Evolving Portfolios for Holistic Admissions

Holistic admissions use nontraditional application materials

The Learning Policy Institute’s “Reimagining College Access” initiative recently hosted a webinar featuring two SlideRoom users from New England colleges. Stu Schmill, Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services at MIT and Judy Purdy, Director of Admission at Wheaton College, discussed the use of performance assessment for equitable admissions and graduate school success. They also shared their early lessons and evolving use of portfolios as effective tools for achieving holistic admissions.  

According to Mr. Schmill, “We have now learned to…understand the context in which students have done their projects — to ascertain their motivations, resourcefulness, collaborative and communications skills and willingness to take risks.” 

“We very much consider [portfolios] a yield opportunity,” Ms. Purdy advises. “For accepted applicants, we follow up and discuss how what they are doing would contribute to the kind of life they would have at Wheaton.”

The webinar was designed for admissions staff, leaders from higher education systems and state and district policymakers interested in leveraging performance assessment to support student preparation, transition and success in postsecondary education.

Access the full webinar recording on-demand here:  Performance Assessment in College Admissions: How Students Show What They Know and Can Do.

Interested in seeing more examples of SlideRoom helping to support holistic admissions? See how Frost School of Music increased access by accepting a broader range of non-traditional application materials.

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