Tildes Skills School
|Tildes Skills School|
|Motto||Perfectus (Latin for "perfect".)|
|Type||Public college open to all who qualify|
|Endowment||Approximately $30.1 billion|
|President||Dr. Ave Sorrere|
|Undergraduates||3,600 (all full time)|
|Postgraduates||Approximately 110,000 (all full time)|
|Location||Tildes Skills School, Universitus, Domz, Jey|
|Campus||Urban setting, Over 5,000 acres|
The Tildes Skills School at Universitus (also known as TSS; formerly known as the Dukes Skills Centre or DSC) is a Quaternary Education college of Universitus and the only college within the university which teaches students wishing to learn as their primary subject the arts, music, or athletic sports. The college is considered one of the most prestigious schools within Universitus, primarily because of its extremely selective admissions process. Both this admissions process and a strong faculty and student body have allowed TSS to help produce some of the most talented and successful artisans, musicians, and athletes within Jey.
The Tildes Skills School was founded in 3750 (JY) as the Dukes Skills Centre at Universitus, named after Halas Dukes, the founder of the school. The school was founded primarily to educate Universians in the arts, as the University was not highly reputed in the aesthetics. The school had originally not been intended as a college in which students could select a major, but rather a secondary institute for those also attending Universitus for academic reasons. In 3891 (JY), after substantial donations from Jon R. Tildes, the college made several large acquisitions in both stadiums, land, and faculty, and eventually offered Aesthetics as a major course concentration in 3900. By 4000, the college offered three major concentrations in the Arts, Music, and Athletics, and thousands of specific majors in these areas. The donations from Tildes eventually led his name replacing Dukes' as part of the name of the college in 4055. In the next 50 Jevian Years, Tildes Skills School quickly grew to become the most prominent school in Jey for all areas of its concentration, and admission into the school is commonly a desire of many aspiring artisans, musicians, and athletes in Jey. Today, Universitus TSS students are widely regarded as some of the most talented performers in their respective fields, and are often asked to represent all of the Allied Empire of Jey in international events, such as the World Cup.
The organization of TSS can be considered with regard to all of Universitus as well as its education policies.
Within Universitus University, Tildes Skills School is technically a specific college in the same sense as, for example, the Universitus Changi College of Jevian Literature. However, many distinct differences exist between Tildes Skills School and other colleges of Universitus. The Tildes Skills School maintains a large amount of autonomy within the university, controlling the rights to set limits for students which are not enforced at the university level, especially with regard to degree completion times. TSS is also permitted its own endowment fund and its own specific giving campaigns, a right which is not retained by any other Universitus school. Moreover, TSS is the only college of Universitus which reserves the right to absolutely ban non-TSS students from use of specific facilities owned by the school--other colleges may only reserve facilities for periods of time for specific use. A more symbolic difference concerning the Tildes Skills School is that it is the only school within Universitus which does not maintain the official Universitus Shield as its own emblem. Instead, the Tildes Skills School Shield was implemented as the official seal of the school shortly after its founding.
The Tildes Skills School is organized into 3 separate concentrations of Arts, Music, and Athletics, all of which offer an incredibly vast array of undergraduate and posgraduate courses and majors. Each concentration is composed of 1,200 students, and each class composed of 900, allowing for 300 graduates and new students per year in each of the three concentrations. Thus, the Tildes Skills School is composed of exactly 3,600 undergraduate students each academic year. Unlike Universitus, TSS students do follow the typical Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior year graduation schedule.
Each concentration is composed of numerous specific colleges within the school, all obviously very varied in their number of enrolled students. For example, the TSS Erolim College of Football maintains 59 students, while the TSS Harmon College of the Harpsichord has only one. Students are permitted to officially found a new college of TSS if they are admitted for a specific skill which has not yet taught a student of the same skill. Admitted students are typically provided with a minimum of three wholly personal teachers to help hone their specific skills.
At the Postgraduate level, TSS provides students with the opportunities needed to pursue a very lucrative career in their specific skill. Courses are not offered at the postgraduate level of Tildes Skills School, as it is considered needless as the level of education at the undergraduate level for TSS students is to the limit of present knowledge of a particular skill. Instead, after graduation from TSS, students enter into the TSS Postgraduate Career Service, where they are provided easily attainable opportunities to enter into their skill's professional level. As such, most TSS students do not ever cease being "Postgraduates" of the school.
The campus of the Tildes Skills School at Universitus is located in the Northwest corner of the City of Universitus, occupying a significant portion of the city, directly adjacent to the Ivy Gate, the city's border. The campus is divided into three separate, though open, sections which are occupied by the facilities of the Vail, Caroll, and Bynarm divisions. Though equal in the eyes of the administration of the university, the three TSS divisions do not occupy the same amount of land within the school, due to the size of their required facilities. The sports division, Bynarm, requires significantly more space than the Vail or Caroll divisions, and therefore occupies approximately 2/3s of the campus space, with Vail and Caroll using 1/6s each. This is due to the requirements for construction of Bynarm's various stadiums, which use much more space than the facilities required by Vail or Caroll.
The Campus itself consists of dozens of thousands of various Art, Music, and Athletic facilities, ranging from amphitheaters to artist studios to professional-level hockey stadiums. It is the single densest and largest location of artistic facilities in Jey and all Domzian lands, and is commonly rented by the government for international competitive uses. Of particular prominence and notoriety is the Dellon Arena, Universitus' championship tennis match stadium. One Universian famously noted "It is curious that any TSS student or faculty member can ever find one another. With a student body so small and a campus so vast, there are probably three buildings to each person there."
Admission into the Tildes Skills School is significantly tougher than any other college of Universitus. Although admissions rate into Universitus itself is only .002%, the Tildes Skills School has historically had an unmatched admissions rate much lower than the university. Admissions processes within the three departments are very varied, and are separated into three scholarships awarded to the 900 accepted applicants, who receive free tuition. All 900 who were accepted last year matriculated into TSS, keeping the historical matriculation rate at 100%. TSS students are not asked to take the Universitus Test unless they choose to matriculate out of TSS and into another college of Universitus. To prevent insincere TSS applications, absolutely no preference is given to TSS students transferring into Universitus.
Vail Scholarship in Aesthetics
Those accepted into TSS in the arts are awarded the Vail Scholarship in Aesthetics. Applications last year totaled 7,832,293 for 300 spots. When the applications are received, no art supplementary information is required until the academic cycle has been completed. 1,293,218 applicants met the preliminary academic requirement last year for the Vail Scholarship. The academic cycle was implemented following the first year in which over 3 million applications were received, an amount deemed too great for processing. Portfolios or other artistic supplementary information are then required from applicants who meet the initial requirement. Upon reception of this information, 103,442 are invited for interviews.
The 50,213 who are left after the interviewing process are invited to Universitus satellite facilities to undergo the Artistic Creation Process (ACP). The ACP is a three-month long process aimed at lowering the number of applicants to approximately 1,000. Every week, applicants are required to either produce (for short-term artistic creations) or make significant progress towards (for long-term artistic creations) their expected projects. Applicants who fail to meet expectations or whose work is less than satisfactory are expelled from the admission process. Students are removed from the ACP weekly. Last year, 923 remained after three months. At this point, Universitus offers admission, by committee of over 1,000 of its faculty, to half of its Vail Scholarship recipients (150 students), who are left unaware of this fact. All 923 students, including those already accepted, were given the Universitus Vail Aesthetics Test (UVAT), which changes based on indicated skill (e.g. The Universitus Vail Aesthetics Test in Painting). The test is used to decide the remaining 150 acceptances based on knowledge of their particular skill. The committee meets again to award the other half of its scholarship recipients, and acceptance letters are then mailed. Thus, with 7,832,293 applications last year, the admission percentage for the Vail Scholarship was .000038%.
Caroll Scholarship in Music
Those accepted into TSS in music are awarded the Caroll Scholarship in Music. The music division of TSS received 5,466,914 applications last year for its 300 scholarship positions. As with all divisions of the Tildes Skills School, the music program maintains an initial academic processing of applications. 1,673,917 prospective students met the preliminary academic requirement last year, and were asked to provide 10 video recordings of their skills involving their expected instrument. The number of applicants last year was reduced to 205,876 following the recording process. These students were asked to various interviews, and this number was again reduced to 111,329.
The remaining students were asked to attend 25 auditions, in order to be viewed by each member of the admissions department three times. Following these auditions, only 13,422 students remained in last years' applicant pool. These students were then required to attend a month-long program at a Universitus satellite facility in which to develop their writing skills. As musical creation, not simply recitation, is considered a focal point of the music program at TSS, a large emphasis is placed on a student's ability to create his or her own music. These 13,422 students are asked to create 5 pieces of music at least ten minutes long for their instrument. These independent pieces are then judged and the applicant pool last year was again reduced, now to only 611. Unlike the Vail Scholarship, no early acceptances are determined prior to the testing required of applicants. The 611 students took the Universitus Caroll Test in their specific skill, and a board of over 700 music faculty then decided on the 300 students to receive the scholarship. With 5,466,914 applications last year, the admissions percentage for the Caroll Scholarship was .000055%.
Bynarm Scholarship in Athletics
Those accepted into TSS in sports are awarded the Bynarm Scholarship in Athletics. This scholarship is considered the sole most competitive application process within Universitus University. The Bynarm Scholarship typically attracts nearly double the applicants of either of the other two scholarships, and the process of trimming down the number to 300 is particularly grueling. Last year, a record 13,477,842 applications were processed for the Bynarm Scholarship, and, like all TSS divisions, the applicants were met initially with an academic screening. 3,003,455 students met the preliminary requirement and were asked to provide 25 taped performances of their abilities in a particular sport, as well provide the names of all coaches involved in their training for interviewing purposes. After the reception of this information, 1,008,229 applicants remained. These students were invited to their own series of 5 interviews, which again reduced the number of applicants to 449,822.
These students were asked to join a program at a local Universitus stadium to attend practice camps and evaluations, which took place over a 5-month period. Following this 5-month period, only 1,472 applicants remained. These applicants, like in other TSS departments, were finally asked to take their specific sport's Bynarm Test, which allowed a board of over 2,500 faculty to conclude the recipients of the 300 Bynarm Scholars last year. Last year, the admissions percentage for the Bynarm Scholarship was .000022%.
In order to avoid unfair admission regarding a particular applicants' position, absolutely no emphasis is made in admission decisions regarding the number of students currently enrolled within a certain sport and position. For example, should there already be five students currently enrolled as a "Goaltender" in the Hoya College of Soccer, students applying under this position will not be at a disadvantage because of the high number of students already enrolled. This is possible because neither the Bynarm Scholarship, nor the Athletics Division of Tildes Skills School, aims at filling a Varsity Team of Universitus. Instead, the only emphasis is on a student's ability. Varsity Teams can, and commonly are, filled by non-TSS Universitus students. More than likely, TSS Athletes will have professional contracts to which they are obliged to play, making participation at the Universitus Varsity level a secondary concern.
Alumni and Faculty
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