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AAVMC launches holistic admissions pilot

Program aims to foster diversity, inclusion in veterinary medicine

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Three institutions have been selected to participate in an Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) pilot program designed to help veterinary schools develop holistic admissions programs. The three colleges, which were largely selected due to demonstrated interest in and commitment to diversity and change, are the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, and North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Holistic admissions is a rapidly developing program in health professions, which is designed to encourage greater diversity and inclusion among student cohorts. These processes evaluate academic performance and aptitude, but also consider qualitative factors known to contribute to a candidate’s ultimate success as a student and career professional. Such factors may include more intangible attributes, such as:

  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Leadership
  • Resilience
  • Communications skills
  • Empathy
  • Tenacity (e.g. in the face of poor grades, adversity)
  • Demonstrated success in a working environment
  • High ethical standards

“We will be supporting these colleges as they pursue admissions reviews that are flexible, consider the applicants’ capabilities, provide balanced consideration to academic performance, life experience and attributes, and assess how the applicants will contribute to the learning environment and the veterinary profession,” said Lisa Greenhill, Ed.D, AAVMC’s senior executive director for institutional research and diversity. “These things are the core pillars of holistic review.”

The AAVMC will be working with the selected colleges over the next 12 to 18 months to offer support in committee training, policy and practice development, research and data analysis, and program review.

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