Stonehill College Lauded as National “Gem”
July 29, 2010
New book touts "caring, involved" professors
Stonehill College is an "overlooked gem" that deserves more attention from applicants and parents, according to a new book by a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist.
Acceptance, by David Marcus, praises Stonehill's "involved" faculty, and students' extensive participation in internships and public service.
The book profiles Gwyeth Smith - known as one of the country's best guidance counselors. Smith urges students to look at the "fit" of a college, and not just its supposed prestige. In that spirit, the book includes Smith's 40 favorite colleges from his 40 years of admissions counseling.
"Stonehill prepares students to become leaders because it provides a strong liberal arts foundation with more than 80 majors and minors in the liberal arts, sciences, business, and pre-professional advising programs," Smith said.
"The College has such a caring, involved faculty that they even call a student who misses class to see what happened," he added.
Smith commended Stonehill's emphasis on globalization, with nine out of ten students studying a foreign language and more than half having an international experience. He cited "excellent" participation in internships and field experience, which attract 85 percent of students.
Smith said he likes Stonehill's community service, through its student-run "Into the Streets" volunteer program as well as alternative spring breaks. More than two-thirds of the student body participates in community service.
Smith also complimented Stonehill's scenic campus, which is about 20 miles from Boston. Stonehill's ideal location between Boston and Providence, RI, offers students easy access to jobs, internships, museums, sports games, and more.
Marcus and Smith have spoken to thousands of parents, teenagers and guidance counselors during their nationwide tour of schools, churches and synagogues. They reassure families that a student's comfort with a campus is far more important than a famous name on the gates. They also discuss the 40 "gems," including Stonehill.
The book follows several students from diverse backgrounds at a suburban New York high school as they search for the right colleges. Smith calls the college quest the "great American adolescent rite of passage." Marcus, a former education writer for U.S. News & World Report, shows the young men and women are all on a journey of self-discovery.
In the book, Smith offers advice on a variety of topics, including standardized tests, college-prep courses, and campus visits ("sit in on a professor teaching a subject you're sure you'd want to take, as well as one you assume you'd never take").
Smith suggests that students take the high school's most demanding courses while exploring after-school options at nearby community colleges or universities.
Smith is particularly passionate about the application essay. "Sometimes an incredible essay can sway admissions officers into accepting a borderline applicant, and even a long shot." He advises most students to take both the SAT and the ACT because "individual test-taking skills are often better suited to one or the other."
Published by Penguin Books, Acceptance contains a practical checklist of tips to prepare for college and maintain family harmony during the admissions process. In addition, a self-assessment exercise helps a student find the kind of college that's best.
Smith emphasizes that the application process is not just about "getting in," but rather about "awakening the kids to themselves, and to a life's path."
Bloomberg News called Acceptance "excellent - A-plus." It is available at bookstores and online at Amazon.com.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.