Interview with Denison University President Adam Weinberg on Relational Admissions

April 26, 2018

 Adam Weinberg, Denison University President at IECA


On Thursday, April 26th, Channel CCR had the opportunity to sit down with Adam Weinberg prior to his address to the IECA Spring conference on the topics of fit, a relational approach to admissions, and technology. President Weinberg is also known for being an active voice in support of DACA and students protected under the program.


Adam Weinberg Q&A April 12, 2018. Credit: Denison University


Channel CCR: During your address today, what will you be covering?


Adam Weinberg: The importance of relational counseling and fit. Rather than just looking at standardized test scores, we have been striving to identify and focus on what fit means for students and Denison. The college application process has become way too transactional, and we need to make it way more relational. Maybe there's not a one-size-fit-all method to evaluate students. Maybe there are multiple ways to do this. For example, we launched a data analytics program to ask questions that open up new ways of thinking about what data is, where we find it, and how we actually use it.



Channel CCR: What is Denison's approach on first generation students and addressing need?


Adam Weinberg: At Denison, we are very proud that one in five students is a first generation student. We also not only provide based on need, but we proactively fill in gaps for other areas of need that traditional methods of aid don't account for or calculate.


Channel CCR: Technology has become more commonplace, especially in the admissions process. What are your thoughts about how this affects admissions?


Adam Weinberg: On one hand, technology has made it easier for students to access information about colleges and connect with more schools. However, even with technology, relationships have never been more important. The personal relationships that we build with students where we get to know them and vice versa are a contributing factor to our recent increase in applications and interest. We are curious how we can shift technology away from marketing and sales to relationships and fit.


Channel CCR: What advice do you have for counselors who are helping students define a better fit?


Adam Weinberg: I encourage counselors and students to engage with deeper questions. In addition to asking us questions, we encourage students to share about themselves. Personal connections help define fit . As our applications have increased, we have had to make some hard decisions. I love the fact our applications increased, but I love our students. We have no intention at all of changing our student body. Our students are smart, curious, interesting and engaged. But they are also nice, empathetic, and open-minded. 


Channel CCR: How is this approach reflected in your college admissions office? What do you do differently?


Adam Weinberg: Our admissions team isn't different, but we do focus on a relational approach when it comes to counseling, sharing our story, and learning about students. This is a very personal touch, and it has been very powerful for us to find fit.


To learn more about Adam Weinberg and his role at Denison University, click here.

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