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On Thursday, September 18th, come visit Simmons to learn how to earn up to 24 college credits for your life and work experience.  Our Credit for Prior Learning workshop will teach you how your experience can be transferred into college credits and significantly reduce the cost of tuition.  Register here!

We have planned this event as a workshop for adult students seeking to complete their first bachelor's degree.  Strong candidates for this program are those who generally have less than 80 college credits and are seeking a bachelor's degree in one of our 60+ majors and programs .  Please note that due to the specific requirements of the nursing or physical therapy programs, students seeking to pursue these majors are often not candidates for the Credit for Prior Learning option.   If you have specific questions about your potential eligibility, please email: dix@simmons.edu for additional guidance from an admission counselor prior to the event.

Looking to learn more before the event?  Check out our June 2012 Sightings entry!

Simmons College is excited to announce the dates of our fall admission events for adult undergraduates.  Come visit us and learn more about our programs and services, how to apply, financial aid, and why adult women choose Simmons!  Click below to register for a session:
If you can't make it to one of our regular admission events, or if you have additional questions after attending, we encourage you to set up an individual meeting, phone call, or Skype call with an admission representative.  Just contact our Campus Visit Coordinator at 617-521-2051 or toll-free at 800-345-8468 to schedule an appointment!
Did you know that we provide personalized Orientation for Dix Scholars who are joining the Simmons community?  "This is a way for new adult students to connect with admission, meet with an adviser and register for classes, discuss financial aid with Student Financial Services, and interact with current Simmons students," said Kate Connelly '15, Orientation Community and Training Chair.  "It is a concentrated process that allows incoming students to streamline their entry into the Simmons community."   
Once a student chooses Simmons, Orientation will contact her to schedule her visit.  They work around her availability, so she can attend on a day that fits with her job, family, or other commitments.  Each incoming student is matched with a current student, who acts as their mentor throughout the day.
"It has been a pleasure to volunteer as a mentor to incoming Dix Scholars", said current Dix Scholar and orientation mentor Teresa Ogle.  "The excitement and enthusiasm that each mentor has shown to coming Simmons students is quite contagious.  The one-on-one system that Simmons has instituted enables current scholars to establish a lasting relationship with their new peers."
Individual Orientation is another distinctive benefit of joining the Simmons College Dix Scholars program -- it was designed with adult students in mind!  Read more about our resources here.

We are excited to announce that the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2015 applications for admission are now available!  Apply online and we'll waive the application fee.  Be sure the use the Dix Scholar application, as the questions are tailored to adult applicants.  Click here to read more about our requirements and deadlines, and don't forget to contact your admission counselor if you have any questions.  We look forward to reading your application!

Sightings recently spoke to Elisa Aigamaua, who graduated earlier this year with a major in Biostatistics and minor in Scientific Computation.  She told us about her experience at Simmons and her post-graduation plans!

Elisa Aigamaua Sightings.jpg


Hillary Fundin and Elisa Aigamaua at graduation.

What was your education and career history before coming to Simmons?

I earned my first Bachelor's in Economics from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. I then worked as an admission counselor for MHC for a year after deferring acceptance into graduate school. I also worked as an instructor for 20-day wilderness trips (backpacking, canoeing, rock-climbing) for at-risk youth. I moved to Seattle in 2007 and briefly worked at REI and for a girl's rock-climbing program. In 2008, I came back to Boston and worked for EF as a Recruitment and Placement Manager working with international cultural exchange students. That September, I began working in the admissions office at Harvard University and stayed there for 5 years in various roles throughout Harvard. I wanted a more technical and analytical role, and had taken a Data Analysis course at Harvard Graduate School of Education. This made me realize I was ready to attend graduate school - but needed additional preparation. I ended up emailing with the Simmons Undergraduate Admission office and the chair of Biostatistics, Professor Robert Goldman. I was happy to learn that Simmons allowed students to earn a second bachelor's and also that professors at Simmons really supported students who were changing careers.

What was it like to be an adult student at Simmons?

I turned 31 in April. Being an adult student at Simmons is a really fantastic experience. I was worried about how I'd fit into the classroom experience but I had no trouble. Students are engaged and care about learning - so I felt happy to be among them. The professors appreciate Dix Scholars' life experiences and their intentional approach to learning. I never felt like I was 'in the way' or the annoying student who asked too many questions. I fit right in with my excitement for and desire to learn. I actually ended up meeting friends in my Mathematical Statistics course and formed not only a study group, but also a running group. I ran the Boston Marathon with Laura Meadows '15 and I ran the Boston Athletic Association 10k with Laura and Hillary Fundin '14.

What are the advantages of studying STEM at a women's college?

I cannot say enough positive things about the merits of an all-women's experience. The resources, opportunities, space, visibility, classroom experience are all geared for, of, and by women. You don't have to, metaphorically speaking, "cross the street" to be comfortable walking through classroom discussions or labs. Your peers are smart, focused and soon-to-be doctors, nurses, PAs, physicists, chemists, biologists. There is no invisible requirement to fit yourself to the social setting of the classroom of complicated gendered social dynamics. You are able to raise your hand to ask or answer a question with ease and confidence and if you don't have that ease and confidence your first year, going to a women's college will enable you to develop it - and develop it fast.

 How did you complete your Independent Learning requirement?

I took two independent programming courses. One was learning an open-source statistical software used for research. I worked with my advisor who coached me along with statistical concepts while I learned how that translated to code.

How did it feel to attend graduation?

I was overwhelmed and grateful for the three full-time semesters filled with friendship, learning, and opportunity. The ceremony was beautifully organized and logistically on point. It was a nice reflection of the institution itself. All the details were cared for, the schedule was on time, the flower arrangements were beautiful, the venue was a refreshing location right on the Boston Harbor and the speeches were meaningful, articulate, moving, and funny. I was really grateful the President thanked all the families and friends of graduates and acknowledged the support networks of the graduates. Without our friends and families' sacrifices and support, the Simmons adventure would be grueling and lonely.

When I graduated, I felt so proud to be a Simmons alumna and so happy for my experience at the school and the doors that Simmons opened for me post-graduation.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I was admitted to a MS program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, as a student in the inaugural cohort of their cutting-edge program in Data Science (the study of programming and statistics). Currently, I am in the middle of a summer internship at Twitter's Boston office, where I work as an intern software engineer on the QA team.

What advice would you give to an adult student thinking about Simmons?

Simmons is filled to the gills with opportunities. You will be studying in a city, where it is possible to intern with a plethora of companies from local high-tech start-ups to major companies and world-renowned institutions. There are hospitals, government agencies, schools, and companies of all sorts in the city. Additionally, Simmons itself has an incredible and passionate tight-knit math department led by faculty that will draw you in and provide an incredible intellectual and social platform to help you launch your career and achieve your personal or academic goals.

The fall 2014 application deadline is July 1st. Don't wait another semester to jump start your education!  Click here to learn how to apply.  Because we're so close to the deadline, here are some tips from our admission counselors on how to get everything done:
  • Start gathering transcripts, recommendations, and test scores first, as those take the longest.
  • Don't rush the essay-- this is your time to show the admission committee who you are!
  • Schedule a phone or Skype interview or information session if you are unable to make it to campus on short notice-- just call us at 617-521-2051 or 800-345-8468 to schedule a time.
  • If you're not sure if a document has been received yet, you can log back into your online application to check!  If you're still not sure, feel free to give us a call.
  • Be in touch with us at 617-521-2051 or dix@simmons.edu.  We are happy to help you with any questions surrounding the deadline!  
Simmons College is pleased to announce that additional Nursing information sessions will be held in July and August!   In this session, you'll learn about the classes, clinical experience, the application process, and the different options to complete your BSN.  Click here to register for our June 25th session, or any of the three newly-added sessions:
  • Thursday, July 17th at 5:45pm
  • Wednesday, August 6th at 3:45pm
  • Thursday, August 21st at 2:00pm
These are offered in addition to our regular Adult Undergraduate Information Sessions.  If you can't make it to one of our regular admission events, or if you have additional questions after attending, we encourage you to set up an individual meeting, phone call, or Skype call with an admission representative.  Just contact our Campus Visit Coordinator at 617-521-2051 or toll-free at 800-345-8468 to schedule an appointment!
We have exciting news from the Department of Art & Music!  The department recently launched a portfolio website "showcasing creative and academic work by students, and the professional achievements of our alums," said Colleen Kiely, Associate Professor of Art.  
 

The department offers majors in ArtArts Administration, and Music.  However, Simmons offers creative opportunities for all of our students.  "The work represented is by students throughout our classes, not just majors", said Kiely.  Adults in other majors can complete four different minors through department, as well as enjoy elective courses!  Kiely hopes that "the site will be a valuable resource, offering current and prospective students a glimpse of the exciting work they can do and the career options our department offers."

Visit the portfolio website here!

The Simmons College Class of 2014 graduated on Friday, May 9th.  Congratulations from all of us at the Dix Scholars Blog!  Check out the Commencement Connect page for more coverage.

Graduation might seem a long time away, especially if you haven't been in school for awhile.  But it may be closer than you think!  Our transfer credit policies allow you to bring in up to 80 credits, including up to 24 through credit for prior learning.  As a Dix Scholar, you can attend on a full-time or part-time basis, even varying your courseload by semester, in order to reach  your goals and your degree in a way that works for your life.

So take the plunge and apply, and soon it may be you walking across the stage at Commencement!

Sightings recently caught up with Janette B. Keddy, a 2012 graduate of our BSN program. Janette is currently a Community Health Nurse at the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Boston.

What was your education and career history before coming to Simmons?
I had a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics from Syracuse University. I had a real passion for healthcare economics, but found myself in a financial analyst role after my graduation. Years later this led to various analyst positions and ultimately to a career in Information Technology. During this time, I also became a certified running coach through the Road Runners Club of America and a yoga instructor.

Why did you choose to become a Nurse?
After becoming a running coach and yoga teacher, I had an extreme interest in the human body. I also am very interested in people. My previous career wasn't allowing me to make the difference in the world that I had hoped to make. Now, working as a nurse, I feel I am able to make a difference in people's lives and that is a very satisfying feeling.

Why did you choose Simmons?
I was attracted to the program because of its incredible reputation. I also was attracted to the Dix program in particular because it was meant for adult students and I wanted to be part of a like-minded group with similar goals.

What was it like coming back to school?
A dream come true! I have always loved school and having the opportunity to go back for something I was truly passionate about was a blessing. My class at Simmons was a diverse group of ages and backgrounds and I think that made the transition to going back as an adult much easier.

What was it like to be an adult student at Simmons?
I felt respected as an adult student by the faculty and my classmates. While it was very hard work, I do believe the faculty and my classmates all worked together to help each other balance classroom, clinical and home life. I felt like Simmons was my home away from home

What advice do you have for an adult thinking about Simmons?
My biggest piece of advice would be to make sure you have a strong support system. Simmons faculty will offer great support, but adults will need help at home. I found myself just needing a night off from making dinner and sometimes that made all the difference in making sure I had time to do reading. Don't be afraid to ask for help! Making a career change or going back to school as an adult (or both!) is definitely scary, but change is good, albeit scary, and we all need change to grow.

How did you find your first nursing job?
Simmons College and the VNA of Boston had received a grant to start the first residency program for new nurses to start their careers in the community. I had the incredible opportunity to be a part of this residency program.

Has Simmons prepared you for this position?
Yes, it has, and then some! It's long been thought that new graduates need at least one year of acute care experience before entering the community as a visiting nurse. The group of new Simmons graduates who started at the VNA of Boston have been told several times how well-prepared we were with our assessment skills and clinical knowledge. I owe this to Simmons' amazing faculty and clinical experiences.

If reading about Janette's time at Simmons gets you excited about our second-degree Nursing options, apply now!