally tried the dumplings on the Chinese New Year.

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Westminster Schools of Augusta:

Kelly Myers, student coordinator at Westminster Schools of Augusta, in Augusta, Georgia, welcomed students into her home for an intimate celebration. Students gathered to celebrate the New Year with food and traditional Chinese decorations.

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College Advising with Megan, February 2015

To better serve our students, New Oasis has improved our college admissions advising with the help of our Academic Coordinator, Megan Aquilante. Megan has more than ten years of college advising experience.

Until recently, Megan served as a Guidance Counselor at Complete College Planning Solutions. She will provide her expertise to our students through monthly on-line presentations and meeting directly with our college admissions advisers.

Dear New Oasis students,

It’s hard to believe we have only about 23 days left until Spring! I’m sure we are all looking forward to warmer days, along with less ice and snow! As we move into the 2nd semester, it’s important for juniors to become aware of items that should be completed each month for their college planning purposes. If you are a current 11th grade student, please make note of the college planning checklist for the month of March:

  • Continue to prepare for the March 14, 2015 SAT (late registration deadline is March 3rd) Check out the CollegeBoard’s SAT Study Plan link: https://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-study-plan
  • If planning on taking the ACT, begin preparing for it and register by March 13th for the April 18th test date: http://www.actstudent.org/testprep/
  • Understand the process for registering and taking an AP exam at your high school
  • Begin and/or continue identifying the search criteria that is important to you in college: Make a file for each college in which you are interested and gather information about academics, location, financial aid and campus life
  • Go to college fairs, college open houses, meet with colleges visiting your high school, take virtual campus tours and learn as much as you can about colleges online
  • Explore the National Association of College Admission Counseling site which provides college fair information: http://www.nacacnet.org/college-fairs/SpringNCF/Pages/default.aspx
  • College fair checklist information to review on CollegeBoard: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/find-colleges/how-to-find-your-college-fit/college-fair-checklist
  • Consider visiting local colleges even if you do not plan on applying there! By visiting you will get a sense of campus size, campus life, and learn about different majors
  • E-mail or call the admissions office and/or professors of the school you are most interested in! Many times this is a great way to find out information not found elsewhere and it shows your demonstrated interest in the school which schools will make note of
  • Develop a preliminary list of colleges that interest you
  • Plan summer employment, activities, or consider taking summer classes or enrichment programs (New Oasis provides professional and individualized summer program advising!)

In addition to the checklist, to better serve our students New Oasis is committed to communicating with and collecting admissions information from different colleges and universities. Our goal is to help students better understand admissions at colleges and universities. We hope you find our ongoing college admissions research useful, and are delighted to provide some highlights of these recent conversations. Should students seek additional information on these schools please contact the New Oasis Academic Team.

Babson College, information provided by Cheryl Borden Associate Director, Undergraduate Admission Center

  • What is the most important part of an international student application? Answer: English proficiency, the SAT, TOEFL, and the writing of application essays. We place a lot of emphasis on math because it’s a huge element to the curriculum at Babson (expectation at least pre-calculus taken in high school before students enter Babson)
  • Do you give more weight to any part of the TOEFL score? Answer: Minimum 100 on TOEFL IBT and there’s no emphasis on any sub section (we don’t superscore)
  • What are you most difficult majors to gain admittance into? Technically all students get the same major which is Business but applicants can indicate concentrations (applicants can pick up to two out of the 27 options). The most popular concentration is finance (over 25% choose this), then marketing, accounting, entrepreneurship, and global business management
  • What are the requirements for the most difficult/popular majors on campus? Answer: The students most competitive are typically a strong B or higher average student and students who have taken some challenging curriculum. We look closely at the math level studied, the “Why Babson?” is an important essay, look for student research on Babson. In addition, overall Babson wants to see a strong GPA/Curriculum/Standardized Test Scores)

Vassar College, information provided by Catherine Chan, Senior Assistant Director of Admission

  • How do you review international applicants when evaluating domestic applicants? Are they reviewed by the same office or separate offices? Are international students held to the same standards as domestic students? Answer: Vassar uses a holistic review of applications and admission representatives work with both international and domestic applicants so there’s lots of overlap, and familiarity with different levels of student readiness for college. The admissions officer contact for students is the representative that handles a student’s US high school, and the GPA sought after depends on the student’s high school context (so flexibility)
  • Vassar College requires all applicants to submit standardized test results. Candidates for admission should submit EITHER the SAT Reasoning Test along with 2 SAT Subject Tests (each SAT Subject Test should be taken in a different academic subject), OR the ACT exam with the writing test. In assessing SAT scores, Vassar uses the highest individual subscores (Critical Reading/Math/Writing) taken from multiple SAT test dates. In assessing ACT scores, Vassar uses the highest subscores taken from multiple test dates and recalculates a new composite score. For candidates taking both the SAT Reasoning Test and the ACT, Vassar will use whichever scores are higher.
  • Vassar typically expects scores of at least 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL, 250 on the computer-based TOEFL, and 600 on the paper-based version. As an alternative to the TOEFL, Vassar also accepts the IELTS. A minimum score of 7.0 on the IELTS Academic Test is required.
  • What are you most difficult majors to gain admittance into? Answer: Just indicate an intended area of interest, no core curriculum so students can change their major as many times as they want
  • What do you look for in an international student essay? Answer: Vassar takes a holistic review of the applications and want to see that applicants write well and have something to say that engages the reader. The “Why Vassar?” application question is very important. Vassar wants students to convey attributes of who they really are! Write your own essays!
  • What do you think international students should know most about your school? Answer: We’re close to a major metro area but we are traditional liberal arts…98% residential. We have a culture that makes students want to stay on campus and have a very vibrant campus life. There is a relatively large international student community on campus so international students feel they have a shared experience. About 10% of Vassar students hold foreign citizenship. Current students represent 60 different nations, with the largest representation coming from Bulgaria, China, India, Jamaica, Canada, Ghana, Singapore, Ecuador, and Romania.
  • Vassar College is located in Poughkeepsie, NY, in the Hudson River Valley, 75 miles (120 km) north of New York City. The population of the greater Poughkeepsie area is about 100,000.

University of California, Davis, information provided by Jordan England Associate Director, International Admissions and Recruitment

  • UC Davis has a specific international admissions team the reviews applications for any students that completed international coursework. A student who is not a US citizen, but took all courses in the US are reviewed by a different admissions team.
  • Use a holistic process when reviewing applications. The goal is to understand context and evaluate the student within their environment and their experience. We are trying to gauge how strong the applicant is within the students’ life and academic context.
  • How do you figure out a student’s GPA if they have both a transcript from China and one from their US high school? Answer: If the admissions office has any questions about the self-reported transcript on the application, then UC Davis will ask applicants to upload their transcript. Really looking at individual parts of the application. We do recalculate a GPA for statistical purposes, but really focus on individual grades and courses and context. Most students have higher than a 3.4 un-weighted GPA.
  • What are your most difficult majors to gain admittance into? Answer: There are 4 different colleges on campus and admission is different for each. Some admit by major and some by college. Depending on the number of student applicants for each major it can make it more competitive based on that year the applicant applies. (changes every year)
  • If unable to gain admittance into a certain major as a freshman, what is the possibility of transferring in later and the prerequisites needed to enter? Answer: Can change after one quarter, but any selective major will have specific pre-requisites and an academic advisor will need to work with student to help them meet those requirements.
  • What is a common mistake you see international students make on applications? Answer: Accuracy because of the information that needs to be self-reported. The applicant needs to complete their application with their transcript sitting next to them. We do not want students to report inaccurate grades. Also, students trying to translate their grades on their own is not allowed. Students must report the grade that is reported on their transcript. Having an agent fill out an application is a mistake. When a student signs the application they are signing that they completed it on their own.
  • UC Davis is a big campus with 25,000 undergrad students so many opportunities are available to students. Students are able to find smaller communities of interest on campus, but with being a big campus students need to seek out professors for office hours and need to take the initiative to build relationship with professors.
  • UC Davis is truly a traditional college town. Students ride bicycles, there are farmers markets, bands that play in the park. It is not a big city, and offers a very friendly and collaborative campus atmosphere.  International students love it once they learn to appreciate the smaller college town setting.
  • Great international student support service. Every college has academic advisors for international students. There is an optional course offered all 3 terms, which is about adjusting to life in the US and the students who take the course tend to to have higher GPAs in their college classes.


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Bethlehem Catholic High School announces partnership with Cabrini College

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New Oasis is excited to announce a new partnership that will surely benefit its students. Students at Bethlehem Catholic High School may now earn college credit while still in high school, thanks to a new program.

Bethlehem Catholic has established a new academic partnership with Cabrini College, a residential liberal arts college in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

In Jan. 2015, juniors and seniors became eligible to take Cabrini College courses. Students may take advantage of courses being taught on campus at Bethlehem Catholic, as well as on the Cabrini College Campus in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

These courses are taught by Cabrini faculty, college professors hired by Cabrini College, allowing students to earn three credits for each course.

Registration has already begun for the 2015-16 courses: “Communications” in the summer of 2015; “Sociology” in the fall of 2015; and “Psychology” in the spring of 2016.

Registration is completed at Bethlehem Catholic. The cost of each course is $300. By the end of an academic year, a student can earn up to nine college credits. By graduation, a student can earn up to 18 college credits.

These credits are transferrable to nearly any university in the United States, therefore students do not need to attend Cabrini University to use the credits.

 

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