xoniqueness, singled him out and made the admissions officers take more notice of
his application. According to this student, his evaluations gave such thorough
insights into his capabilities that he was admitted despite GRE scores below the
university's cutoff point. COA students have been admitted to law, divinity, and
other graduate programs , and 83% of COA graduates who have applied to graduate
schools have been accepted by at least one. Only one graduate has made a serious
claim that the style of her transcript kept her from the graduate program of her
choice. The Registrar made a study in 1985 of graduate schools to which COA
transcripts had been sent and found that the transcript as it exists, and the
"Credit/No Credit" notation, have not been obstacles to graduate school
The Registrar's work is constantly changing, chiefly due in recent years to
a conversion to computerized systems. Enrollment increases over the next five
years will necessitate more streamlining of transcript format, duplication, and
storage systems. The expected increase in the volume of evaluations, and the
attendant compiling, typing, filing, and mailing, will require additional
clerical support. Conversion of all paper transcript pages to microfilm and
microfilm printing of transcript orders must be considered as a space -saving
In our 1979 self -study, the Registrar commented that she could perform her
catch-all tasks in a casual yet efficient way that relied to a large extent on
her memory and on personal contacts with students, staff, and faculty. This is
still true in 1987. However, this desire for informality carmot allow the
College to ignore the needs for long-term and consistent staff backup in the area
of student records.
The resident life program at College of the Atlantic provides a high quality
living environment. The five College residences have been designed to foster and
support student self-reliance and a climate of cooperative governance. Campus
life offers students the opportunity to acquire the skills necessary for
independent living after college.
Freshmen and entering transfer students have priority for student housing.
However, each year several returning students are selected to live on campus and
serve as resident assistants, and as hosts for admissions guests. Early in May
new students receive a hoijsing information packet containing descriptions of
campus housing, a housing application, a rental agreement form, and a welcome
letter outlining the housing process. Students requiring housing are asked to
submit the application along with a $100 non- refundable housing deposit by June
1. Rooms are assigned on a first-paid first-served basis.
The majority of returning sUidents rent apartments or houses in Bar Harbor
and in sxirrounding communities. The Housing Office continually obtains and
updates information on the available rentals in the area and creates a rental
packet to assist students in locating off-campus housing. In addition to
providing a list of possible rentals, the Housing Office has prepared an
information sheet with suggestions concerning lease signing, utilities, required
All College residences are equipped with complete kitchen and dining
facilities. Members of residential households may choose to prepare their meals
individually or cooperatively. In either event, the College Housing Office and
Food Service Director provide assistance and information to households in the
areas of nutrition, meal preparation, and budgeting. Most can^jus residences
participate in a food purchasing cooperative which operates in the community of
Bar Harbor. Through such bulk purchases, students are able to reduce their food
budgets. Households that choose to prepare meals cooperatively usually arrange
to share the responsibility for menu planning, cooking, and cleanup on a rotation
All students are responsible for household cleaning and all residences are
equipped with vacuum cleaners and necessary cleaning supplies . Other maintenance
and repairs are provided through the College's Buildings and Grounds Department,
including snow plowing and garbage disposal.
The five houses on campus can accommodate a maximum of 43 students in a
mixture of single and double rooms. Students pay $1,800 a year "for room, plus a
$100 damage deposit. Single bedrooms are available on a first -requested, first-
served basis. Double rooms are of very generous size, having served as master
bedrooms when the dormitories were summer homes . The ratio of bathroom
facilities to residents is 1:3.
Most residences are coeducational. However, depending on the level of
requests for single sex residences, the College can provide for this preference.
Freshmen students and entering transfer students have priority for campus
housing. Students are required to sign a contract agreeing to rent the room for
a full academic year. The agreement may be cancelled if there is official
withdrawal from the College, if a student graduates from the College prior to the
end of the academic year, if a student does not re-enroll, if extreme emotional
or physical problems arise that are appropriately documented, or if the student
is withdrawn from the College by reason of academic or disciplinary action.
The College Housing Office staff includes two student Resident Advisors who
live in the largest campus residence, Seafox, which houses freshmen students. In
addition to these two RA's, an ttpperclassman serves as an advisor for each of the
other houses. These advisors do not live in the houses, but attend weekly house
meetings and assist the houses with governance, meal planning, and other matters.
Residence governance is organized around house meetings, which are usually
held on Sunday evenings. Students and RA's discuss the previous week's events,
including any difficulties, social events, and household chores, and then plan
activities for the following week. The Director of Housing or a faculty member
attends meetings throughout the year to help the students with the governance
The residences have undergone extensive cosmetic renovation over the past
four years, including painting, wallpapering, and landscaping. New furnishings
have been purchased for all the houses in the last five years and furniture is
replaced or added as needed. We believe that the availability of high quality
student housing will enhance the attractiveness of the College to prospective
students and will support the retention of current students.
A student housing planning group was formed in spring of this year to
analyze the need for additional student housing. The group will make
recommendations concerning the amount of new housing to be built, the design of
such new housing, and a projected construction schedule. These decisions will be
shaped by answers to the following questions:
How many students can be accommodated comfortably and within reasonable
cost in off-campus housing currently available in the Bar Harbor area?
For what proportion of the student body should housing be provided on
What mix of new and returning students is optimal socially?
What expectations do students and parents have of the College in regard
What are the financial ramifications of student housing vis-a-vis the
operational budget? What construction financing options are available
to the College and what are the implications of each?
An analysis of these and other questions will be presented to the Board of
Trustees for study and deliberation in the fall of this year.
In a system like COA's, where students are responsible for their own program
development and institutional flexibility is desirable, advising plays a key role
in assisting students to chart their own academic paths while helping to maintain
COA's academic standards.
The advising relationship also provides role modeling, personal support, and
encouragement for students during a time when personal growth and decision making
go hand in hand with academic progress. This is the beginning of career
counseling and long- range planning and is especially important for transfer
A proper orientation to CX)A is an important part of the advising system.
Before classes start, several steps are taken to ensure that new students gain a
grasp of the procedures and resources provided by the College . New students are
given math and writing assessments to provide information that will help them
enter courses at an appropriate level and to receive assistance in where areas
they may need extra help. The results of the assessments are given to the
advisor and to the student. In addition the College hosts a day long symposium
planned by faculty and attended by faculty, staff, and incoming and returning
students. This symposium addresses an issue of importance to all and gives
everyone a chance to discuss ideas and opinions . Incoming students benefit from
exposure to many faculty styles and points of view.
Each incoming student is assigned a faculty or staff advisor. This advisor
is chosen for the student after careful review of his or her file and
consultation between the advising coordinators and the admissions staff.
Advisors and advisees meet in small groups to go over the Handbook , the first
week's schedule, registration procedures, daily routines (copying, mail
distribution, where to find people, etc.) to answer any questions, help new
students feel welcome, and help them to get to know a few people. Advisors meet
individually during the first few days with all their advisees to discuss the
advising relationship, course selection, long-term course plans, transfer
credits, graduation requirements, and generally to ask how things are going.
Before registering for the term, students attend Show and Tell . where
faculty members give short descriptions of the courses they are teaching that
term. Students are encouraged to attend all shortened classes that are of
interest. These classes provide a more in-depth description of the course and
help students explore possible course choices .
Before fall term begins, the College provides a one-week orientation program
for new students. This program offers camping and canoeing trips through the
Maine wilderness, led by COA staff and experienced students. During these trips,
new students get a chance to meet COA conmunity members and to develop new
friendships. Advising relationships often begin on these trips, '^ich help new
students to become integrated into the COA comraunity. Human Ecology.
Last fall COA developed a program of continued orientation for incoming
students, Student Orientation Seminar (S.O.S.). A group of faculty, staff, and
returning students met weekly for six weeks with incoming students to provide
more in-depth discussion of such topics as finances, health, advising, and
academic planning. This was successful and will be offered again this coming
Advising System: Description
The advising system is coordinated by two people: Pam Parvin,
administrator, and Donald Cass, faculty member. The coordinators meet weekly to
keep the system running smoothly. Their tasks include: making advisor
assignments, recruiting advisors, planning part of orientation, reminding
advisors of their advisees, helping advisors or advisees with problems, assisting
faculty and staff, and evaluating advisors and the advising system.
The coordinators assign each new student an advisor from a group of
volunteers known as the advising pool . These advisors are responsible for
helping incoming students become acquainted with COA's curriculum, resources,
governance, and values. Pool advisors help students with course selection's each
term, with long range planning to fulfill graduation requirements , and with
working on skills that need development. They also provide personal support.
Advisors continue their work with advisees until the students choose their own
advising teams (see below). Pool advisors help their advisees pick advising
teams and are responsible for approving independent study proposals.
By the time students enter their final year at COA they have each chosen an
advising team which consists of one faculty member and one student- and,
optionally, another member (often a staff member who was the pool advisor). This
team assumes the responsibilities of the pool advisor (s) it replaces. It is also
responsible for keeping track of final project proposals and Human Ecology
essays, and for certifying that all graduation requirements have been met. All
faculty are expected to play a role in advising students. Some advisors are
particularly good with incoming students while others work best with upper level
Senior Class Advisors
Faculty member Susan Lemer has served as senior class advisor for the last
two years. She holds senior class meetings to organize fundraising, graduation
speakers, food, entertainment, invitations, and all other aspects of graduation
and associated events .
Sally Crock, Registrar, checks all senior transcripts and progress
checklists for completion of graduation requirements, and presents degree
candidates to the Trustees.
VI. HEALTH AND COUNSELING SERVICES
The health services in Bar Harbor, all within walking distance of COA, are
excellent. Mount Desert Island Hospital has a 24-hour emergency room and and
offers high quality medical care. There are also doctors in private practices as
well as several dentists and one eye doctor. Ambulance service is available, as
is a family planning clinic. :â– . ..,:,..
COA provides partially subsidized personal counseling on campus one
afternoon a week. Our present counselor is also a nurse and provides some basic
health care information as well. In addition, there are numerous other
professional counselors in the area who are willing to help students with
individual problems . . . . â€¢ >
VII. FXXDD SERVICE
The food service at COA consists of Take-A-Break, which is open 9:00 A.M. to
3:30 P.M. weekdays and provides hot and cold drinks, fruit, yogurt, baked goods,
and a lunch of soup or sandwiches.
â– â– â– 'â– ,, Appraisal and Projectlcm
;. for Parts V. VI, and VII
Each part of the of the COA orientation adds to the overall effort to help
incoming students understand and adjust to the College. Numerous people are
responsible for contributing to the orientation. Because no one person is
responsible for the coordination of this group of individuals sometimes the
organization falls on people who only want to contribute their part and do not
want to be responsible for the whole operation. This situation could be improved
if someone could assume overall responsibility.
The advising system is running quite smoothly these days and meets the
general needs of most students. We are continually trying to involve more
experienced students in peer advising for incoming stiodents , especially for
first- time college students. As the number of upperclass students who have
spent two or more years at COA increases this should be an easier task to
The advising system coordinators will continue to work more closely with the
Admissions Committee and the Student Affairs Corand.ttee to help ease the
transition to life at COA for incoming students and especially for freshmen. One
coordinator will join the Admissions Committee to strengthen this link.
After attending a conference on Academic Advising offered by the American
College Testing Service, the advising coordinators have some new ideas which will
be incorporated in a forthcoming handbook for advisors. We are also exploring
with the Registrar ways to make some portion of student records more readily
available to the advisors.
Health and Counseling Services
Local health services are adequate to meet the general needs of most
students. However, our students are also interested in alternative care models,
and the College may wish to consider providing lecUirers on such topics as
acupuncture, chiropractry , nutrition, sports medicine, preventative medicine, and
The personal counseling subsidized by the College provides some of Che care
needed by our students, but additional time (perhaps by an additional counselor)
to provide a complementary style of counseling and some group sessions on
specific topics would be welcome.
Managing the COA food service operation since the Kaelber Hall fire and the
loss of our institutional kitchen has been a case of doing the best job possible
in an inadequate kitchen. The food provided is nutritious and tasty but limited
in variety because there is very limited storage and counter space, only one
household- size refrigerator, and only one oven. The food is served in a very
castjal style, which is becoming less feasible as the student body grows in size
each year. This spring we will experiment with a snack service two weekday
evenings per week to provide food as well as a place to socialize or study on
campus in the evening.
The new Kaelber Hall will include a large, friendly institutional kitchen, a
good- size serving area, and a multi-purpose dining room overlooking Frenchman's
Bay. This new facility will make it possible to adequately provide for the
growing needs of the College population by increasing the volume and variety of
VIII. CAREER SERVICES
The Internship and Career Services Office assists students in planning their
academic programs and clarifying career goals. The office maintains files of
potential internships and postgraduate employment opportunities , graduate program
catalogs, and standardized test applications. Assistance in resume writing, job
hunting, and interview techniques are offered on an individual basis. A
computerized guidance information system (SigiPlus) is available for students to
use individually to determine their work values and assist them with career
exploration. The Career Services Officer offers career counseling in combination
with faculty advisors .
*: ' Appraisal
The demand for career services averages 6-8 requests a week for Information
on graduate schools, job hunting, and Interviewing techniques, and Is more than
the Officer can meet one day per week. Better coordination of faculty ad^/isors
and upgrading of the Officer through staff development and membership in
organizations would improve matters somewhat. There is currently no clerical
support and much of the Officer's time is spent maintaining the office.
The operating budget is shared with an active internship program and is not
large enough to build up office resources. A mentor-type program is being
organized with the Alumni Coordinator that will enable current st\idents to seek
the advice and assistance of alumni. Career awareness, an important component of
academic planning, will be upgraded througji a recently purchased computer
program. The present staff member manages both the Career Services and the
Internship Program on a 4/5 -time contract.
A Review Committee offered the following recommendations at the conclusion
of the Career Services Officer's contract review. It was suggested that the
Officer work closely with the facility to provide current career information in
their areas of expertise. The Officer is encouraged to pursue further
professional development through course work and conferences. An increase in the
Officer's contract time by 1/5 will be considered by the Committee at a later
time. The Review Committee felt that some clerical assistance would allow the
Officer to expand the Career Services Program. These recommendations will be
submitted to the Personnel Committee for their consideration at a future date .
IX. STUDENT ACTIVITIES
The Student Activities Committee (SAC) is a subcommittee of the Student
Affairs Committee and operates fairly autonomously. The comnittee is responsible
for providing a program of extracurricular activities that meet a variety of
student interests and tastes. These activities are funded by a Student
Activities Fee of $25, which is levied on each student registered for each term.
Consequently, at current levels of enrollment, SAC has a budget of approximately
$3,250 for each of three ten-week terms during the academic year. The committee
is composed entirely of students with the exception of a faculty advisor. A
fairly large membership is customary and ensures that diverse tastes are
represented; this is desirable since the tastes of the committee members
influence the kinds of activities that are sponsored. The committee aims to
provide a variety of continuing activities and a series special events .
SAC funds are also used to purchase and maintain: camping gear, canoes,
cross country skis, membership for each student in the local YI-ICA, a pool table
in the Turrets, and video equipment. Special SAC- sponsored events include: film
series (usually one film per week), dances with live music, concerts, and
workshops. Recent workshops have featured shoe making, African drumming and
dancing, and silk screening SAC also supports the school newspaper and
occasionally contributes partial funding to campiis events sponsored by other
offices, individuals, or organizations, such as the photography darkroom,
dramatic presentations, speaker series, and Admissions Office entertainment for
The faculty advisor's service with the committee is generally pleasant,
with the exception of having to deal with the many inquiries received from
entertainers who wish to appear at COA. Students on SAC have provided competent
leadership to imaginative direction and leadership to make the various
In a recent sxirvey conducted by the Student Affairs Conmittee, the majority
of students expressed satisfaction with the number and quality of extracurricular
activities provided by SAC. A small sample of the newest students expressed, on
the one hand, a lack of interest in extracurriciilar activities, and, on the other
hand, a feeling that the fall term did not have enough activities . While these
groups were not a large percentage of the student body, this response seemed to
indicate a level of insecurity about academics for the first group and a greater
need to feel accepted into the community on the part of the second group.
The student survey suggests that it is especially important to sponsor
community activities in the first few weeks of the fall term. This will require a
dynamic committee in the fall term and a well -organized committee in the spring
term to plan ahead.
Sttident Services at the College have come a long way in two years. In this
report we have cited many of the improvements. However, the College still
appears caught between old habits and new demands. When there were fewer
freshmen, students were generally more self-sufficient. Now that the number of
students who begin here as freshmen is rising, a strain is being felt by most
areas in this division. Our concern is not so much with the increasing number of
people who need to be served, although that is a problem, but with the need for
the College to make an unqualified commitment to the healthy development of young
people and arrange services and staff accordingly. The old ways cannot always be
expected to keep pace with changing conditions. We believe that Student Services
needs to change, grow, and develop as the kind of students attending the College
changes and as enrollment increases.
Description and Appraisal
College of the Atlantic leases and shares its facilities with a wide variety
of organizations and regularly sponsors or lends its name to non- credit
activities. For purposes of this study we have divided the subject of non-credit
sponsored activities into two parts: summer non-credit programs, and conferences
and workshops scheduled during the academic year.
The Director of Summer Programs and his staff are responsible for the
overall management of non-credit programs and activities. His office maintains
the schedule of activities, provides facilities and equipment coordination, and
provides direct supervision or support in the organization of COA-sponsored
workshops and programs. Usually non-credit activities which COA sponsors or
nominally underwrites are initiated by individual faculty members , often in