Spring is our admissions season at UVEI, and during this time I get a glimpse into the lives of educators. Just like the new growth I see outdoors, our applicants fascinate me. They encourage me. They are a hopeful new beginning.
Here at the admissions desk, I receive and file each piece of each application to our UVEI and UVGSE programs -- resumes of educational interests and experience; essays describing risk-taking and determination; letters of recommendation from supervisors, colleagues, professors, even from students; notes from an interview with our program faculty. The pieces of an application fit together so that I start to know each applicant even without meeting them in person.
The next step after the application and interview is the admissions review, when the Admissions Committee convenes to discuss our applicants. Not just the strengths and weaknesses they will bring to the program, but also how they will best be served. What type of mentor and placement will help them grow? What additional supports might they need? Are there any special prerequisites that should be met before participation? The admissions decision that results is personalized for each applicant -- a personalization that carries through during the entire time of a their participation with us, and even beyond that.
The end of the spring is my busiest time of year, with new applications coming in and transcripts for the graduating classes going out. For me, it’s also an emotional time -- sadness to say goodbye to our soon-to-be graduates mixed with joy, hearing about their new career plans.
Along with that goodbye, however, comes a new beginning. The applicants we admitted are now our candidates, our students for the coming year. During the summer months, candidates start coming into the building to meet with faculty or borrow library books. Orientations will take place and all candidates will become familiar faces. As the year moves from August to June, we will learn more and more about each one of our candidates -- adding to what we knew already with their interests, their goals, their humor, their struggles. My job involves office work, but it is this process of getting to know our candidates that makes it meaningful.
By the end of a given year, what started as an application has become a relationship. The relationship will change when a candidate moves on, but it won’t end. We will stay in touch, we will read and celebrate their accomplishments, and we will welcome them back for professional development or for leadership and masters degree opportunities. Some will even mentor or share their expertise with our new candidates. The future of each relationship is full of possibilities. And this is when it all starts.
Welcome to admissions season!
Commentary by Marie McCormick
Marie McCormick is UVEI’s Registrar and Librarian, and throughout the spring she coordinates the admissions process for our Teacher and Principal Internship Programs as well as the UVGSE Master’s Degree programs.
Marie’s other blog post, Trending: Competency-Based Education can be found here.