Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Read This Article from the New York Times!!!

Here is an excellent article about some colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer excellent educational opportunities for students despite being "off the beaten path."

Competition to the "brand-name" colleges and universities is getting fiercer and fiercer, so students should consider other alternatives such as the colleges and universities mentioned in this article.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An English Usage Lesson

Young people everywhere like to use slang terms that their peers use. However, not all English slang terms are appropriate for all situations. In fact, some terms are insensitive and disparaging. To demonstrate that you are an educated, culturally-sensitive person, avoid using the following terms in your everyday speech:

"That's so lame!" The word "lame" originally referred to a person who was not able to walk. Although the word is not commonly used these days to refer to a person who has a mobility impairment, some who do have such a disability might be hurt or offended by this phrase. Use a more neutral phrase, such as "That's ridiculous!" to describe something that does not meet your approval or standards.

"That's dumb!" Like the word "lame," the word "dumb" used to refer to a person who could not speak. English speakers do not usually use this word anymore to refer to a person with a speech impediment, but a person with a speech impairment might be offended by this phrase. Again, use a more neutral phrase.

"That's so gay!" Unfortunately there are still many people in today's society who are unable to accept gay and lesbian people as equal members of our culture, despite the fact that medical, psychological, and sociological research indicates that sexual orientation is a natural variation of the human condition. Whatever one's opinion on this topic, it is never acceptable to disparage another group of people based on their natural characteristics.

"Cry/Scream/Throw a ball like a little girl." Using this phrase indicates that you think little girls are incapable of controlling their emotions or playing sports effectively. In fact, there are many very capable female athletes, and little boys are just as likely to cry or scream as little girls. While researchers debate the extent of the influence of biology on behavior, choose phrases that are sensitive to the feelings of people who are different from you.

"Man up" or "Grow a Pair of __." In many cases it seems like the pendulum has swung the opposite direction, and now it is common to disparage men in our language. Men can suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental/emotional disorders as much as women, yet we often criticize a man who seems hesitant, fearful, or anxious, making him out to be effeminate or emasculated. This is terribly unfair to the man, as we have no right to judge the internal life of that individual. Instead of extending criticism, why not just ask the man, "Why are you thinking or feeling this way?" His answer will help you understand him, and it might help him work through some of his issues in a healthy way.

Put yourself in the other person's shoes: You wouldn't like it if people went around saying "That's so Korean," or "Don't be an Indonesian" or "You act like a Chinese" would you? The world would be a much better place if we would just treat others the way we would like to be treated ourselves. That's a big, big change for the world to make, but change starts with the individual.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is college right for you?

Earning a college degree isn't easy. It requires motivation, effective time management, good study habits, social and financial support, and more. Many students begin their college years with struggles. It is common for first-year students to make grades in college that are much lower than the grades they received in high school. This doesn't mean that college isn't the right choice for them, but it might mean that it might not be the right time for them to be attending college.

There is a lot of social pressure from family, peers, and culture to attend college immediately after high school and receive a college degree within four years of study. This is an outdated mode of thinking. Today's college students have to juggle commitments in addition to those required by college, and earning a college degree is simply more complicated than it was in the past. The average age of undergraduate students in the U.S. is around 26, and the average college student in the U.S. takes about 6.5 years to complete a bachelor's degree. If your parents attended college, they probably had a much different experience from the one that most college students today have.

If you are struggling academically in college, ask yourself these difficult questions:
1. Do I really want to be in college right now?
2. If I weren't in college, what would I be doing?
3. What motivated me to attend college in the first place (family, self, etc.)?
4. Am I struggling in just one or two areas academically, or in all sorts of classes?
5. What's going on in my life outside of college that might be affecting my performance in classes?
6. How do I spend my time each day, and why do I spend it that way?

You should talk to a counselor if you feel that now might not be the right time for you to be in college, or if you want to be in college but are struggling academically. A counselor can help you connect with various campus resources to help you be a successful student, such as tutoring or disability services. The counselor can also coach you on how to have a conversation with your family if you feel that you do not want to be in college at this time in your life.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Scholarships Website

I recently learned about this website for searching for scholarships and other university-related information: I don't know much about it, but from a first glance, it looks OK. If you check it out and find something you don't understand, or if you think it's not legitimate, let me know:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

UC Statistics

Many international students are curious about the admissions statistics for the various University of California campuses. The UC Office of the President collects data each year and posts that data on a website called UCStatfinder, located at

Here are some data from Fall 2009 that I collected from that website that might be of interest to international students planning to transfer to Berkeley, Los Angeles, or San Diego:
1. Berkeley: 1,444 international students applied, 324 were admitted, for an admit rate of 22.4%. The average GPA of these students was 3.86.
2. Los Angeles: 1,768 international students applied, 595 were admitted, for an admit rate of 33.7%. The average GPA of these students was 3.77.
3. San Diego: 1,458 international students applied, 927 were admitted, for an admit rate of 63.6%. The average GPA of these students was 3.72.

The website includes such data and more for the other UC campuses, as well.

According to the website data, DVC was the number one community college transfer institution for school year 2008-2009 for both Berkeley and Davis, with 208 and 165 students, respectively. DVC ranked number ten in the number of transfer students from California community colleges to both Los Angeles and San Diego.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Program Accreditation

There are national and international professional accrediting agencies that give their stamp of approval to programs that meet their standards. This type of accreditation is important, especially if you plan to seek a license of some sort related to your program of study. Program accreditation can also help you identify a "good" school to attend for your major.

Some professional accreditation programs include:

1. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB []

2. For engineering programs, ABET, Inc. []

3. The National Architectural Accrediting Board, or NAAB []

4. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design []

These are just a few examples of professional accrediting agencies. Visit the Career and Employment Services office, 1st floor Student Services Building, for more information about professional accrediting agencies, or come see me in the Counseling Center if your program is not business, engineering, architecture, or design, and we'll see what we can find out together.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The following link is for a very useful page on the University of California system website. It has frequently asked questions relevant for community college transfer students.

Prospective transfer students should read these FAQs carefully to find the answers to common questions about transferring to the UC.

Academic Counseling FAQs

Below are the questions that you will find in the Academic Counseling FAQs in the International Student Resources link on the International Student Admissions and Services page, at Be sure to check out these FAQs before making an appointment, coming for a quick drop-in question, or sending an email; you might find the answer you're looking for there and save yourself and me some valuable time.


What does a counselor do at DVC?

How can I make an appointment to see a counselor?

I have a question/concern about my passport, visa, I-20, or medical insurance. Where do I go for help?

How do I know which classes to take?

How can I compute or predict my Grade Point Average, or GPA?

All of the classes I want to take are already full! What should I do?

How many units can I transfer with a “Pass” grade?

I have units/exam scores from another institution that I want to use to clear the prerequisite for a class I want to take at DVC. How do I get permission to do that?

I think I will make a D or F in a class! What should I do?

I plan to transfer to a private or out-of-state university. How can I know which courses to take at DVC?

How often can I take the Math and English assessment tests?

I disagree with the grade that I received from my instructor. How can I resolve this dispute?

How can I find important dates and deadlines online?

How can I find out admissions statistics for the University of California campuses?

How can I know which CSU’s are still accepting applications from international transfer students?

When am I supposed to pay my fees?

How can I apply for a scholarship?

How can I find out about student clubs and organizations at DVC?

How can I find a job on campus?

I need to drop below 12 units this semester. What should I do?

I just found out that I will fail my class, and the deadline to drop has already passed! What can I do?

Will a “W” grade affect my admissibility to a university?

I have college units from my home country. How can I determine how those units will apply toward my academic goal?

I want to take English 122, but my English assessment results indicate that I have to begin with a lower-level English class. How can I take English 122 directly?

Why can’t I take only classes that are transferable and required for my major?