Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Cooking and Admissions
When you are cooking with a recipe (let's say a cake), you gather all of the ingredients, carefully measure out everything that is on the list, mix the ingredients, and get everything ready to bake. You set the oven, put in the pan, and 30 minutes later you have a warm, wonderful chocolate cake. Everything is clear cut and exact, and if you do not have all of the ingredients, you will not bake a cake.
Other times, you are cooking based upon what is in the pantry and the refrigerator, and then using the different ingredients to make a great meal (let's say it is soup this time). You look and see that you have a whole chicken, but you are out of noodles, so instead you use rice to bolster the soup. You are low on onions, so you use what the few you have, but add some seasoning salt to add flavor. And then you notice that you have carrots and celery that can be added for color, taste and nourishment, so you add those in as well. In the end, you have a great chicken and rice soup which is unique due to the variety of ingredients, and your next pot of soup will be unique and different due to the ingredients you have available next time, and how they blend together!
This is in some ways the difference between transfer and freshman file review. With transfer decisions, we have a very specific recipe as to what we are looking for in an applicant. You must have a certain number of transfer hours and a certain transfer GPA or higher to be considered, and we only focus on the specific ingredients needed when making a decision.
When we review freshman applicants, we are looking at a much larger number of variables, and each applicant brings their own unique set of ingredients to the table. Applicant X might not have as much of one ingredient, but might have more of a different one. Applicant Y might have an abundance of one spice, but might be missing an important stock ingredient. Each applicant is different, based on the unique things they have to offer in their application and how they blend together. I won't go into each ingredient, but you should be able to look at my series on file reading to get an understanding of what we are looking for, and they key ingredients.
This is why it is easier to tell if a transfer student is within the range of admission consideration, but why the freshman process is much more complex. This is also why, when a person says "How about if I have ...", I cannot give a good answer, as we are looking at all of the ingredients mixed together, and because we are also looking at a lot of applicants for a limited number of spaces.
I hope this helps, and GO DAWGS!