Qualities and Potential Shape Talent Profile
Parents and students are anxiously seeking an updated pattern of education and talent selection that conforms to the 12-Year Basic Education Curriculum Guidelines. Nothing is of more concern to the public than the issues of how faculty reviewers evaluate application documents for university and college admission and the establishment of a frame of reference to help departments select the most suitable students.
Intended to make student recruitment grounded in consensus and insusceptible to any individual bias, the Program on the Development of Professionalized Student Recruitment by Universities has been carried out by the Ministry of Education (MOE) for the last four years. It calls on each school to establish a unit responsible for the program and the design of a rubric for the Admission by Personal Application in order that student applicants are more specifically informed of the review criteria.
Gaining entrance to university and college can be done through “Recommendations”, “Personal Applications” or “Examinations and Placements”. University and college departments have allocated more than 50% of their enrollment quotas to “Personal Applications”. When the MOE started the aforementioned pilot program 4 years ago to minimize the credibility gap between the review process and its stakeholders, the first participants were 17 universities and colleges; 3 years ago, the number of participants rose to 30, and as of this year, 64 participants involved in “Personal Applications” have participated.
Under this program, universities and colleges establish related units and primarily task them with designing a rubric to measure truly talented applicants and their documents required for application as well as their interview performance.
Application documents (including supporting materials) give the first impression of a candidate in an admission interview the same way resumes do in a job interview. What kind of documentation is likely to receive a favorable review from university and college teachers? The Joint Board of College Recruitment Commission announced the “three emphases and two noes” principle for review of written documents by university departments, with the most important tenet being "describing the process of completing the work is more important than presenting the results".
The three “emphases” include learning portfolios focused on whether students have core problem-solving abilities, on in-campus learning activities over off-campus ones, and on authenticity of information over perfection. In addition, the two “noes” means that it is not necessary to have each application element reviewed listed by the departments and also that quantity of items is not the way to success. The most important thing is the reflection on the description of the learning process.
Chun-Chang Chu, Director of the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, indicated that when preparing their learning portfolios, students should focus on the three “emphases”. The first emphasis is focusing on students’ basic literacy in demonstrating core competencies, such as problem-solving ability, enthusiasm in learning, and whether their personal talents meet the educational goals of their departments.
The second emphasis is on universities focusing on students’ in-campus learning activities. For example, items of learning portfolios to be uploaded include course learning results. It is clearly stipulated that written reports produced by students in senior high school courses, practical work, research and practical results in the natural sciences field, and the results of social field research activities are all based on school courses. Each student can upload six items of course learning results for each academic year, and choose up to three pieces for final submission to their desired departments.
The third emphasis is the authenticity of information and the student’s self-preparation. When senior high school teachers provide school work guidance to the students, they should refrain from over-involvement in the content produced because admission interviewers are certain to query this content.
In addition, there are also the two “noes”, with the first being “it is not necessary to have each application element reviewed listed by the departments”. The universities focus on comprehensive, multifaceted evaluation and acceptance; students will not be rejected because they lack one of the items.
The second “no” is “quantity of items is not the way to success”. The universities emphasize students’ reflections on the learning process. Regarding students’ course taking records, course learning achievements, or diverse performances, it is better for the students to select a piece of work that leaves an impression on committee members rather than focus on quantity.