Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Interview with Professor Jane Danielewicz about ENG 105

Today we are delighted to feature an interview with Dr. Jane Danielewicz, Hiskey Distinguished Professor in Research and Undergraduate Teaching, Associate Professor of English, and Director of the Writing Program. She will discuss the University’s new requirement for ENG 105/105i, which will be required for all entering students in Fall 2012.

Why introduce this new requirement?
We’re excited about this new offering because we believe that one college-level writing course devoted to writing, research, and oral communication can usefully extend students’ prior preparation, help them succeed in college courses, prepare them for collaborative work, and permit them to practice disciplinary ways of thinking and communicating by writing in genres that previously may not have been available to them. This requirement is also consistent with practices at other major universities—Penn State, Stanford, and Michigan, among others.

Can you share more about the curriculum?
The curriculum is designed to give students practice in many of the skills and techniques that professional researchers use to collect, organize, analyze, and present their research findings. Students will have the opportunity to conduct their own research in these fields and to compose their own examples of the genres that professionals use to communicate their research findings. Additionally, students will also be encouraged to submit their work for consideration to an undergraduate research publication or conference.

Furthermore, some sections of ENGL 105 will be designated as “research exposure” courses. Students who are interested in participating in the Carolina Research Scholar Program (sponsored by the Office for Undergraduate Research) can fulfill one (and potentially two) requirements by taking one of these ENGL 105 sections. We anticipate offering 8-10 of these “research exposure” sections.

What is the difference between ENG 105 and 105i? All students may take ENGL 105 or ENGL 105i. However, ENGL 105 is a multidisciplinary course, while ENG 105i focuses on a single disciplinary area, including writing in law, writing in humanities, writing in health and medicine, writing in social sciences, writing in business, and writing in natural sciences. These sections are especially suited for students who already have an idea of their intended major or have well-defined long-term professional goals in a particular field such as medicine or business. These courses will be available in each term during the academic year.

What if I’m in Honors?
Honors students will be offered priority registration (through Honors Carolina) in ENGL 105i courses. While honors students may prefer specialized courses, they are not required to enroll in ENGL 105i; they may be interested in a multidisciplinary approach and enroll in ENGL 105 instead.

When will the course be offered?
Sections of ENGL 105 and 105i will be offered each semester in equal numbers, 50% in fall and 50% in spring. ENGL 105 (but not ENGL 105i) will be offered in the summer term as well. Students are required to complete the ENGL 105/105i requirement during their first year at Carolina. Ideally students should enroll in ENGL 105/105i during their first semester if seats are available. Students may complete the Critical Reading (CR) requirement during the first academic year (not semester) on campus.

Will you still offer ENGL 100?
Yes. ENGL 100 will still be offered in summer and fall semesters (not the spring semester) for those students whose academic records indicate they would benefit from additional literacy instruction. The curriculum for ENGL 100 will be revised to help bridge students to ENGL 105. Students will be expected to enroll in ENGL 105 the semester immediately following completion of ENGL 100. The placement score for ENG 100 is unchanged. Eligible students include those with an SAT writing score of 460 or below, an ACT score of 19 or below, or an AP Language score of 1 or 2.

Will transfer students be expected to fulfill this requirement?
Transfer students from North Carolina community colleges who come to Carolina under the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement will receive credit for ENGL 105, as will transfer students who have taken one comparable three-credit course at another institution, as determined by the transfer tables maintained by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Transfer students who are not able to transfer in a comparable course must take ENGL 105.

What about current students or those who enter in the spring?
Currently enrolled students and students admitted in spring 2012 fall under the CR Foundations requirement in place when they entered Carolina; the new CR Foundations requirement does not apply to them. Therefore, students entering prior to fall 2012 must complete ENGL 101/102 (and 100, if their placement scores indicated a need for the course).

Most students entering in fall 2011 (or earlier) should be on track to complete ENGL 102 in spring 2012. Those who placed into ENGL 100 in fall 2011 should take ENGL 101 in spring 2012 and ENGL 105 in fall 2012. ENGL 102/102i will be inactivated, effective with the fall 2012 semester, to avoid confusion.

May I exempt this requirement? I have completed advanced coursework in English language or literature.
No. ENGL 105 is a required course for all incoming students. Since ENGL 105 prepares students to research and communicate in a range of disciplines, including natural and social sciences, having advanced coursework in English language or literature is not adequate or equivalent preparation for success.

However, students who score a 4 or 5 on the AP Language and Composition exam will receive 3 BE (by exam) credits for ENGL 110 English Language and Composition. These will be general credits toward graduation and do not fulfill any specific course requirement for graduation. ENGL 110 does not substitute for the required ENGL 105/105i.

Where may I learn more?
Please visit the Department of English and Comparative Literature’s Writing Program's website.

Monday, March 26, 2012

FAQs for Admitted Students

Good morning! Today I am posting some FAQs for admitted, waitlisted, and denied students. The questions for admitted students are in this post, please scroll down to the next posts for waitlisted and denied FAQs.

I've been admitted! Woo hoo! Now what?
Congratulations! We hope you'll decide to make Carolina your home for the next four years. We might be biased, but we think it's about the best undergraduate experience to be had. We'll do our best over the next few months to help you find out all you can about Carolina, so that you can decide if it's the best place for you. One of the best ways to get to know our community and the opportunities available here is to join us for one of our admitted-student events. An invitation to Explore Carolina was included with your letter of admission, and you can find out more about it here.

Our Admitted Student website has detailed information on Housing, Orientation, and the steps you'll need to take when you're ready to enroll.

Will I receive any merit scholarships?

Applicants who are being considered for a merit-based scholarship have been invited to campus for Scholarship Day. At Scholarship Day, students take part in discussion sessions with faculty members and other scholars. After the event, final scholarship selections are decided. This year, we were able to invite about 250 admitted students to Scholarship Day, and these invitations were mailed and emailed a couple weeks ago. Invited students are also able to view information about Scholarship Day in the Events section of their MyUNC.

Almost all of the merit-based scholarships offered by Carolina are awarded to the students who attend Scholarship Day. A small number of additional scholarships are awarded outside of this event; these scholarships are smaller in amount and for North Carolina residents.

But if you aren't offered a merit-based scholarship in the beginning, please know that at Carolina you will have multiple opportunities to earn a variety of awards once you arrive on campus. Read more about Scholarship Opportunities for Carolina students.

Am I being considered for Honors or any other special opportunities?

Last week, we mailed a letter to select admitted students regarding nine special opportunities that we offer. If you received a letter about these opportunities, be on the lookout for an email being sent out today, March 26. In the email, we'll ask you to indicate which of these opportunities you're most interested in. We'll then use your preferences as part of our final decisions about these programs.

What about financial aid?
All students who applied for financial aid by the priority deadline of March 1 will receive their aid package within the next few weeks. The Student Aid office packages students' aid awards as quickly as they can, but you can help by making sure they have all of the information they need. Check your To-Do List in MyUNC to make sure they haven't requested more information. Also, create your Onyen and UNC email account, as that is how the Student Aid office will communicate with you. More info is available on the Student Aid website.

Want to get advice from current students?
Last year two current students started a Q&A blog for new students called Carolina Advice. If you want opinions and answers directly from current students, it's a great resource to learn more about life here.

Other questions? Please let me know.

FAQs for Waitlisted Students

For those of you we waitlisted, we're sorry to ask you to wait still longer for a final decision. I know how frustrating it can be, particularly for those of you who applied to us early action, and have been waiting patiently for what feels like forever.

If you accept a place on our waiting list, we'll consider you for any spaces that are available in the class after we hear back from our admitted students by the May 1 enrollment deadline. In the early part of May, we'll determine how many spaces are available and we'll review the applications of all of the students who accepted a place on the waiting list. The list is not ranked in any way, so it's impossible to predict any student's chances of admission.

We may begin making offers to waitlisted students by the end of May. We may make several rounds of offers, but we promise to have a final decision to all students by the end of June.

A list of frequently-asked questions was included with your letter, and you can view it here. Please read these carefully as it should answer most of your questions.

Please let me know what other questions you have.

FAQs for Denied Students

I'll start by saying I'm so sorry we disappointed you. We know how hard it is to receive this kind of bad news, and we really hate delivering it. The most important thing to remember is: it's not you, it's us. We have so many talented applicants--over 29,000 this year--and only space for 4,000 in our first-year class. We have to deny so many students who could do great things here.

In the Admissions Office, we've had the pleasure of getting to know a current student named Marietta through our work with the Campus Y on the Global Gap Year initiative. Marietta is an outstanding student who came to us as a transfer. We asked if she'd be willing to share a little of her experience. Here are her words:

I was not accepted to Carolina as a high school senior. Instead I headed to another state school in the Northeast. I opted to apply to transfer to UNC two years later and was surprised and elated to hear that I had finally gotten in. The campus was bigger, and more intimidating. But I quickly found my niche, as I settled into my smaller Anthropology classes and got involved in activities at the Campus Y. I am now the president of an organization called Gappl, a community made entirely of students who took gap years like I did! I am carrying on a family tradition of graduating from UNC-CH and I am proud to finally be a graduate! --Marietta.

Marietta is proof that there are many paths to Carolina. We hope you have an outstanding college experience wherever you choose to attend. But if you are still interested in transfer admission in one or two years, we hope you'll keep in touch with us.

Here are a few frequently asked questions:

Is this a final decision?
Yes, I'm afraid it is a final decision. We can't re-consider your application this year.  However, if your heart is set on Carolina, there's always the option of transferring after a year or two at another school.

Why did you deny me?
There is never a simple answer to this question because our review is holistic. We don't deny any student on the basis of a single number or a single grade, but instead we consider everything we know about a student. We review your application multiple times and ultimately we have to make a lot of hard decisions. We just don't have space for all the talented students who apply.

Please let me know what other questions you have.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Update on Decisions

Here are the steps to view your decision when it’s available online. Please note that due to the high volume, you may experience delays when attempting to view your decision online. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  1. Log into MyUNC
  2. Under Applicants, click on “ConnectCarolina Student Center.” 
  3. Log in with your Guest ID. If you do not have a Guest ID, please follow the email instructions we sent to you. If you do not have these instructions, please email us at
  4. Under Admissions, click on “Click here to view your decision in a new window. Please make sure popup-blocking software is disabled.” 
In order to view your decision, please note that, if applicable, the pop-up blocker feature on your browser must be disabled. Below are instructions for disabling pop-ups in the popular browsers:

Internet Explorer
  1. In the menu bar, go to Tools and navigate down to “Pop-up Blocker Settings.”
  2. Click on “Turn-Off Pop-up Blocker.” 

Google Toolbar
  1. Click the Google Pop-up Blocker toolbar icon. 
  2. The Pop-up Blocker icon should read “Popups are okay.” 

Mozilla Firefox
  1. In the menu bar, go to Tools and navigate down to Options.
  2. Select “Content” tab or icon. 
  3. Uncheck box labeled “Block pop-up windows.” 

  1. Click on “Blocking Pop-ups” at the bottom right corner of the AOL window.
  2. Uncheck box labeled “Suppress pop-ups from websites I visit.”
  3. Click “Save” button. 

Yahoo Toolbar
  1. Click on the Yahoo Toolbar's popup blocker icon option arrow. This arrow is pointing down beside of the popup blocker icon.
  2. Click on “Enable Pop-up Blocker” to uncheck. 

To allow blocked pop-ups when you're already on a site, follow these steps:
  1. Click the “Pop-ups Blocked” alert at the bottom right-hand corner of the browser tab.
  2. Select the pop-up that you'd like to allow. 
  3. If you'd like, select “Always show pop-ups” from (site). 

If you're using Google Chrome Beta for Windows, the site is added to the exceptions list, which you can manage in the Content Settings dialog (go to Tools menu > Options > Under the Hood to open the dialog box).

If you're using Google Chrome Beta for Windows, you can also disable the pop-up blocker completely. Follow these steps:
  1. Click the “Tools” menu.
  2. Select “Options.”
  3. Click the “Under the Hood” tab.
  4. Click Content settings in the "Privacy" section.
  5. Click the “Pop-ups” tab.
  6. Select "Allow all sites to show pop-ups." You can make exceptions for specific websites by clicking Exceptions.
  7. Click “Close” to save your setting. 

  1. Open the Safari menu and select the “Preferences” option.
  2. In the window that displays, click on the “Security” option.
  3. Remove the checkmark from the “Block pop-up” windows option.
  4. Close the window. 

Or, for an older version of Safari, try
  1. Open Safari 
  2. Click on the Safari Menu 
  3. Uncheck “Block Pop-Up Windows”

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meet Melissa Kotačka, Assistant Director of Admissions

Today we introduce you to Melissa Kotačka, Assistant Director of Admissions. As a key member of our staff, she serves on the team that oversees our office's travel to high schools, college fairs and other events. There is a good chance that you may have met her in person. She most recently represented our office at a regional college fair hosted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling fair in Charlotte, N.C. As with all of our recruitment staff, she enjoys chatting with you in person or over the phone or via Twitter @makunc. The voice of Melissa follows:

As a first-generation college student and the only member of my immediate family to earn a Bachelor's degree, I have true empathy for students and families who struggle with the steps involved in applying to and enrolling in college. My biggest motivation in my work is that I want things to be easier for the students I work with than it was for me – but my favorite thing about Carolina is that here, it’s cool to be smart. When I came here as a graduate student, I felt like I’d found my intellectual home…and now I get to help other students on that journey, too!

Questions of the Day

What’s that thing above your name? I earned my Master of Arts degree in Slavic Languages and Literature here at Carolina – an homage to my Czech heritage – but don’t worry: I’m the only Melissa in the office, so you can just ask for me by first name!

When can I register for classes? All admitted first-year students will register for classes during orientation. Read more about the steps for registering for classes.

When will I receive my financial aid information? The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid is hard at work putting together financial aid packages for admitted students. Most first-deadline applicants should have financial aid packages by early April. Be sure to set up your Onyen and UNC email account, as that is how Student Aid will communicate with you.

Can I see a dorm room? A model room is typically available to visit throughout the year, Monday-Friday. The room location changes depending on the time of year and periodic hall renovations. When you come to visit us, we'll give you a map and point you in the right direction. You can also view our residence halls online.

I’m applying as a Junior Transfer student and I didn’t see business as a major. The Kenan-Flagler School of Business doesn't accept transfer students directly into their program. When applying as a Junior Transfer, students first select another major within the College of Arts and Science; once admitted, students apply to the business school during their first semester on campus.

Carolina claims the title of “Oldest Public University”, however I read that William & Mary and University of Georgia were established before Carolina. By our definition, UNC-Chapel Hill is the true oldest public university. Carolina was chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly on December 11, 1789 and classes began in 1795; Carolina was the only public university in the U.S. to have granted degrees in the 18th century. Although William & Mary was chartered in 1693 the school originated as a private institution and did not become a public university until 1906. The University of Georgia was chartered in 1785, but did not start classes until 1801.

My To-Do List shows that I need to submit my courses in progress; how do I do that? Simple! Please submit either a hard copy or email stating your current courses. Within that document please include your complete name and your birth date. Our mailing address and email is listed below.

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jackson Hall, Campus Box 2200
153A Country Club Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Tel: (919) 966-3621

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Big 5-0 and Questions of the Day

Today our director, Steve Farmer, turns 50 years old. Here he is demonstrating the use of his blow-up geezer walker before blowing out the candles on his cake. The visitors gathering for our 2pm tour joined all of our staff in singing “Happy Birthday” and were treated to a photo slideshow of Steve’s life, complete with baby pictures and yearbook photos. (He was Homecoming King AND co-valedictorian!) Steve has been good-humored about all of the fun, though he doesn’t yet know this picture will be gracing the blog…

In the midst of the celebrations, we’ve been getting the following questions by email and phone today. Let us know what other questions you have!

Can I attend summer school at UNC as a visiting student?
We welcome applications from students enrolled at other universities or in high school for summer study.For more information about attending Carolina during the summer, please see the Summer School website.

I previously applied as a first year and now I am applying as a transfer student. Will my documents still be on file?
We’re sorry but we must ask you to resubmit any materials you may have previously sent us as a first-year applicant, in addition to the material required for a transfer applicant. See our list of transfer application requirements.

I received an email stating that my application has been withdrawn; what does that mean?
We’re sorry that we had to withdraw your application. This means that we were missing critical items and were unable to continue with our review and give you a decision. If you can arrange to have your missing items here no later than 5:00 PM Thursday, March 15, we will reinstate your application. We will accept faxed transcripts/test scores for the initial review of the application. We will not, however, admit a student until we have the official document. If you believe that you can arrange to have the materials here by March 15, please email us as soon as possible and we will reinstate your application.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Transfer Application Materials - Update

Thank you to all of the students who applied for transfer admission last week. We really appreciate your interest in Carolina and the time you have taken to prepare your applications and to send us your materials. In return for your faith in us, we promise to review your materials thoroughly and make sure that they are included in your file.

Our reading team tells me that they have opened and sorted through through all the bins of mail that we've received and are caught up through today. As a next step, please allow 2-3 weeks for these materials to be linked to your application and and for your MyUNC accounts to be updated.

We're also working our way through the recent wave of emails we've received related to transfer applications. Our staff have responded to several hundred emails over the past week. If you haven't received a response from us yet, we apologize but please know that your emails are very important to us and we promise to respond very soon.

Our favorite part of this work will come next, as we read your applications and get to know you.

Communications Specialist Arbra Cates, who we introduced a few weeks ago on our blog, suggested that we include an image of a waterfall with this blog post. She hopes that this picture of Looking Glass Falls in Transylvania County, N.C. will brighten your day and ease your mind. You've worked hard to get to this point and you deserve a bit of relaxation.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oh, The Places You Can Go

Today we introduce you to Michael Carey, who is a recent Carolina graduate working as an admissions counselor in our office. You may have met him over the phone or in person if you have come to visit us. His words follow.

We use the slogan “Unlimited” when talking about life here at UNC.


It has a persuasive allure, but defining it is a difficult task. The amount of opportunities here are so broad, so dynamic, that trying to paint a complete picture of “Unlimited” from a set of examples seems nearly impossible. You could look to any department, any discipline, and any number of campus opportunities and say “now here, here is a great example of unlimited!” Then maybe, we’d be a smidgen closer to fully defining “Unlimited” than when we started.

I thought that I’d write to try and give a taste of “Unlimited” by pulling out one of the most unique experiences Carolina offers—an incredible study abroad program. Being a former student myself, I thought that I was especially well equipped to discuss just how vibrant Carolina’s study abroad program is, and share some of my experiences here on the blog. I went abroad twice while I was a Carolina student, once to Japan and again to Guatemala. I figured I’d share a little story about my time in Japan here.

:::Mamonaku, kakegawa, mamonaku kakegawa::::

The sirens rang out as I stood up to exit the train at Kakegawa station. After a long hard day at school I was going to spend the weekend with my old host family. I had lived in Japan in high school as well, and I was still really close to my host family from then—I was truly their son.

Now a few years older and at UNC, I was studying at International Christian University, a prestigious private school in the Tokyo suburbs. My host family lived in Shizuoka, a prefecture a few hours south of Tokyo, in a small beach town called Omaezaki. It felt like returning home.

As my feet brushed across the concrete symmetries that define Japan, I noticed that my host mother had yet to arrive. The car ride to Kakegawa from Omaezaki was a tedious one, rising into the mountains from the squashed coastal plains, so there was always an expectation for delay. I ambled about for a few moments before growing impatient. I needed something to do, having already sat for a few hours on the train.

The bright green glow of an illuminated ice cream cone stared me in the eyes as I stood like a lost child in the center of the station. The evening commuter crunch had already passed, so there was no garrison of packed bodies to block my view of temptation. I succumbed. Nothing filled empty time in Japan better than some green tea ice cream.

I made my way across the tile floors, as the fluorescent lights hissed under the pressure of overuse. There, beneath the soft flickering glow, was the jackpot: a green tub of glabrous Macha ice cream flanked by a smiling Japanese hostess with one of the most authoritative ice cream scoopers I have ever seen. I nodded meekly for a scoop, and as I reached my grimy hands for the outstretched cone I felt a sharp tug on the back of my neck.


I turned to look behind me. No one. Then I heard soft laughter, and I craned my neck down. Bacchan? I asked, managing only to mutter “granny?” as I eyed the smiling stranger behind me. She must have been four foot nine, give or take an inch, and had the biggest, toothless grin. In her fingers she gleefully clutched a strand of my red hair.

I just stood there in amazement. Pure, unadulterated shock. I opened my mouth a few times like a fish against a glass tank; nothing managed to make its way out.

She took a small purse from her bag, and placed my hair in it with a defiant ::click:: of the clasp. Still smiling. I turn back as she reaches her hand up, full of coins, and take the ice cream cone. She gives the ice cream lady the exact change, grin still pressed from cheek to cheek, and walks around the corner.

Never seen a redhead before…? I think to myself as I rub the back of my head, ice cream happily against my lips. Only in Japan.


Do you have a question about Carolina or studying abroad? If so, please ask it here and I'll be happy to answer it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Meet Andrea Felder, Director of Recruitment

Hi. My name is Andrea Felder and I serve as the Associate Director for Recruitment at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. I was honored to be appointed to this position last year after 11 years with the office. In this role, I now oversee the day-to-day recruitment activities that help shape each year's entering class. I also oversee international recruitment so I am proud to say that I have had the honor of meeting outstanding students across the world—from Chapel Hill to Beijing.

We're in the midst of completing our review of regular deadline applications, along with the applications of candidates whose decisions were deferred from our first deadline. These decisions will be announced at the end of March. Tomorrow we are excited to begin reviewing our transfer applications for notification by the end of April. Thank you to all our applicants for your patience and continued interest in Carolina.

Questions of the Day

Why should I enroll at Carolina?

At Carolina we draw strength from several unusual and powerful combinations. We're both the oldest public university in the nation and one of the leading research universities in the world, consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best. We offer nothing less than a full range of academic programs, from liberal arts to the basic and applied sciences. We serve our home state while opening our doors to the rest of the nation and the world. Our students are some of the strongest in the world.

Most of these combinations derive at least in part from our status as a state-supported institution. Taken together, they make us a better, stronger, and much more interesting place—a place with a unique feel, a strong sense of mission, and a vibrant intellectual heritage.

If you do enroll at Carolina, you’ll enjoy the same amazing opportunities that are offered at most elite private universities—for a fraction of the cost to you and to your family. You’ll also find a few opportunities that you won’t find anywhere else. Many schools, for example, offer honors programs, but none of these programs combine rigor, inclusiveness, and accessibility in quite the way Honors Carolina does. And Carolina’s entrepreneurial culture encourages students of all majors to minor in entrepreneurship and compete in the Carolina Challenge, a student-led contest that awards up to $50,000 in start-up funding for the best business plans. Our graduates go on to accomplish amazing things, such as creating and leading iContact, an award-winning business known for innovative cloud-based software and outstanding customer service.

I am an admitted student but I didn't get a scholarship or an invitation to Honors Carolina. What kind of opportunities are open to me?

In a word, everything! While we are able to offer merit-based scholarships or invitations to Honors to Carolina to only a handful of admitted students, you'll be glad to know that if you do come to Carolina, you will still enjoy an extraordinary experience. Not only may you apply to Honors Carolina after just one semester here, you may compete to earn your choice of scholarships, from the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Fellowship Program to a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to numerous Study Abroad awards. There are also countless scholarships available within your academic area that you will learn about after you join our community.

Are your admissions counselors assigned to specific geographic areas?

We do not assign individual admissions representatives to specific areas of the country or world. Instead, any member of our staff will happily answer questions and provide guidance as you prepare for college. Should you have a question or a concern of any type, please feel free to contact our office by phone at 919-966-3621 or by email at

While our staff does not review applications by territory, please know that an experienced and caring admissions professional will carefully read your application. All applications are read at least twice and most are read three or more times—each time by a different professional.