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AAVMC Selects Pilot Institutions for Holistic Admissions Development Program

WASHINGTON, DC – Three member institutions have been selected to participate in a new Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) pilot program designed to help veterinary colleges and schools develop holistic admissions programs.

The three colleges, chosen by a selection committee, are the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, and the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Holistic admissions is a rapidly developing program in the health professions designed to foster greater diversity and inclusion among student cohorts, thereby enriching health professions with a base of practitioners that better represent the patients and clients they serve. Veterinary medicine’s struggles with diversity and inclusion are well documented in professional and popular literature.

Holistic admissions processes evaluate academic performance and aptitude, but also consider qualitative factors known to contribute to a candidate’s ultimate success as a student and career professional. Those factors include more intangible attributes such as intrinsic motivation, leadership, grit, resilience, communications skills, empathy, tenacity in the face of poor grades or adversity, demonstrated success in a working environment, and high ethical standards.

Under the leadership of Dr. Lisa Greenhill, senior executive director for institutional research and diversity, the AAVMC has been working on strategies for developing an enterprise-wide approach to helping member institutions develop holistic admissions programs. “We will be supporting these colleges as they pursue admissions reviews that are flexible, consider the applicants' capabilities, provide balanced consideration to academic performance, life experience and attributes, and assess how the applicants will contribute to the learning environment and the veterinary profession,” says Dr. Greenhill. “These things are the core pillars of holistic review.”

The school’s selection was based upon: 1) a clear commitment by college leadership to pursue more holistic admissions practices and create greater diversity and inclusion in their college climate and curriculum; 2) a demonstrated willingness to critically examine their admissions program and identify areas that can be leveraged to look at applicants more holistically; and 3) a sincere desire to pursue change.

The AAVMC will be working closely with these schools over the next 12-18 months to offer support in committee training, policy and practice development, research and data analysis, and program review.

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