The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Kate received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Education Specialist degree from University of Colorado Denver. She is currently a tutor in Miami specializing in English tutoring, Public Speaking tutoring, Writing tutoring, and several other subjects. See what she had to say about her experience at University of Colorado Denver:
VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or safe is the campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?
Kate: One of the best parts of the University of Colorado system is the ability to partake in the full college experience on the Boulder campus, as well as the urban experience on the Denver campus. (Many students take classes in both places.) RTD Denver provides excellent transportation throughout the greater Denver/Boulder area, and it was recently rated one of the top transit systems in the United States. I walked through both campuses at night on many occasions, all without incident.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Kate: Most professors and advisers were accessible and very helpful. In addition, many professors and teaching assistants encouraged undergraduate students to participate in research projects and off-campus internships. One of the advantages of attending University of Colorado Denver was the ability to explore different academic interests while still earning college credits. Opportunities were also available to take graduate-level classes with instructor permission.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Kate: Student housing near the University of Colorado Denver campus was more like living in a downtown apartment than it was living in a university dorm. The housing available on Curtis Street is directly across from the Performing Arts Complex. It is also only a few blocks from the main campus, in the center of downtown Denver. This makes getting to different activities easy. There were many opportunities to socialize with other students, friends at work, and peers in the downtown community.
VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?
Kate: I studied Psychology, which was one of the most popular undergraduate programs at University of Colorado Denver, along with Biology and Business. The University of Colorado Denver provided phenomenal support inside and outside of the classroom. The Internship Coordinator helped me secure an internship at Judi’s House, a world-class counseling center for bereavement. It was easy to contact professors and to help with research I was personally interested in. Additionally, the Scholarship Coordinator was extraordinarily helpful.
VT: How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?
Kate: Greek life plays a significant role on the Boulder campus, but it is not very noticeable on the University of Colorado Denver campus. I found it very easy to make friends and meet new people during my first semester at University of Colorado Denver. Personally, I enjoyed the ability to have different groups of friends at school and at work, as well as in extracurricular activities. Denver has a reputation for being an exceptionally friendly city for a reason! After already living downtown, I found it very easy to rent an apartment nearby.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Kate: The Career Center and Student Support Services were very helpful. Many students would drop in for free math or writing tutoring. Similarly, many students would use Student Support Services to help polish their resumes and cover letters. Not many reputable companies actively recruited on campus. However, many students found gainful employment after completing local summer internships.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Kate: The library at University of Colorado Denver was spacious. Students could easily request materials from the medical campus, but the library would always become a bit of a madhouse during finals week. On nice days, many students would choose to study on the lawn or walk to nearby coffee shops. There are also many hidden computer labs on campus. They are almost always empty, and many do not track how many sheets students print.
VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments / things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus?
Kate: Downtown Denver and Boulder are each fun in their own ways. University of Colorado Denver students almost always go to the city center, which is where many student housing units are located. Boulder has more of a college town vibe, and it is an easy bicycle ride away from world-class hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. Even better, it is a quick drive or bus ride from Boulder to Denver (and vice versa). In the winter, students like to visit nearby ski slopes.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Kate: 40,000 students attend the Auraria campus, which is shared with University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the Community College of Denver. Academic resources tend to be better due to the shared campus, and students can easily take elective classes from different colleges. Class sizes range from over 100 students to 15 students. Overall, I was pleased with class sizes, and I felt like most professors had enough time to provide individual support to students.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Kate: I enjoyed the opportunities I could find on a large campus. One of the most memorable experiences I had was working as a bereavement counselor at Judi’s House, a Denver non-profit. I was able to find out what working in the industry was all about while earning credits toward graduation. Additionally, I was able to draw from prior experience working as a research assistant in Dr. Allen’s Relationship Laboratory at University of Colorado Denver to assist with an ongoing research effort between Judi’s House and University of Colorado Boulder. Internship and independent study classes largely focused on the experience, which I appreciated. Final papers were usually literature reviews, which helped enrich the experiences instead of detracting from them.
Check out Kate’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.