The answers to these questions will be used to frame the discussion at the September 19, 2011 faculty meeting.
If you’re a student-athlete (emphasis on “student”), you will almost certainly love it at Grinnell. Sure, depending on your sport, you can find higher levels of athletic competition at other schools, but to find a place where you can be encouraged to excel in the classroom just as much as you excel on the field (or in the pool or on the court) is a much rarer phenomenon. The key to Grinnell’s success in both the academic and athletic spheres is the support the athletes receive not just from teammates and coaches, but also from professors and the student body at large. All these people care about my development as a human being and push me on multiple levels to achieve beyond my expectations.
I know that at some schools, being a “jock” would be all that defined me, but at Grinnell, people recognize that’s not all I am. Even if I spend much of my time at the athletic center, no one’s stopping me from exploring additional facets of campus life. I get to be a student, a tour guide, a writer, a varsity athlete, and anything else I feel like pursuing, all at once. It’s kind of liberating, knowing that people will let you be you.
And it’s personal here. You can see it in the class sizes (the student to teacher ratio is about 10:1) and within our athletic programs, too. My senior year of high school, when I was applying to colleges, I filled out maybe a dozen athletic inquiries online. In response, I received mostly generic, automated messages thanking me for my interest. But within 24 hours of sending my information to Grinnell, the head volleyball coach e-mailed me personally with some additional questions, like: What was I looking for from a college athletic experience? What was my philosophy of the game? He recommended I come to Iowa and experience the Grinnell community for myself.
I remember that word specifically: “community.” It has been the most relevant word in the last three years of my life while at college. Before I was even officially enrolled at Grinnell, the volleyball and softball teams made me feel welcome with personal e-mails and phone calls. Once I was here, I became part of a culture in which literally everything is an all-campus community event, where everyone, even the soonto- be-graduating seniors, cares about supporting his or her fellow students.
It really hit me during the last home volleyball game of the 2009 season. Looking up into the stands, I realized the gym was packed, vibrating with the crowd’s energy. But it wasn’t only other athletes who came out to support us, and it wasn’t just the student section that was crowded — professors, dining services and facilities management employees, the president of the College, and people from town who had no discernible connection to anyone on the team all turned out for our match, some with painted signs, some with painted bodies. Buoyed by this incredible support system, we won every one of our home conference games that season.
At Grinnell, you don’t have to choose between great athletics and high-quality academics. You can have both, plus a couple thousand people cheering you on the whole way.
Erin Labasan '11 is a Psychology Major from Neotsu, OR.
Interpreting Test Scores
To interpret an individual student's standardized achievement test scores, please refer to the following concordance table which compares scores of the two national achievement tests.
|1440 and up||33 and up|
|1400 - 1430||32|
|1360 - 1390||31|
|1330 - 1350||30|
|1290 - 1320||29|
|1250 - 1280||28|
|1210 - 1240||27|
|1170 - 1200||26|
|1160 and below||25 and below|
Grinnell College first-year students have an average (mean) composite score of 1325 for the SAT and 30.0 for the ACT. Nationally, the average SAT score is approximately 1011 and the ACT is 21.1.
Although the writing scores for both ACT and SAT are recorded in a student's official college record, the Admission Office currently does not use the writing portion of either test to determine admissibility.
International students also have scores for the TOEFL (the Test of English as a Foreign Language). It measures a person's proficiency in English; it is not meant to be an indicator of academic ability. In order to measure language competency, sub-tests are broken down into three areas: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and grammar.
The test is offered in paper-based and most recently, internet-based formats. The scoring systems differ for each:
|PAPER-BASED TEST||COMPUTER-BASED TEST||INTERNET-BASED TEST|
We do not have a minimum TOEFL requirement for admission to Grinnell College. However, because of the high demands placed on our students in terms of reading and writing, we look to admit applicants who can demonstrate a very strong command of the English language. For the class entering in August 2011, the mid-50% TOEFL (internet-based) score was 99-105.
Grinnell is affiliated with nearly 100 off-campus study programsworldwide, and we offer two of our own: Grinnell-in-London and Grinnell-in- Washington. By the time they graduate, 55-60% of all Grinnell students have studied in a semester-or year-long program, either domestic or overseas.
As an adviser, it's important to raise the topic of off-campus study (OCS) early with your advisees. Although they will not be eligible to study off-campus until their fifth semester at Grinnell, planning should start sooner. Students typically learn about programs and apply during their second year, but this process can start sooner if you direct it. Although studying in a new environment is a valuable learning experience in and of itself, the College believes the opportunity will be even more enriching if closely integrated with a student's coursework on campus. During the application process, great emphasis is placed on selecting a program that is compatible with academic goals, thus close planning among the student, his/her/hir adviser, and the OCS Office is advised. Further information is available on the OCS webpage.
Director Joan Mohan provides individual and small-group instruction to help students: strengthen verbal skills, emphasizing critical comprehension and vocabulary; improve reading efficiency; acquire more effective study strategies (such as managing time, concentrating, remembering, test-taking); improve ESL (English as a Second Language) proficiency and pronunciation. The Reading Lab is located at 1321 Park Street, across from Younker Hall.
The Grinnell College Peace and Conflict Studies Program is seeking undergraduate student paper submissions addressing issues of peace and conflict from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities for the Grinnell Peace Studies Student Conference February 28 - March 1, 2014.
After receiving paper abstracts, the program will decide which papers will be accepted and organize papers into themed panels. Students will receive word of acceptance, which panel they are on, and names of fellow panel presenters and their papers by mid-January. Final papers are due February 7, 2012. At that time, faculty respondents for each of the panels will receive copies of the papers for the panel they will be leading. Presentations will be limited to 15 minutes for each paper. Panel sessions will allow time for a short faculty introduction, presentations of three or four papers, followed by discussion, including questions from the faculty respondent.
250 word (max) abstract due December 20, 2013
Acceptance and panel assignment sent no later than January 15, 2012
3000 word (max) final paper due February 7, 2014
- All submissions should be sent electronically as attachments to vetterv[at]grinnell[dot]edu.
- Please put your name, email address, school, and title of your paper on a cover page for both abstract and paper. Document titles should start with your last name. Email subject lines should read “Peace Studies Conference Abstract" or "Peace Studies Conference Paper.” Contact Val Vetter, coordinator, Peace and Conflict Studies Program for more information vetterv[at]grinnell[dot]edu
- Submissions from undergraduates attending any institution are welcome.
- There is no registration fee. The program is not able to cover travel or off-campus lodging costs. However, we can arrange for student presenters from off campus to stay with Grinnell students. We can arrange for a limited number of off campus faculty to stay at campus guesthouses. A dinner and lunch will be provided for all participants.
Suggested topics include but are not limited to:
- Environmental conflict
- The role of social media in effecting change
- Interfaith dialogue
- International conflicts
- Education and peacemaking
- Economic development and peacebuilding
- Language, power and conflict
- The arts and peacebuilding
- Trauma healing and the arts
- Trauma and identity
- Restorative justice
- Peace vs. justice
- Peace, conflict and human rights
- Feminist perspectives on peacebuilding
- Truth and reconciliation commissions
- Transitional justice initiatives
- Peace psychology
- Ethnic conflict
- Culture and violence
- Human trafficking and human rights
- Alternatives to violence
- Community building
- Nonviolent regime change
Grinnell faculty from a variety of disciplines are spending the academic year 2010-11 studying the complex issues of gender and identity in the contemporary Middle East and North Africa. Under the guidance of Professors Susan Ireland (French), Kathy Kamp (Anthropology), and Mervat Youssef (Arabic), these faculty members are reading and discussing a detailed bibliography of scholarly works to prepare for a two-week trip to Egypt, where they will meet with scholars and NGO leaders. Upon return to Grinnell, the faculty members will prepare a series of short courses and a film series for 2011-12, to share their knowledge with the members of the Grinnell College community. The seminar builds upon interest at Grinnell in Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic history, and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies.
Grinnell College's Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights will host athree-day symposium, Sept. 11-13,* to discuss "Who Should Teach Our Children? Education and Democracy Worldwide."
The Office of the President and the Grinnell College Department of Education are co-sponsoring this symposium. Jean Ketter, professor of education, explains, "We have invited speakers who will provide different perspectives on teacher preparation and alternatives to traditional teacher prep programs. Our goal is to create a critical conversation centered on the current debate about teacher preparation and teacher quality in Iowa, the U.S., and internationally."
To build on that point, Sarah Purcell, director of the Rosenfield Program, said, "The liberal arts have something to contribute to this political debate about teacher certification and quality. This symposium will raise questions that need to be considered in looking at the future of educational systems in an ever-globalizing world. It will also allow students interested in pursuing careers in education to hear the stories and experiences of those in the field."
The three-day * symposium will include the following free, public events to be held in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center on the Grinnell campus (unless otherwise noted):
- Tues., Sept. 11, noon *: "Education and Democracy Worldwide," a teaching panel, will feature two members of the Grinnell College faculty, as well as one alumnus. Jean Ketter, professor of education, George Drake, professor emeritus of history, Kesho Scott, associate professor of sociology, and Dan Covino, a 2010 Grinnell graduate and Grinnell High School teacher, will open the symposium. Lunch will be provided.
- Tues., Sept. 11, 4:15 p.m.: Jason Glass, director of the Iowa Department of Education, will discuss "Building a World-Class Education System for Iowa." Under Glass' leadership, the Department of Education has set goals to focus on the values of demonstrating courageous leadership, promoting innovation in education, and acting as a servant to schools and communities in Iowa.
- Tues., Sept. 11, 8 p.m.: Jim Wyckoff, Curry Memorial professor of education and policy, will present "Preparing Effective Teachers." Wyckoff has done extensive research on education policy and directs the Education Policy Ph.D. program and the Center on Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness.
- Wed., Sept. 12, noon: Suzanne M. Wilson, a university distinguished professor, chair of the department of teacher education and director of the College of Education's Center for the Scholarship of Teaching at Michigan State University, will lead a Scholars' Convocation titled "The Wild World of Teacher Preparation: Evolution or Revolution?"
- Wed., Sept. 12, 4:15 p.m.: Helen Claire Sievers, executive director, WorldTeach, will discuss "Teaching in Developing Countries: Why Do It?" WorldTeach partners with governments and other organizations to provide volunteer teachers in developing countries.
- Wed., Sept. 12, 8 p.m.: "Social Justice Starts in the Classroom: Teach For America's Approach to Ending Educational Inequity," led by Lindsey Ciochina, senior managing director of Midwest recruiting at Teach for America.
- Thurs., Sept. 13, 4:15 p.m.: A post-graduate teaching and service fair on the 2nd floor of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center will provide an opportunity for students to learn about Teach For America, the Peace Corps, Grinnell's Teaching Certification Program, MAT Programs, and others.
- Thurs., Sept. 13, 5 p.m.: A reception and round-table discussion of insights from the symposium will include Paul Hutchison, assistant professor of education; Deborah Gallagher, University of Northern Iowa; and Kevin Seney, Grinnell High School principal.
For more information about the September education symposium, contact Sarah Purcell, purcelsj[at]grinnell[dot]edu, 641-269-3091. Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu.
* Date and time for "Education and Democracy Worldwide" has changed from Mon., Sept. 10, 4:15 p.m. to Tues., Sept. 11, noon, making the symposium three days instead of four.
Jackie Blair ‘12 and James Yox ’12 were the two Grinnell Area Local Foods Alliance summer garden apprentices, working with Center director Jon Andelson. They maintained the campus garden and community garden, worked with the Compass Plant CSA, worked with kids programs in the community of Grinnell, developed a series of local foods cooking classes, and other activities.