This letter is written in response to Kari Barrows’ “Stress Test” piece [“Stress Test: Local Colleges Adopt More Holistic Admissions Policies,” Feb. 24, Xpress] about local colleges and universities that are reducing the amount of emphasis placed upon standardized admissions tests. Kudos to these institutions for taking this bold stance — it symbolizes the educational world’s realization that these assessments are not necessarily indicative of a well-rounded student’s chance for academic success.
At Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, we’re finding that the same is true for professionals who have completed their bachelor’s degrees. Recently, Lenoir-Rhyne opted to waive admissions testing in most of its 10 local graduate programs. However, applicants must document work or other experience that predicts the level of dedication and skill necessary for master’s degree studies. This has eased the admissions process for our applicants and, better yet, the quality of our student body has not been reduced by one iota.
Here’s to boosting the importance of life experience and community involvement in gauging a student’s potential. The sooner that we, as educators, buy into the fact that people cannot necessarily be categorized by standardized testing, the more nimble we will be in helping to develop whole persons.
— Michael M. Dempsey
Dean and Director
Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville