To ensure entering students are better educated, Eastern Michigan University, along with the state of Michigan, is requiring freshmen attempting to enroll to meet certain requirements. These efforts shall be enforced in order to make sure students are as equally prepared for college as those at other state universities.
In recent years, the state of Michigan has made it mandatory and accessible for all high school students to take the ACT. Before, students wanting to take the ACT had to pay money and come in and take the test on a Saturday.
According to Kathryn Orscheln, interim director of admisssions, the average Eastern freshman coming straight out of high school comes into the university with an average 3.08 GPA, compared to Western
Michigan freshman who enter college with an average 3.26.
“This year, fall 11, is the first year that it goes into effect that the state of Michigan has some core standards that every high school graduate in the state of Michigan has to meet, or they will not graduate from college” Orscheln said.
New standards will require high school graduates to have completed four years of Math and English.
According to Orscheln, besides looking at students’ ACT scores and the GPAs of incoming freshmen from high school, Eastern also looks at students’ high school curriculum.
High school students who do not meet the curriculum to enter college can either make up classes in summer school or take the General Education Development test.
Unlike other universities, Eastern does not look at what percentile of a high school’s graduating class a student was in.
“We don’t look at class rank,” Orscheln said. “Sometimes it’s on a student’s transcript, and so we know that, but we don’t figure that in to our placement. We really want to look at students as individuals.”
Eastern also supports services for gifted high school students who have not yet graduated or are currently in their senior year of high school.
“There are really two ways that high school students can come to our campus and take classes,” Orscheln said.
“One way is dual enrollment and that is, they’re still in high school, they’re still enrolled in high school, they’re still a high school student, but they’ve run out of classes to take at their high school.
“Maybe they want to take German four, and their high school only goes up to German three, so they come here to take German four, and it goes back and serves as a high school credit for them and their high
school pays for it.”
Students whose parents are willing to pay for them to take a class can have them attend the class after
school every day.
“Maybe I’m really interested in Japanese and my high school doesn’t offer it, I can come here and take it, but because it’s not a requirement at my high school, the high school doesn’t pay for it.”
A third possible way involves the Early College Alliance.
“It is for high school students in Washtenaw county who, for one reason or another, their academic experience in high school or social experience in high school has just run its course,” Orscheln said.
Students then have the option of taking their high school classes at EMU.
“It’s just to make sure that people don’t drop out, people don’t stop going to high school; it’s to make sure we keep them engaged in their learning, whatever that takes,” Orscheln said.
Once students have been admitted, Eastern continues to help prepare freshmen in finding out if Eastern is the right school for them. The university first begins by attempting to recruit prospective students.
“We buy names from ACTs, from the College Board, of students who we would like to come to Eastern,” Orscheln said.
“If those prospective students inquire, either we send them a post card or brochure. And if they respond back by either going to our website or making a phone call, or sending us an email, or sending in a card, they become an inquiry.”
Eastern then works to get inquiring students to visit campus. Eastern then encourages inquirers to visit campus and apply.
“We know if they visit campus, they’ll be able to see if Eastern would be a place they’d like to be,” Orscheln continued.
“We only want people here who want to be here, so we don’t want them to just apply and come here without visiting, because we want them to see what we’re like, so we want to get those people to come visit.”