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New admissions questions signal commitment to closing the achievement gap

Beginning with the 2012 cohort of applicants for teacher licensure, applicants will respond to two new open-ended questions that ask them to reflect on their experiences with difference and diversity, their understanding of educational disparities as well as their perceived role in addressing these disparities, and their decision to pursue teaching as a career. The responses will provide insight into the applicants' experiences prior to entering a teacher licensure program, their awareness of current educational issues related to the achievement gap, and their ability to articulate an understanding of concepts concerning diversity and educational disparities.

Along with using the new questions to evaluate student responses for admission purposes, these questions will also be used as a recruitment tool. The new questions will signal to prospective students that diversity and impacting educational disparities are central to the mission of the University of Minnesota teacher licensing programs. These questions will also communicate the institution's desire to recruit, admit, and graduate students who value diversity and are driven to impact educational disparities.

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