Rubric For College Application Essays

While some of my colleagues who provide college and university counseling to students and families may be dispirited and even demoralized by what the spotlight on our profession has revealed to the general public, I believe this is exactly the wrong reaction to the current admissions scandal.Instead, those of us who got into this field in order to expose young people to their myriad post-secondary options and to inspire students to enthusiastically - and ethically - take ownership of their futures must harness the power of today’s headlines as a means by which to increase transparency within the admissions process for American colleges and to promote honorable behavior by our students, parents, and schools.Analytic rubrics allow an instructor to grade a larger range of criteria and provide more detailed feedback to the student.They also provide for consistent grading across different students and assignments.Furthermore, if given ahead of time, the rubric provides the student with a reminder (or a checklist) of the important criteria that need to be included.Analytic rubrics provide detailed feedback on specific elements of the assignment.Because there are specific point values assigned to specific criteria, grading often becomes easier.

Too many high school counselors have one of two extreme reactions upon learning that their students are working with outside college admissions consultants, who have become increasingly popular.Samples: Analytic Rubric #1 | Analytic Rubric #2 Holistic rubrics group individual criteria into categories to provide an overall score for certain portions of the essay.They can even be used to provide a cumulative score for the entire assignment.For a student, a rubric provides understanding to the criteria that will be used for grading a particular assignment and, if given ahead of time, provides the student with a tangible reminder of the necessary components for the assignment.It also promotes trust with the instructor and his/her grading practices since the student knows in advance how he/she will be graded.This exercise serves several purposes: it allows students to provide input in the grading process; it provides you, the instructor, with help in creating the rubric; and, perhaps most important, it serves as an informal review session for what is expected in the assignment.As an alternative to having students create a rubric, they can instead be assigned with the task of adding more detail or providing feedback to an existing rubric.However, the down side is that because analytic rubrics are more detailed, they are more time consuming to create and score.Analytic rubrics tend to work effectively when grading an assignment with lots of specific criteria.They can be particularly helpful when grading medium length assignments. Keep in mind that a rubric can be as specific or as general as necessary, but regardless of the type, it is there to help both the instructor and the student with creating and evaluating the assignment.When creating a rubric, consider the overall goal of the assignment and the number of criteria needed to achieve this goal.

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