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September 5, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

Picking a college policy debate program

Senior debaters across the country are faced with a decision–if they want to debate in college–where to go: how do I pick a college policy debate program?

I’ve coached at the University of Rochester.

Here are some of the questions I would have for myself in terms of picking a debate program:
• What is your program of study?
• Have you visited campus?
• Where are you from? City/country? Cold/warm? (Or have you at least lived in both?)
• How important is location/region to your decision?
• What school is going to get me where I want to be career-wise & learning-wise?

Here are the questions I would have for the coach (and some for myself) in terms of picking a debate program:
• You want to consider major fit? (do they have it & do they have a real community around it outside the classroom)
• Fit with team? Fit with coach? How big is the team?
• Success level? Have they taken someone at my level to the next level of success? What kind of partner (skill level) can I expect?
• What tournaments do they travel to? What tournaments can a freshman expect to attend? How many tournaments can a freshman expect to attend?
• What are the expectations in terms of time? Dedication level necessary (aka time commitment)? How much do freshmen travel?
• What kind of debating do they do? (DA/CP or K) What kind of coaching do they coach? (DA/CP or K)

I hope this fits your needs in terms of starting the process of finding the university and debate program thats right for you.

I previously have posted a list of NDT/CEDA schools based on reputation/rankings and major. That might be moderately helpful.

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