Over the summer, in a continuation of our efforts to dismantle systemic racism in the work that we do at Trinity, our admissions committee examined the many different factors that influence our overall admissions decisions. Considerable time was devoted to analyzing our academic review practices and how we think about academic rigor; evaluating how we consider an individual student’s engagement with the Trinity community (aka demonstrated interest); and developing policies that create more opportunities for interested students to apply to our school. The review was extensive and is ongoing.
As part of our examination, we identified recommendation letters as items where inequity is exacerbated. Access to teachers who have the time and relationship with a student to write thoughtful letters of recommendations varies across student experiences. This lack of access creates barriers for students who want to be at Trinity but cannot secure the multiple letters of recommendation our application required. As of August 2020, in an effort to create more opportunities for students to complete applications to Trinity, we will require only one academic recommendation as part of the application file. Our goal is to learn more from this letter of recommendation about who a student is in the classroom. Any insight that can be shared related to classroom engagement will be helpful. Recommendations from school counselors, high school teachers, and community-based organizations are encouraged. We will accept additional recommendations (up to 3 total recommendations), but we will not penalize students who do not submit additional recommendations.
We will continue to review the ways in which systemic racism is built into our work so that we may disrupt the system to effect positive change. We know the actions we take today will help transform the Trinity of tomorrow.