Undergraduate Admissions Process

Navigating the undergraduate admissions process is often daunting for students applying to college, as well as for their counselors and parents. What are admissions committees looking for? This course explains the factors that go into the "holistic review" process of highly selective colleges and universities in the United States. Topics include: transcript, strength of curriculum, high school context, standardized test scores, personal essays, letters of recommendation, disciplinary infractions as well as extracurricular variables such as arts and athletics.

Students walking with a college access counselor.

Course Modules

Objective Data: This module explores the objective measures of a student’s application and how it impacts informed admissions decisions. Specific attention will be given to standardized testing, grades, curriculum, high school context, as well as financial considerations.

Subjective Data: This module examines the role of subjective data in a student’s application and how it is used to develop a more human portrait of the student beyond the numbers. Topics discussed will include extracurricular activities, essays, letters of recommendation, resumes and interviews.

Special Variables: This module identifies and discusses the variety of factors that may influence the final admissions decision. These factors include extracurricular variables (art and athletics), development cases, legacies and disciplinary infractions.

Holistic Review: The final module synthesizes the topics covered in the first three modules to demonstrate the holistic review within the undergraduate admissions process. Students will draw upon the previous week’s lessons to make informed admissions decisions using case studies.

Note: This online course is intended to educate participants about the basics of the college admissions/advising process. This course will not increase the likelihood of admission to Rice University and is in no way affiliated with the Office of Admissions.



Section Instructor Format Schedule start date
CCR42821 Amy McClurd, Nick J. Accrocco Online Online; asynchronous modules with one required synchronous session (See tab below) Thursday, June 14, 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Amy McClurd, Nick J. Accrocco
FORMAT: Online
SCHEDULE: Online; asynchronous modules with one required synchronous session (See tab below)
START DATE: June 14, 2018

Instructor: Amy McClurd

Course Facilitator

Dr. Amy McClurd is responsible for the design and implementation of teacher professional development programs, including International Baccalaureate workshops, online professional development, Pre-AP workshops, and customized district trainings. She has taught middle school science and served as a team leader and department chair for Cy-Fair Independent School District. Ms. McClurd holds a B.A. in biology and studio arts from Sam Houston State University and an M.Ed. in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University. She is pursuing a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in instructional technology at the University of Houston. Her doctoral research is focused on IB online teacher professional development.

Content Expert

Dr. Nick J. Accrocco was a college admissions professional at two highly selective universities and a college counselor at four distinct secondary school communities. He earned his B.A. from Vanderbilt University, his M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University's George Peabody College of Education & Human Development, his graduate certificate in College Counseling from the University of California-Los Angeles and his Ed.D. in Professional Leadership from the University of Houston. Dr. Accrocco combines a passion for helping students and families through the college search process with a healthy amount of humor.

Term: Spring/Summer 2018

Start Date: June 14, 2018

End Date: June 28, 2018

Schedule: Online; asynchronous modules with one required synchronous session (See tab below)

Fee: $265

Early Registration: $240 if registering by March 14

Late Registration: $290 if registering after May 31

Continuing Professional Education (CPE): 8

Continuing Education Units (CEU): 0.8

This course utilizes the Canvas platform and includes the use of high-quality videos. For maximum performance, we recommend these system requirements for the Canvas platform. If your operating system does not meet the system requirements set forth, we cannot guarantee a quality learning experience. Please verify that your computer meets the minimum requirements prior to registering for the course.

Participants may choose to attend one of the following:

  • Saturday, June 23 from 9-11 a.m. CST
  • Wednesday, June 27 from 7-9 p.m. CST
  • Thursday, June 28 from 7-9 p.m. CST