The DEC NETWORK plans several college tour adventures over the next month. The first stop- the exciting  international city of Toronto which played host to the Independent Educational Consultants Association’s semi-annual conference. Perks were many including the opportunity to set foot on amazing Canadian university campuses. What’s the best adjective to describe these diverse schools? Large…University of Toronto, University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, University of York, Ryerson University, and Ontario College of Art and Design…public universities with “small” class size defined in different terms than their American counterparts.  Most impressive…the University of Toronto (established in 1827) and its 168 -acre St. George campus set  in the midst of downtown Toronto (total population of three campuses- 75,000 students!). For US citizens/students considering an international experience, University of Toronto ( offers excellent programs across several majors. Admissions factors weigh heavily on academic performance, curriculum rigor, and standardized test scores. In addition to these campus visits, other conference perks included educational sessions on Gap Year programs, graduate school advisement, and nonverbal learning disabilities. Convention speakers and authors, Nora Spinks and J.P. Pawliw-Fry presented powerful messages on emotional intelligence and work family balance, respectively.  With renewed energy from extensive colleague and admissions staff networking, campus tours, and informational sessions, we”re continuing our journey on American soil. What’s next on the travel circuit? Vassar College. Stay tuned.

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