An Essay Discussion
August 27, 2015
Early Decision 2015
October 16, 2015

Involve Me and I Learn

Since the Tuesday after Labor Day, I along with many admissions officers at Penn and other universities have been traveling near and far to meet with prospective students, families and guidance counselors (when there is one given so many cutbacks). As an admissions officer since 1987, the ‘fall travel season’ is almost like any other migration season as secondary schools brace for many visits in an eight week period. Nomadic admission officers need to return home in order to evaluate applications around the November 1 deadlines.

As Penn’s dean of admissions I consistently remind my staff that we are responsible for promoting a Penn education while also serving critical roles as counselors and educators. After hearing us discuss the merits of a Penn education, prospective students can decide if a Penn education is right for them. A student’s understanding that Penn isn’t a good fit can be just as important a decision for that student as deciding to apply Early Decision with Penn as their first choice.

This blog is coming up on its fourth anniversary this December and I believe the framework of the 5 I’s and 4 C’s provides insightful information for students to take a deep look at themselves and helps them determine what they are looking for when evaluating colleges. Whether speaking at an evening program where I can touch broadly on the framework or in a high school visit where certain elements may resonate as I am sitting in a classroom with students, I find that Page 217 helps students feel empowered by their own decision making in a process where there is a great deal of noise.

Penn’s founder, Benjamin Franklin, once stated, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

I am proud that the framework on Page 217 involves students in their college process which can help them create a sound college list and hopefully make more informed decisions. That was my aim at the Great Hearts Academies college night in Phoenix around 4 years ago, a program which became the template for Page 217. It is my hope that the Class of 2020 feels empowered and confident in the college process and through the close of their senior year of high school.

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