By Justine Rumbel, Senior Admissions Counselor
Recently, we welcomed 88 admitted students to campus who were finalists for one of three Combined-Admission Programs (CAPs). The CAPs programs assure admission into a University of Rochester graduate school in business, engineering, or education. Get ready for some acronyms: There’s Rochester Early Business Scholars (REBS), Graduate Engineering at Rochester (GEAR), and Guaranteed Rochester Accelerated Degree in Education (GRADE).
As a co-coordinator for the CAPs programs, I will be the first to say that planning an event for applicants of the College as well as three of the University’s graduate schools is no easy task. There are phone calls, emails, family travel arrangements, and welcome folders to take care of, and for every student arriving, there is a current student sacrificing his or her dorm room floor for a night. But of course those are all the small things that add up to the big event and what these three prestigious programs have to offer.
On the morning of Tuesday, March 15, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jon Burdick spoke to a room full of CAPs finalists and their families about the very important decisions they will be called to make—as future engineers, teachers, and business leaders. The immense impact that each of these students’ decisions could have on society cannot be denied: the educators will inspire students through their actions and words; the engineers may fill the dire need for alternative energy sources; and the business leaders will make decisions in boardrooms that, among many other things, may have a hand in the fate of the teacher’s salary or the engineer’s new designs. Though these three career paths may seem very different, they are all connected in many ways. One of the greatest things I love about the University of Rochester is that I get to see those connections being made firsthand. Students put their ideas to use by working with students in other departments. There’s no truer way to understand the outcomes of your ideas than when they become a reality.
As Stacy Wells Shea (my co-coordinator) and I met students and parents in person over the course of the two-day event, after many months of reading applications on a computer screen, I couldn’t help but think that this is why I do what I do. These students are amazing. So here comes the hard part: deciding who gets in to CAPs and who doesn’t. But then a surge of relief comes to me when I realize, no matter what they do for graduate school or where life takes them afterward, they are going to make a difference, both in their world and in mine—and I have very little to do with that.