Implement a Holistic Review System
Take steps to implement a holistic review system that includes an assessment of applicant characteristics – such as academic metrics, attributes (skills, abilities, personal and professional traits), and life experiences (path traveled and challenges and opportunities) – in a manner that aligns with program’s mission and goals.
Steps to create this system could include:
- Developing a Mission Statement for the program which articulates goals, including the composition of the admitted student pool
- Promoting faculty discussion in advance of each admissions cycle, as committee membership will typically change over time. Consider discussing the institution and program goals, the admissions process, application review criteria and implicit bias. Use an outside facilitator if necessary. You can make attendance in the conversational workshop mandatory for everyone who will participate in the admissions cycle
- Revising application materials and process in light of the discussions at the workshop and implement them as soon as is feasible
- Using a rubric for evaluating factors considered in the admissions process
- Using standard interview questions for all applicants to help determine strength of interest in the program, problem solving, decision-making, resourcefulness, resilience, understanding of program, etc.
- Having one group of people review the applications and a separate group of people conduct and summarize the findings from the interviews, so that a single set of people are not judging everything. Then both sets of people could discuss the takeaways from the applications and interviews and make the final admissions recommendations together.
- Conducting a post-admissions discussion to evaluate the process and outcomes and possibly make revisions for future admissions cycles