Two years ago I was asking myself the same question that lots of current high school seniors are asking themselves now: now that I know my options, what college do I commit to? It can be a tough decision and I'd like to share why I think RIT should be your pick.
10. Internet: In all fairness, the speed and accessibility of the internet isn't really what you should be judging schools on but RIT boasts one of the fastest internet connects among colleges. In addition, over 3,900 wireless access points across the campus (some that are even outside) mean that you'll always have a fast link to the internet.
9. Campus events: Some of my best memories of college are ones made at campus events. Whether it is a major event put on by the College Activities Board (CAB) or an event hosted by one of the many organizations at RIT, your're in for a good time. Some of my favorites include Mud Tud put on by Zeta Tau Alpha and Phi Kappa Psi, Freeze Fest which is run by the Center for Campus Life, the Greek Progamming Board's Greek Week, and Derby Days run by Sigma Chi.
8. Diversity: More than 1,400 international students from 100 countries attend RIT. In addition, RIT is host to the National Technical School for the Deaf, the first and largest technological college in the world for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. There are about 1,200 students enrolled at RIT and it's very common to have an ASL interpreter in one of your classes. Coming into RIT I had little to no knowledge of American Sign Language or deaf culture but though such programs as No Voice Zone I was able to learn more. It is also very helpful to learn about other cultures by gaining a prospective from a student who is a part of that culture. As an international relations minor, I have taken classes where students native to a region being discussed in class have stood up and told stories you just don't read about in a textbook.
7. On-campus jobs: There are many jobs available on campus and the Student Employment Office makes it easy to find and apply for one that is best for you. Having an on-campus job is a good way to earn money to help pay for college, have some extra spending cash, and to get work experience to build up your resume.
6. The RIT bubble: The entire RIT campus is enclosed in a loop and you're never more than a 15 minute walk from classes if you live on campus. While the school is inside its own loop you aren't far away from places like Chipotle, Target, Wegmans, the mall, movie theaters, and one of my favorite eateries, Mighty Taco.
5. Green Commitment: RIT has made a commitment to sustainability and is working constantly to better its carbon footprint and green practices. The school is home to three LEED Certified buildings (two of which are Platinum, the highest ranking) and the new Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS). GIS is a multidisciplinary academic unit at RIT which is host to academic programs and research centers devoted to sustainable production, sustainable energy, sustainable mobility and ecologically friendly information technology systems.
4. Clubs and organizations: There are over 250 student organizations, 11 Major Student Organizations (MSOs), and 30 Greek organizations on campus. It's easy to find an organization you'd like to be a part of. As a freshman going through orientation you have the opportunity to go to club interest sessions and learn more about your options. You can always learn more about clubs from the Club Resource Center and Greek organizations from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Getting involved with a club or organization early is a great way to get the most out of your time in college.
3. Faculty and staff: One of my favorite things about RIT is its faculty and staff. First off, meeting with your instructor is very easy to do as all professors must have at least 4 offices per week. If office hours don't work for you can always email them or call their office. I've had professors that go further and allow students to call or text them for help. There was even a group in one of my business classes that was able to Skype with our instructor over the weekend to discuss a project for an assignment that was due on Monday. The staff at RIT also care about students and are just as dedicated as faculty. I have never had a bad experiences with RIT staff members; they like what they do at RIT and you can tell.
2. Real world education: Reading textbooks and doing coursework are two foundations of education learning about things from someone who has actually done them is what gives you an edge. Having professors have worked in the field or currently still do is very helpful as procedures and technology can change very quickly. Learning about how things are in the real world from someone who has done them will help make you a better person in the field that you are going into.
1. Co-ops: The Office of Co-op and Career Services is a resource that helps put RIT students ahead of their peers. Earlier I said that learning about things from someone who has done them is helpful. Well, how about doing them yourself before you even graduate? Going on co-op can may many things for students. It's maybe the first time they've been completely on their own or maybe it's their first "real job." Co-ops offer students experience that they might not get until after they graduate. Furthermore, it's useful to learn about how things are done in school one term and then be doing them yourself a few weeks later in another term. RIT is celebrating 100 years of co-ops this year and it's safe to say that we can look forward to many more years of great opportunities with excellent companies around the world.
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