Florida Gulf Coast University – Southwest Florida’s Emerging Institution

Florida Gulf Coast University, or FGCU, is one of the newest universities to make its debut in academe, opening its doors in August 1996.  Much of the impetus behind its incorporation was the overwhelming desire of Southwest Florida residents to host a world-class university in their midst. Not surprisingly, the allure of a mild climate, lots of sunshine and nearby beaches has helped FGCU more than double its student enrollments every year since inception to more than 10,000 students for 2008-09.  In an era of college educations that cost upwards of $40,000 a year in tuition, FGCU is a relative bargain with out-of-state annual tuition averaging $17K.

Located on 760 acres in the heart of Southwest Florida, FGCU has carefully mapped out its location to maximize the surrounding wildlife and nature preserves and offer a “living laboratory” to students, faculty, and alumnae.  True to this mission, FGCU is heralded as one of the most ecologically sound campuses in North America.  The University recently purchased waterfront property in Bonita Springs with the intention of developing a marine research laboratory to further capitalize on its coastal location and the abundance of marine and bird life.

A co-ed institution, FGCU is four-year with accreditation to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.  As of the fall of 2008, the University offers 51 undergraduate and 31 graduate degree programs in Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Health Professions. With the plethora of resorts and restaurants in the region, the Resort and Hospitality Management program is one of the more popular majors.  Students can participate in an active internship program at some of the world’s premier resorts located just minutes from campus.  Biology and criminal justice are also growing programs.  The Division of Justice Studies is in its first year of offering a Master of Science in Criminal Forensic Studies, paving the way for future CSI investigators.

Students praise the small class sizes and individual attention with an 18:1 teacher/student ratio at the undergraduate level. FGCU is also one of the most technologically advanced campuses in the world with a campus-wide high-speed Internet network.  Classrooms all feature fully equipped multimedia instructional systems that include Internet access, cameras and audio and video presentation capabilities.   Capitalizing on its expertise, FGCU has hosted an Informational Technology (IT) forum for the past eight years, connecting area experts with MBA students in Germany.

While many students barely tolerate dorm or off-campus living during their college years, the 2,400 students who live in FGCU campus housing enjoy a comparatively luxurious existence.  Residences are apartment-style, completely furnished and wired for high-speed Internet access.  Full-size kitchens, spacious living rooms overlooking the lake, and automated laundry facilities are additional touches that give new meaning to the college experience.  Other amenities include a swimming pool, barbecue areas, beach volleyball, and easy access to lake water sports.

Athletics are an increasingly large part of the FGCU program and encompass baseball, men’s basketball, men’s golf, men’s soccer, men’s tennis, softball, volleyball, women’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s golf, women’s soccer, women’s swimming and diving, and women’s tennis, among others. The women’s teams have performed especially well, despite the newness of the programs with the women’s basketball team ending their 35-1 season with a loss in the Division II National Championship.  As of the 2007-2008 academic year, FGCU moved to Division I sports.

Despite its sunny climate and laid-back atmosphere, FGCU offers a solid classroom experience.  While students can take courses in paradise, graduates are well prepared to excel in today’s tech-savvy and increasingly green environment.

Rely on Education Portals to Study Abroad

There are many education portals whose main aim is to assist enthusiastic students who want to study abroad. Yes, there are plenty of opportunities in many prestigious universities. But you need to pass some International Exams to get a seat in reputed Colleges/Universities. Please note, some courses may need you to come out with flying colours in, may be, two exams or tests. Imagine the consequences. You had passed an exam and your selected University requires the marks of another test. You could have utilized the same time and money for other beneficial purposes.

These education portals can help you get connected with senior students from your selected University. They can give authentic information on the required exams you need to pass to get admission. There will be no cause of error. The reason – they have gone the same route, and got admitted. Now, let us throw light on the popular exams.

A. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Are you a non-English speaker and wish to study in English Universities? Then it is mandatory to pass this test. It tests your ability of the English language and the marks can make you viable for a scholarship.

B. IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

This test analyzes your writing, listening, reading and speaking abilities. It can open many doors of opportunities if you want to study in a UK or Australian University.

C. PTE (Pearson Test of English)

Do you want to clear an International English Exam in quick time? Then, you can take the Pearson Test.

You need to pass any of these three exams before enrolling for a Foreign School or College. But, please remember, you also should check out on your chosen country, field of study and the College. No worries, your student advisor is always available for apt guidance.

Let us look at the other exams you need to prepare for admission in specialized courses.

D. GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

Are you interested in a Business Degree from a Foreign University? Then you need to clear this test. GMAT analyzes your critical reasoning skills.

E. GRE (Graduate Record Exam)

You need to write this exam only if you want to complete your Masters or Post Graduation. This exam is not domain specific. It will test your verbal reasoning, quantitative thinking skills.

F. SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

Have you chosen a US/Canada University? Then it is mandatory to clear SAT for undergraduate studies. The test will assess your writing, mathematical and verbal skills.

G. ACT (American College Test)

The scores will reveal the skills you have for entering college. This test provides data to colleges to judge every student for admission. Please note, the score criteria vary from school to school. But with able help from your student advisor, you will get the best guidance.

H. MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

Are you interested in an undergraduate course in medicine? Do you want to get admitted in a foreign university such as Canada, USA or other countries? Then, passing the MCAT is necessary. This test contains multiple choice questions to test your writing, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Conclusion

We hope that this simple list contains the important exams you need to clear for studying abroad. Are you interested to enrol in a technology course? Then, you need to pass other tests or exams. In this situation, your student advisor can guide you towards the goal.

When It Comes To Your College Planning, Are You Being A "But" – Head?

  • I need to look at colleges…”but” I don’t have time.
  • I should have studied for the SAT… “but” I had a party to go to.
  • I want to go to college…”but” I’m not making the time to find the colleges.
  • I want to major in zzz… “but” I love Costalotta U. even though they don’t offer zzz as a major.

Any of these sound familiar? Let’s be honest, you’ve likely said at least one of these – in some form or another – at one time or another. It’s human nature, we’re all “but” heads – what we’re “but”s about just changes as we get older. (My current “but” head moments center around losing weight – “I want to lose 15 pounds… “but” I don’t want to change the way I eat”)

Parents, your students aren’t the only ones who can be “but” heads.

  • Sending our child to college is important…”but” we can’t start until after our vacation.
  • Sending our child to college is important… “but” we haven’t saved anything.
  • Sending our child to college is a priority… “but” we don’t have enough money for one year let alone all four.
  • Sending our child to college is important… “but” we’re spending $5,000 + per year on sport travel teams, etc.
  • We need help with all of this… “but” we don’t have the money.

Whether you’re a student or a parent, if college is as much of a priority as you say, then action needs to be taken. Thinking about it or hoping things will change won’t actually make it so. College is all about decisions.

Being a “but”-head will sabotage your results. If you find yourself saying you want one thing and then uttering “but” then the first step to getting the results you want is to break this habit.

If you don’t make decisions or put off making them until it’s nearly too late, don’t be surprised when you don’t get in to a particular college or are not offered a lot of scholarship or financial aid.

Your Smart Plan For College Assignment:

Be honest with yourself and see if you’re saying “but” a bit too much. You need to stop this habit now. Start making decisions. Yes, they’re scary. Yes, they have consequences, but without them, your college dreams and goals won’t happen.

Make a decision – indecision is a form of self abuse. There are only about 2% of things in life we actually ever need to “think” over. We know what we need to do – we are just too chicken to do it, so we wait. Make a decision and move on.

7 Common Problems Students Face During University Life

Starting university is like starting a new life. When students leave home for university, they embark on a new journey, one that of self-reliance and self-discovery, which largely shapes up their outlook on life in the longer run.

Most students are not prepared for the challenges of university and end up being overwhelmed, which results in them taking extra time to adjust to their new life. That is fine, as long as you eventually get comfortable with university life, but a far better course of action would be to prepare yourself, mentally and emotionally, for any problem you may face at college and university level.

Here are a few issues you should be ready to deal with as a university student.

1. Adjustment to New Life

Whether you are a student experiencing the campus environment for the first time or going back to the campus life after spending the vacation at home, there will be a period of adjustment, more so in the first scenario.

The first year of university is always extra hard when it comes to adjustment to university life so you should be expecting to at least get a culture shock because of how different things would be compared to home or school. Additionally, it is important to not get in a frenzy over getting everything right. Give yourself some time, and expect to get a little bamboozled, but always stay confident that eventually you will come to love the university life.

2. Homesickness

Since it is the first time being away from home for most students, homesickness can strike very hard. However, thanks to the modern means of communication, most students feeling homesick can stay connected with their parents, family members and friends over the internet.

3. Pressure of Studies

Most students are paying their education expenses themselves so the pressure on them to get good grades is immense. Even if it is not them paying, there are still massive social and educational repercussions of not succeeding in the studies. Students should expect the studies to be much harder than before, and at the same time, should focus more on learning rather than getting a good GPA.

4. Cost of Education

Ever since the most recent increase in the cost of higher education in the UK, the number of students seeking professional counseling has significantly increased. Mental health issues are surfacing more than ever in students according to a survey by the National Students Union (NUS).

You should realize that the only way you can avoid mental anxiety and make the expenses worth is when you enjoy your time in the university, focus on your studies and keep a nice balance between the two.

5. Finding New Friends

It is difficult to make friends at a new place, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will have to fit in with people who have different interests in order to make new friends at university. You can be yourself and find friends at the same time, you just have to be patient and involve yourself in activities that you like.

6. Housing Problems

You may get a place in the hostel or dorm, but it is really difficult to find student accommodation that is right for you. You have to consider factors such as distance, rent rates, facilities, roommates etc. Students face housing problems all the time so if you can, have a place ready before you leave home. Student accommodation is a big issue in UK and you would do well to have a solution prepared.

7. Time Management

From trying to study to living alone and doing the required chores, to maintaining a social life, to possibly working some sort of a job to help with expenses, students don’t have the “time” to manage and think about their time. They sleep in irregular patterns and do everything at the last minute.

This kind of behavior is unsustainable and therefore, you need to at least set a rough timetable and start utilizing your time much more efficiently. You will be surprised at the amount of free time you’ll start to have on your hands.

Creating a College Search Spreadsheet

As soon as you start thinking of schools you may be interested in researching during your college search, you should start keeping track of them. A spreadsheet is a useful tool to keep track of colleges and narrow down to the list of those you want to seriously consider.

You will want to include the following basic information on your spreadsheet:

1. School Name

2. School Location – city and state

3. Number of students

4. Cost to attend

You will also want to add additional information that is important to you. Some examples are:

• How many miles is the school from home or what is the estimated driving time?

• What types of scholarships might you be eligible for?

• Does the school have a major you think might be your first choice?

• When are visit days available?

• What special programs does the school have that you are interested in – honors program, study abroad, leadership program, etc.

• What athletic division is the school?

• Does the school have a varsity sport you are interested in?

• How selective is the school in its admissions?

One benefit of using a spreadsheet for this information is that it gives you the ability to easily sort by any column you create. For example, you could sort the schools by distance from home, by cost, or by size. You can also filter by any of the columns you create, like maybe you want to only see a list of schools that have your intended major or have Division 1 athletics. Another benefit of using a spreadsheet is the ability to add columns as you decide to track additional information.

At the start of your college search process, it is helpful to add any school you think of to your spreadsheet. Record the details and explore the school further. Once you start visiting schools, you can start eliminating some of the schools on your list according to your likes and dislikes. For example, maybe you realized that your ideal school size is less than 2,000 students. In that case, you can eliminate any schools on the list that exceed that number. Maybe you have decided you want to stay within two hours of home – eliminate any schools that are farther away.

As you start narrowing down your original list, you can add detail to gauge your interest level in each school. A color-coding process can be helpful for this. Use a color to signify all schools you plan to visit. Use another color for the schools you visited and liked. Add a column to record your overall impressions of each school.

A college search spreadsheet is a great tool to keep you organized throughout your college search and help you in making your ultimate college choice.