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Kindness: one key to success for college admission

May 14th, 2019

Earlier this month, I toured several boarding schools on the east coast. The visits were great and I was particularly struck by the last school visited, where students displayed an uncommon degree of kindness and compassion.  This was manifested in part by their warm descriptions of not only teachers, but staff members performing important but less prestigious work on campus.  Students’ smiles were huge as they described these individuals’ roles in their lives and I left wondering why that isn’t the norm.

The admissions scandals are bringing up important conversations among parents, teachers and students. How can we improve the system so that we are considering the best fit for each individual instead of ignoring core values just to get into the most selective schools?

My trip sparked ideas about character development and made me think about the second “Turning the Tide” report released earlier this spring. Turning the Tide stems from the Making Caring Common campaign based at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, focusing on character building in schools, at home, and during the admissions process. It is a great read for people of all ages and I hope it provokes thought about which values are really important to become a good citizen, which in turn will lead you on the right path through the college admissions process … and through life.

Article linked below from Making Caring Common Project, published in March 2019

Our new report calls on parents and high schools to put young people’s character and well-being at the center of a healthier, more sane college admissions process.

Three years in the making, Turning the Tide II: How Parents and High Schools Can Cultivate Ethical Character and Reduce Distress in The College Admissions Process, offers guidelines for high schools and parents in promoting ethical character. It also describes how Tsome high schools and colleges are working to promote greater ethical engagement among high school students, level the playing field for economically disadvantaged students, and reduce excessive achievement pressure. The report also includes a pioneering statement from admissions deans seeking to advance Turning the Tide’s goals.

Read more at Making Caring Common Project>>