Meredith Reynolds - Head Start College Blog

Archive for August, 2011

Taking the Mystery out of the Admissions Process.
August 27th, 2011

An interesting book by Mitchell Stevens entitled Creating a Class discusses the application review process putting it in three steps: (I add my comments to each of his categories)

1. Reading and Rating Applications: In my opinion this process drives the creation of a balanced list of schools to apply to. At stretch schools they will be rated relatively low as compared with their safety school. Because this is an inexact science, a continuum of 10-12 schools is a prudent plan.
2. Storytelling (giving the application a memorable third dimension): This is not unlike branding a product. What I describe as putting the “why” behind what you did with consistency across essays, teacher rec’s and application itself. There are thousands of Eagle Scouts…no information really…what did being a scout mean to who you are now? That will be useful information.
3. Class Crafting: Less can be done here. But I do encourage my students to apply to different regions of the country so they are not competing with the exact group of students with each application. ALSO I encourage my students to not apply to all the schools their friends apply to…most colleges do not have the luxury of admitting multiple students from same high school. In essence this then goes back to building a diverse list of colleges.
The process is not so mysterious after all.

Ohio Leading Public University Reform!
August 9th, 2011

In an article in Inside Higher Ed on August 9, 2011, the Ohio Plan is discussed. Ironically, much of the reform levels the playing field with for-profit universities that are thriving as traditional non-profits struggle:

While details of the Ohio plan will not be final until Thursday’s presentation, released July 18 calls for immediately freeing all universities from certain regulatory restrictions, such as state health and safety codes, and eliminating enrollment caps. The draft also calls for giving the universities complete control of the management of their employees and exempting them from the purview of the state personnel board of review.

The universities would then be measured annually on a set of metrics that include student outcomes, such as graduation and retention rates; degree production in science, technology, engineering, and math fields; and the percentage of students participating in internship programs, as well as financial measures such as endowment size, affordability measured as a percentage of the consumer price index, and the unallocated cash balance as a percentage of total operating expenses. None of the proposed metrics in the draft plan deals with faculty or research productivity or service to the state.

Ohio Plan

Perhaps most important for the entire family, the Head Start College program paces students to complete their applications by Thanksgiving.


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