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Showing posts with label academia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label academia. Show all posts

Monday, May 19, 2014

#NoPersonalStatements: Abolish the college admission essay

When I first applied to Morehouse College years ago my essay was largely about my dad and his many goals that he left behind when he died. While my mother spent many years attending DePaul University part-time, my dad struggled to get as much as his GED. Although to be sure he was of that generation who could afford to drop out of high school and still do OK!

And now I see that there's an argument to abolish the personal statement on college applications. Now could this be a mistake, or could this be a benefit? The conclusion of this article I found on Instapundit:
None of these alternatives to the traditional personal statement would eliminate subjectivity from the admissions process. But they would remove some of the politics--and much of the dishonesty. Most importantly, they would relieve applicants of the burden of being chosen for who they are rather than what they can do. In doing so, they could make an arbitrary and tortuous process just a little more tolerable.
So, the alternatives to those essays that allows prospective students to tout their own horns while being reflective isn't a good idea. Also many have written essays that may sweeten the pots as far as who our many colleges seek to attract. They do focus on the Ivy League schools as least who do seek minorities and low-income people and they use the essay to do so.

I'm proud of my essay and I used to have a copy on a floppy disk which was stolen years ago. I may have a physical copy around the house somewhere. It probably helped me get into Morehouse but beyond that if the standard had been sending in a writing sample in the field which I would like to study probably wouldn't have hurt anything.

In fact because I actually transferred to Morehouse from one of the City Colleges of Chicago perhaps writing a paper in the social science field - my major was in fact political science - shouldn't have been entirely difficult. That idea among others isn't as bad of an idea as any.

Still, aside from academic and extra-curricular accomplishments of a prospective undergrad admission officials should still consider essays that explore who their institutions future students are. What do you think?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

WSJ: Job Hunting? Dig Up Those Old SAT Scores

It sometimes threw me off when you apply for a job and there's space for GPA. Although in some respects I understand, if there's barely any job experience shown seen then you need something. Not that GPA is an indication of future success at work.

Still, it would throw me off even more that hiring managers would be interested in SAT or ACT scores. When I was in high school - Go Falcons - my ACT score wasn't that good so I wouldn't be entirely happy if I go for a job, get interviewed, and then my scores were requested. Even if it had been a decade out of high school, even if I had already gotten my degree, and even if I should've established a decent work record.

All the same, this aspect of this Wall Street Journal article concerns me:
Putting too much stock in standardized tests can put minority candidates at a disadvantage. In 2013, SAT test-takers in the "Black or African-American" category scored an average 431 on the exam's critical reading section, 429 on math and 418 on writing. White test-takers, meanwhile, scored nearly 100 points higher on average in every section. There is a racial divide for ACT score reports as well.
In any case, that article explores all aspects of this practice. Even notes companies that stopped this practice. Unfortunately this "fad" may not go away any time soon, however, it's good to know it's being evaluated and some just choose to go another direction.

It's like many ways that employers seek to screen out candidates. It's often unfair, but it's what they use and especially frustrating in an economy with high unemployment.

As far as "fads" perhaps one day employers won't even bother with these pre-employment assessments anymore in the future. Are those an indicator of future success?

Hat-tip for my new favorite blog - Ask a Manager - where a commenter on her blog pointed readers to that Wall Street Journal article. There was a question about whether or not an applicant for an office manager position should provide old SAT scores.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Podcast: Why Greater Detroit Is So Segregated

From Time's, The Detroit Blog. University of Pennsylvania sociologist and historian Thomas Sugrue discusses the roots of segregation in the Detroit area with Madison Gray. It piggy backs off of an article that I posted here yesterday about an increase in Detroit's white population and a decrease in the black population.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Guess what made the Sun-Times this morning...

A story about the outgoing President of Morehouse College Dr. Walter Massey...

Walter Massey was a shy, black boy from Hattiesburg, Miss., when he arrived as a 16-year-old freshman at Morehouse College.

Nearly 40 years later, he returned to change the school that changed him. He served as Morehouse's president for 12 years but will step down in June.

During his tenure, a fund-raising campaign brought in $119 million in three years, and he helped the school land the collection of more than 7,000 handwritten notes, letters and sermons by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. -- the most famous alumnus of Morehouse, the nation's only historically black all-male college.

After presiding over his final commencement May 20, Massey, 69, and his wife, Shirley, will move to Chicago.

''When they write the history of Morehouse, they will certainly focus on the Massey years,'' said Michael Lomax, president of the United Negro College Fund and a 1968 alum.

''He has ensured that the college has the financial resources to compete,'' Lomax said

Robert Franklin -- an Emory University professor and former president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta -- has been named Morehouse's 10th president.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

This has not been a frequent topic of discussion here...

So why not on this subject? Academic bias or the fact that universities instead of being a convergence of new and different ideas seem to want to stifle such through grading and speech codes. Being ingrained in the online political activist culture I've heard stories. This story I have ran across is just one of many and surely it was bound to happen.

Why, you may ask?

Well the Virginia Tech (VA Tech) shootings from earlier this week. There is going to be some debate over what can be done to keep college students safe from a brooding madman. The knee jerk reaction would be even more gun control. Another response could be to let students have guns, although while I'm not for gun control, I'm not in support of arming college students (or allowing college students arms) in their dorms.

Unfortunately to the misfortune of the Boston professor he's been fired from his job for suggesting that the rampage at VA Tech could have been stopped if another studemt had been carrying another gun....
Nicholas Winset was terminated and permanently barred from the Boston campus after a lecture he gave on Wednesday showed the gunman could have been stopped if another student was carrying a gun, according to a Boston Herald report.

On the Internet web site You Tube, Winset explains how he used a magic marker as a depiction of a gun.

Winset said the re-enactment was part of a lecture on the issue of gun control. He said he wanted to teach his students that they should fight back in violent situations.

BTW, you can watch his videos here.

So Emmanuel College, what's wrong with discussing the effectiveness or the lack of effectiveness of gun control. Isn't this what you need instead of engaging in a kneejerk over reaction of one professor attempting to have a discussion. I think I share the apprehension of allowing a college student a firearm, but firing a professor for discussing this is not the answer.