Verto Education
August 8, 2019

Lessons From Darwin: The Importance of Observation in Environmental Science

Course Director, Kaycie Lawson discusses the importance of observation in environmental science. Kaycie has a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University. Her nearly 20 year career working in environmental science has taken her to places around the globe.   “In the distant future…
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Verto Education
July 31, 2019

Beyond Bananas: An Immersive Approach to Learning Latin American History

Course Director, Lean Sweeney shares her teaching philosophy and experience living in Mexico. Lean Sweeney defended her doctoral dissertation, "Stateless Space and Nationless Citizens: Tools of State-Making on the Chiapas-Guatemala Border, 1821-1899" in April of 2019 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and received a Master's in Mexican History from the Universidad Nacional…
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Verto Education
July 24, 2019

Meet the Students: Introducing Verto Education’s 2019 Cohort

Over 100 students will leave home this September to start their freshman year of college abroad! Verto Education’s Fall 2019 cohort has less than two months before they step onto a plane, and into an immersive semester abroad. As the Marketing Intern for Verto Education, and a student on the Asia cohort this fall, I…
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Verto Education
July 18, 2019

So Your Child Wants to Take a Gap Year

Allowing - and even helping - students to develop a non-traditional path to follow after high school graduation is hard, even for parents of responsible children. Even for college admission consultants. I was both. Thirteen years ago, my son Ben wanted to hit the pause button before beginning college. The consultant in me told him,…
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Verto Education
June 20, 2019

How to Fund Your Semester with Verto Education

Verto Education was designed to give students the opportunity to see new countries while graduating in four years at the same cost, if not less, then your typical semester of college. We do our best to eliminate anything that does not directly contribute to our students’ educational experience. That means students aren’t charged any dues…
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Verto Education
June 13, 2019

Education Should Be A Treasure Hunt

Course Director, Dr. Karen Straight, shares her teaching philosophy and experience on a semester with Verto Education. Dr. Karen Straight earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and will be serving as the Course Director for Identity, Politics and Equity, Cultural Anthropology, and Global Health Fall 2019. My…
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Celebrating high school graduation on top of mountain
Verto Education
June 5, 2019

How To Transfer Your College Credit

Most colleges agree, taking a year out of the classroom before college is a good thing. Harvard actually encourages their students to take a year off, and goes as far as to attribute its 97% graduation rate to the number of their students who take a break after high school. Studies show that students who…
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Student photos from Verto Education's semester in The Dominican Republic
Verto Education
May 29, 2019

Meet the Team: Verto Education Course Directors

The key to every successful semester of Verto Education is the team behind the scenes! Our Course Directors will serve as adjunct faculty at Portland State University and be responsible for designing the curriculum, training the teaching staff, and supervising the delivery and grading of the course. They've all travelled far and wide and think that…
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Verto Education
May 22, 2019

How Colleges That Ban Credit on Gap Years Are Harming Students

Colleges increasingly support the idea of students taking a year out of the classroom between high school and college. Most agree that gap years are great for student outcomes. Harvard’s own admission’s team wrote at length about the benefits of gap years, stating that, “The results have been uniformly positive. . . students who had…
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Verto Education
May 15, 2019

An Argument For Taking the Nonlinear Path to a College Education

It’s been more than ten years since I graduated high school. Thinking back to that time, I remember vividly how important college felt. I was an honor roll and AP student, President of the Student Government Association, an editor for our newspaper, member of class council, the track team, cross country team, soccer team, and…
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Verto Education
May 1, 2019

5 Reasons Verto is #ABetterFreshmanYear

College is an amazing opportunity. It’s the one time in life when your community is made up completely of peers your own age (except for maybe assisted living, but that’s less fun). Your campus is designed solely for your personal betterment. You have access to advisors, coaches, cooks, cleaners, landscapers, and of course educators. Your…
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Verto Education
April 24, 2019

HIPS Don’t Lie: High Impact Practices at Verto Education

When students think about the educational experiences that resonate with them most, from their undergraduate or high school careers, there are often key moments, projects, or classes that really stand out. These may include things like the creation of a learning community, collaboration on a project, or civic and community engagement that gets students out…
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Verto Education
April 17, 2019

What Is a Homestay? How Does It Work?

One of the best parts about spending a semester with Verto Education is getting to see everything a country has to offer. Unlike on study abroad programs, with Verto students won’t be confined to one place for the duration of their stay. Rather, they will go from the city to the countryside, and occasionally venturing out…
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Verto Education
April 3, 2019

Letter from the President, Mitch Gordon

As Verto Education grows, I increasingly receive emails and questions from parents about how and why we started this bold new educational model.  At its core, Verto Education was created to provide a better freshman year for students, and make international travel a core part of the college experience. As the President of Verto Education,…
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Verto Education
March 25, 2019

Verto Education on the College Admissions Scandal

In light of the recent admissions scandal, it is clearer than ever that proactive change is needed in the higher education system to create a more inclusive and accessible environment for students of all backgrounds. At Verto Education we believe that new and innovative models are essential to shifting the educational paradigm. Part of our…
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Verto Education
March 15, 2019

Advice from Parent Alumni on Sending Your Student Abroad for a Semester of College

How much communication will I have with my student? What are the classes like? What differences did you notice in your student after a semester with Verto Education? We asked our alumni parents to share their experience. Video Transcription Erin, Anya's dad, Verto Class of 2018: My name is Erin O'Connor. My daughter Anya went…
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Verto Education
February 23, 2019

How Does Verto Education Partner With Colleges? Hear From The Admissions Teams

Verto Education partners with college and universities around the world to allow students to spend their first semester of college abroad while staying on track to graduate in four years. Hear from our partner colleges about how our relationship works and why they are excited to be partnering with Verto Education. Video Transcription Scott Friedhoff,…
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Verto Education
February 11, 2019

No Electricity? No Problem. A Week with the Indigenous Bribri Community in Costa Rica

After four days of exploring San Jose and taking classes at the luxurious Tryp hotel, our next destination was Bribri. We were told we’d be staying with indigenous cacao farmers living without electricity and, more frighteningly, wifi!  Truth be told, I wasn’t the slightest bit concerned. If this was the first thing we did on…
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Student Stories
January 11, 2019

Agriculture & Sustainability: Teaching Philosophy & Personal Credo

As a young person, who was fortunate enough to participate in alternative and experiential education growing up, I know by experience how powerful interactive learning environment can be. Stimulating educational environments where students have a physically and emotionally safe space to challenge themselves for growth are the most conducive to learning.   I still remember…
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Students helping with healthcare initiatives in The Dominican Republic
Student Stories
November 9, 2018

My First 6 Weeks in The Dominican Republic

As we wrap up our time in the Dominican Republic, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the things we’ve learned in these last 6 weeks. It feels like we just got to this country, but at the same time it feels like forever ago since we were at the Rancho LaAurora…
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