Jim jump considers the the admissions offices at american colleges and universities obsessed with leadership? The questions arose from two first was among several on the questionable practices of the college counseling centers in vietnam. One was encouraging students to set up events to demonstrate leadership and pad their resumes.
The other was encouraging students to pursue certain kinds of activities at the expense of others, for example political or social activism rather than artistic excellence, no matter what the student might second reason for the question was a 2014 atlantic monthly article that the student had read, “why are american colleges obsessed with ‘leadership’?Initial response to the student was that i don’t think leadership is valued over other traits.
American colleges and universities certainly talk a lot about “leadership,” and students certainly hear the message that they must be “leaders,” but does leadership outweigh academic accomplishment?Or is leadership part of a student’s “voice,” distinguishing only in close calls among students with similar superb academic records?
I don’t think leadership has any special status as an admission “plus factor” (a term a writer for u.News & world report once credited me with inventing), but clearly many of the nation’s best-known colleges see the education of leaders of society as central to their missions, so it is certainly among the qualities they seek in prospective students. Both are real and desirable, but they also can serve as umbrella concepts for other qualities, qualities like passion (a close college counseling friend argues that no high school student has true passion), commitment, persistence, and selflessness.
When colleges talk about leadership they are really talking about individuals who make a difference in their the nation’s most selective colleges concern for leadership may be a different kind of euphemism.Some of those holding those positions are effective and difference-makers, while others have accomplished their agenda as soon as they receive the students try to demonstrate leadership by starting clubs or activities. I have known of parents, similar to the college counseling centers in vietnam, starting and being the driving forces for activities in order to benefit their children when they apply for admission. I am skeptical of the value of any activity selected or leadership pursued primarily for college admission colleges tell the difference between authentic leadership and leadership done to enhance an application? When applications provide lots of spaces for leadership or activities, students feel pressure to fill as many lines as l years ago the morehead-cain scholarship at the university of north carolina, a highly prestigious full ride, concerned that the application was encouraging students who were resume builders, changed the application to ask applicants to list fewer activities but with more detail about an emphasis on leadership in the admissions process reward certain kinds of students, and is it the kind we want to reward? But colleges and universities have a responsibility not to follow but to lead, and what they choose to value in the admissions process molds is the premise behind the “turning the tide” report produced last spring by richard weissbourd of the harvard graduate school of education.
In that book she suggests that introverts possess a leadership skill-set that is largely unrecognized, even more unappreciated, and yet essential for society.
Earlier this spring she wrote an op-ed for the new york times with the title, “not leadership material?
Will we see the day when college applications include space for students to list activities in which they were not leaders or essays asking students to reflect on a time when they were a follower?I’m not holding my jump is the academic dean and director of college counseling at st.
Christopher’s since 1990 and was previously an admissions officer, women’s basketball coach, and philosophy professor at the college level. Jim is a past president of the national association for college admission s sharing buttonsshare to facebookfacebookshare to twittertwittershare to linkedinlinkedinshare to emailemailshare to copy linkcopy the first to our free daily commentshide comments — join the conversation!