Weekly Wrap-up: Talking to Universities is Beyond Encouraging

1. The Associate Director of Admissions at Boston College told us last week that “we are looking for someone who can think independently, problem solve independently… we are looking for students who are looking to use their gifts and talents to affect change in the world.”

Her comments were echoed by all the schools who have taken time to speak to us. It’s important to note that they said that they are looking for (and we are using their words) effective communicators who are strong writers, students with a special set of unique skills or talents, students that like learning, are motivated, show initiative, and are intellectually curious. They want students who know their cognitive and moral purpose. Ultimately, when their admissions departments look at an application, they are using all of these measures to answer the question “what is a student really going to be able to do when they are on this campus?” We feel beyond confident that the Innovation Lab will prepare students for these constantly changing and demanding higher education needs.

Our last conversation of the week was with the Director of Admissions at UVM who was enthused to hear about what we’re trying to do. After our explanation, she commented on the rigor of what we’re offering, noting that “it sounds like your program continues to have a really strong academic component to it.” Even more encouraging, she added, “I think this is something that would be very attractive to students… I can’t wait to see how it develops.” 

2. The team met with GHS Leadership and ran through some specifics of scope and schedule of the program. The documents we created and shared with staff at lunch last week were edited based on the feedback we received and used as part of that discussion. The Admin team was helpful with their feedback and next on our list is a short talk with our respective departments about the Innovation Lab.

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Brainstorming a list of indicators to give to teachers and counselors of potential students.

3. The ongoing conversation with Mark Hines and his team at Mid-Pacific in Hawaii is ridiculously helpful. They are in year four or five and we are able to anticipate roadblocks and questions based on conversations with them.

4. Next week we have two delegations (around 5-6 people each) headed to Springfield and New York City to visit the Springfield Renaissance School and iSchool, respectively. We hope to come back with plenty of stories to share with you.

5. We are working on documents like a one-page info sheet, a who’s this right for and who’s this not right for sheet, etc. We want to get these to staff so that they understand exactly what sort of student is right for the Innovation Lab.

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