How to do holistic admissions legally, efficiently, and effectively

The new guide on holistic admissions, Understanding Holistic Review in Higher Education Admissions, Guiding Principles and Model Illustration (College Board/Education Counsel), cites AACRAO Consulting’s Michele Sandlin and William Sedlacek on issues around intersectionality of multiple factors, such as character, perseverance, and other noncognitive variables.
 
“This guide is really helpful for higher education practitioners in the implementation of holistic admissions,” Sandlin said.”It’s a quick read, and an important one.”
 
Written by Art Coleman and Jamie Lewis Keith, the guide explains key features and elements of the practice and addresses how institutions can effectively incorporate holistic review goals on their campuses.
 
Key components: Admissions alignment
According to this new guide, and Sandlin wholeheartedly agrees, the keys to fair and effective holistic admissions are integrity, accountability, rigor, consistency and fairness. In addition, periodic review and evaluation must be a part of the process.
 
“One big thing is to ensure alignment with who the institution is, that it is aligned with the mission: Are your processes aligned with the mission and enrollment strategy from day one?” Sandlin said. Focusing on mission alignment, enrollment goals, student success, and transparency will help keep holistic admissions policies on track.
 
“It’s exciting to be referenced in this new guide on holistic best practices,” Sandlin said. “The book also has a good admissions protocols page and a process management section which reinforce so the work we’ve been doing for the past 10 years in AACRAO Consulting, which is very exciting and validating.”
 
Learn more @ AACRAO 2019
Sandlin and other authors will present a session on the AACRAO publication Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Student Body at the 2019 AACRAO Annual Meeting in April.
 
The session will deepen attendees’ expertise into a range of strategic and operational matters that inform, influence, and yield the recruitment and retention of diverse student bodies, as well as cover a holistic overview of the importance of non-cognitive variables in student admission and advice for reaching the decision making community that surrounds and influences all students.