Let's Begin All Over: What Should Colleges and Universities Seek in a Student Body?
September 28, 2020 (Monday)
If higher education institutions had the opportunity to re-evaluate and re-design student body and admissions goals policies, where should they start? One of the more recent and controversial measures used in making admissions decisions are standardized tests, including the ACT and SAT. They have been used as part of the system to select students and have been validated by predicting grades in college. While high grades in college may be considered excellence, most college administrators would rather have tests that predict which students will graduate college, but would require a different type of test and admissions system.
Colleges and Universities could consider increasing the diversity of their student body from their states. Companies are also looking to colleges to provide them a more diverse workforce. CEOs value a graduate’s ability to work with diverse students and serve as a hiring advantage. Students learn from their textbooks and their professors, but they also learn from their peers, both for their vocational success and their success as citizens. International students are important to providing a more well-rounded student experience. Resident students, whose life experiences might be limited, can learn from international students’ life experiences. Last, an oft forgotten source of diversity are students with disabilities. These students have particular needs, many of the needs in testing, the admissions process, and in the school itself. Finally, the use of financial aid can optimize the overall goals of the admission policies
Dr. Kurt F. Geisinger is currently Director of the Buros Center on Testing and W. C. Meierhenry Distinguished University Professor at the University of Nebraska. He has previously been Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Fordham University, Professor of Psychology and Dean of Arts and Sciences at SUNY-Oswego, Professor of Psychology and Academic Vice President at LeMoyne College and Professor of Psychology and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of St. Thomas. He has served the maximum two terms as council representative for the Division of Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics in the American Psychological Association, which he also represents on the ISO’s International Test Standards committee. Dr. Geisinger serves as president of Division 5: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods of the American Psychological Association (APA), president of Division 2: Psychological Assessment and Evaluation of International Association of Psychology (IAAP), and president of the International Test Commission (ITC). He is editor of Applied Measurement in Education, and has co-edited the Psychological Testing of Hispanics and Test Interpretation and Diversity. His primary interests lie in validity theory, admissions testing, proper test use, test use with individuals with disabilities, the testing of language minorities and the translation or adaptation of tests from one language and culture to another.