Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Leadership and Policy

First Advisor

William Hill


Identifying the right students starts for admission to an institution of higher education begins with the institution’s admission criteria. Each institution must establish criteria for admissions that support their mission and their educational philosophy. Common standards for higher education admission include high school grade point average, transfer college grade point average, and standardized test scores (ACT or SAT). At an Independent College of Art and Design, the entrance or admissions portfolio is utilized evaluate applicants in a hope to identify those students that best meet the long list of desired attributes that admissions representatives are looking for. Little research has been conducted to establish the predictive qualities of these admissions criteria at colleges of art and design though and almost no research has been conducted on the reliability of the admissions portfolio in an art and design college. Three research questions are the focus of this study:

1. Is the admissions portfolio grading process reliable based on an inter-rate reliability test?

2. Are the characteristics of incoming students as determined during the admissions process correlated to academic success markers after the first academic year and through graduation?

3. Can persistence to graduation, course grades, and cumulative GPA be predicted by the characteristics of incoming students?

Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data collected. The portfolio rating process was found to have a very low inter-rater reliability score and the admissions criteria were all found to explain very low amounts of the variance seen in the academic success indicators. Further research on demographic data and academic success in addition to research on improving the inter-rater reliability of the portfolio rating system are warranted.