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Summer 2011 Information

Dear FAST TRAIN Students,

Below is the information you need to know about Summer 2011.Please read 
this email carefully, as it should answer all your questions about 
attending summer courses at Mason.

*1) Summer Schedule*

*2) Registration*

*3) Housing*

*4) Tuition Payment*

*5) Financial Aid*

*6) Summer Testing -- No VRA in Summer 2011*

*7) International Student Visas*

*8) Textbooks*

*9) Orientation*

*10) Mandatory Advising for Fall 2010- Summer 2011 New Students*

*11) What to Expect*

*12) Participate in Job Search Seminar*

*13) Frequently Asked Questions*

*1) Summer Schedule*

The summer schedule is posted on the FAST TRAIN website under: 
http://fasttrain.gmu.edu/summer/. Mandatory orientation will take place 
at 8:30AM on Sunday, June 26.Summer session I is June 27 -- July 7; 
Summer session II is July 8 -- July 19; and Summer session III is July 
20 -- July 29.The IB capstone will be Sunday July 30 -- August 5 for 
those Elementary students who wish to earn the IB Teacher Award.

As usual, FAST TRAIN staff will be driving students to Target to pick up 
supplies AND groceries on Saturday, June 25 at 3PM.Plan to meet at the 
Mason statue near the center of campus.This is the perfect opportunity 
to pick up anything you need.There is a Giant grocery store within 
walking distance to Mason.

In addition to courses, FAST TRAIN will host a library and technology 
orientation for new students, international students will be required to 
attend OIPS orientation, and there will be an information panel on 
finding jobs overseas.For a complete schedule of events please review 
the PDF calendar here: http://fasttrain.gmu.edu/summer/

**

*2) Registration*

Course registration is now open.The priority deadline to register for 
classes is June 1, 2011.Please turn in your registration form by this 
date in order to guarantee a seat in your requested courses.Registration 
forms are available on the website here: 
http://fasttrain.gmu.edu/current-students/register/.All students are 
required to fill out both the registration form and program planning 
form to complete the registration process.

*3) Housing*

Summer 2011 housing information is now available.Please review the 
housing information here: 
http://fasttrain.gmu.edu/summer/sum-housing/.Intern housing (available 
for students staying longer than 30 days) is open.Please sign up for 
intern housing AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.Be sure to include FAST TRAIN in the 
housing application form so that you will be placed with other FAST 
TRAIN students in the apartments.

**PLEASE NOTE*** if you are planning to stay LESS than 30 days, the 
short-term hosing prices have not been posted yet.We recommend waiting a 
few days more before filling out the short-term housing request 
information.Students staying less than 30 days will be housed in dorm 
rooms with or without kitchenettes.

*4) Tuition Payment*

We have not received final word about tuition costs for Summer 
2011.However, we do expect at least a small increase to be announced on 
in-state tuition.(Out of state students will continue to pay $75 above 
in-state tuition per class.) If you are registered before May 16, 
tuition is due by May 16.If you are registered after May 16, tuition is 
due within 5 business days.We will update the FAST TRAIN website as soon 
as final tuition rates have been announced.For information on how to pay 
tuition, please review the student account website: 
http://studentaccounts.gmu.edu/payment.html.

*5) Financial Aid*

Unfortunately, FAST TRAIN staff cannot answer many questions about 
financial aid.We recommend you review the financial aid website here: 
http://financialaid.gmu.edu/index.html and speak with a financial aid 
counselor about your eligibility.FAST TRAIN's unique class schedule can 
make it difficult for students to qualify for aid.

*6) Summer Testing -- No VRA in Summer 2011*

Please review the following website for comprehensive information about 
summer testing. http://fasttrain.gmu.edu/summer/summer-calendar/.This 
site contains information on testing dates as well as when FAST TRAIN 
will provide transportation to the VCLA and Praxis II 
exams.Transportation sign up will be at orientation and outside the FAST 
TRAIN offices this summer.Email reminders will go out.

*Please note that there will be no VRA administered this summer during 
the FAST TRAIN program.*Virginia Department of Education is currently 
switching vendors for this test, so the last paper administration will 
be on May 14.A new computer based-test will begin administrations in 
September.We have tried to work with VDOE and the vendor to get a VRA 
test date in summer but to no avail.Because the format is changing, 
there is simply no test available to take this summer.Effected 
Elementary students will be able to take the VRA in Summer 2012.However, 
the new computer-based test will be available starting September 2011.We 
will send out information on new dates as soon as we have them.Please 
contact Jennifer Coarts ([log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>) with 
"VRA" in the subject line if this will affect your plans to earn your VA 
teaching license.

**

*7) International Student Visas*

International students requiring a visa to attend classes should review 
this new webpage for more 
information:http://fasttrain.gmu.edu/summer/international/.Students 
attending for the full five-week program must demonstrate funds of at 
least $6,000 (US) to cover expenses while in the program.(If staying 
less than the full program, estimate $2,000 per class enrolled.)All 
documentation for your visa must be received by April 15 to ensure 
enough processing time before summer begins.

*8) Textbooks*

Textbook orders are being finalized now.You should be able to see final 
textbook orders posted at the GMU bookstore website by April 1.To find a 
list of required textbooks please go to: 
http://fasttrain.gmu.edu/current-students/textbooks/Information on 
having the books shipped is also available.Unfortunately at this time, 
the bookstore will not be open on orientation day, June 26.We are trying 
to work out an arrangement to have the bookstore open during orientation 
so that you may purchase your books that day.We will keep you posted if 
we are able to open the bookstore.

*9) Orientation*

So, you are returning for your third year in the program and really 
don't want to sit through the same old orientation with the FAST TRAIN 
Program again -- right?Well, this year, orientation will be completely 
different.We are asking our returning students to help us orient new 
students to the FAST TRAIN Program.After breakfast at 8:30AM and a brief 
introduction to our new staff, we will have FAST TRAINers break down 
into different discussion groups by program and by year in FAST 
TRAIN.You'll have a chance to ask questions of each other as well as our 
staff, and you'll have an opportunity to delve into specific issues 
related to your program. This new orientation will be more interactive 
and hopefully more informative than in years past.However, it is 
mandatory, so plan to be there regardless.If you are attending only one 
session, you'll have a mandatory advising appointment with FAST TRAIN 
staff (see below).

*10) Mandatory Advising for Fall 2010- Summer 2011 New Students*

All new students will be required to attend a mandatory advising session 
with a FAST TRAIN advisor during summer session I.For students who begin 
the program in Summer 2011, your advising session will take place on 
Sunday, June 26 after orientation.A final schedule will be sent out by 
June 1.If you are a new student from Fall 2010 or Spring 2011, your 
mandatory advising appointment will take place the week of June 27 after 
class (3:30 -- 5:30PM).Again, a final schedule will be sent out June 
1.If you are planning on attending only summer session II or III, you'll 
need to stop by the FAST TRAIN office on either July 7 (3:30-5:30PM) or 
July 20 (3:30-5:30PM) to receive orientation and advising materials.No 
need to schedule an appointment as we will have opening advising hours 
on these dates.

**

*11) What to Expect*

For many of you this is the first time you'll be taking intensive summer 
session classes.The five week program can be both grueling and 
rewarding.You'll be in class from 8:30AM -- 3:30PM five days a week for 
five weeks.Attendance in class is absolutely mandatory.In addition, 
you'll have several readings plus writing assignments and presentations 
that you'll need to complete in the evenings.Each day of your 8 days is 
the equivalent of two weeks during a regular academic semester.Be 
prepared to devote all of your energy to your classes, minimize 
distractions by staying in campus housing, and remember -you wouldn't 
have been admitted to the program if we didn't believe you could handle it!

*12) Participate in a Job Search Seminar*

This year, we will be hosting a brief panel discussion on job search 
strategies for international teachers.We are hoping to bring in a guest 
speaker to highlight some unique international teaching opportunities, 
but we also want to hear from you.If you are currently working overseas 
and are interested in participating in the panel, please email Jackie 
Kakar at [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>.The seminar will take 
place July 12 at 3:30PM.

*13) Frequently Asked Questions*

*Q:I am planning on taking CLEP tests to complete my endorsement 
requirements -- where and when can I take these tests?*

A:We recommend scheduling your CLEP exams on the weekends to avoid 
conflicting with class or evening activities.The most convenient testing 
center is located at the Clarendon Metro at the Strayer University - 
Arlington Campus (2121 North 15th Street Arlington,VA  22201).Sign up 
for CLEP tests by going to 
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/clep/about.html.

*Q:May I bring my family (and/or pets) with me to campus housing?*

A:*No.*On-campus housing is available ONLY for George Mason University 
students.Children, spouses, significant others, and pets are not allowed 
to stay.Housing is single gendered apartments or dorms, so FAST TRAIN 
couples may not share apartments.

*Q:When should I sign up to take the VCLA or Praxis I & Praxis II exams?*

A: As soon as possible.Do not wait to sign up for these licensing tests 
until you arrive on campus.Space fills up quickly for all of these 
tests, so sign up as soon as you can.

*Q:Does FAST TRAIN provide computers for me to use while I attend class?*

A:Yes, FAST TRAIN has a limited supply of laptops for students to borrow 
during the program.Students can check out laptops at orientation, 
technology orientation, or by coming to the FAST TRAIN office.A $500 fee 
will be assessed for lost or damaged laptops.Students can check out 
laptops for all or part of the summer program.

*Q:What is the best way to get to the George Mason University campus?*

A:The closest airport to Mason is Dulles International Airport.From 
here, you can take a cab <http://www.washfly.com/> or super shuttle 
<http://www.supershuttle.com/en/IADAirportShuttleWashington.html> to 
campus.If you are arriving via Regan International Airport, you can take 
the Metro <http://www.wmata.com/>to the Vienna station, and catch either 
the CUE bus <http://www.fairfaxva.gov/cuebus/cuebus.asp> or Mason 
shuttle <http://shuttle.gmu.edu/> to the main campus (10 minute ride).

*Q; Where is the FAST TRAIN Office located?*

A:We're moving!The FAST TRAIN office will be moving back to campus in 
May 2011.Our new offices will be in Krug Hall (room information to 
come).Until then, you can find us in the townhouse complex, 4260 Chain 
Bridge Road, Fairfax, VA 22030.

-- 
Stacy Wilson
Assistant Coordinator, FAST TRAIN Programs
College of Education and Human Development
4260 Chain Bridge Rd
Fairfax, VA  22030
Office: 703-993-3173
Fax: 703-246-8996
http://fasttrain.gmu.edu/