It is a wonderful thing that there is such a high level of interest in the Microcampus experience as we look ahead at the program's fourth year. Microcampus has now expanded to include room for 16 8th grade students on each campus, which means that some difficult choices will need to be made during the application/placement process.
The application process is designed to be simple, positive, fair, open, and inclusive, with the ultimate goal of a “tears free” experience for everyone involved. The selection process will involve several small parts: questions for students, questions for parents, and thoughtful input from SAS teachers, counselors, and the nurse. Students report cards will also be a valuable source of information, particularly the areas related to academic behaviors (cooperation/collaboration, etc.).
One factor in the placement process is how well students follow the application process itself. Do students attend all the meetings? Bring/turn in all the forms on time, without any excuses or "drama" involved? Students can show that they are a good fit for the Microcampus program by paying close attention to what they need to do during the application process.
Students will be asked to provide short responses to a small number of questions. They will be asked to share their reasons for wanting to go on the trip, their travel experience away from their families, their history of being a good team member, their willingness/ability to use Chinese language outside the classroom, and so on. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers here, other than the need for students to be as honest as they can with their thoughts.
Parents will be asked to respond to a small number of questions as well. These will relate to their goals for their child’s involvement in the program, as well as concerns that they might have. Per SAS requirements, Parents will also need to confirm that the child has a health insurance policy that includes coverage in Mainland China.
Teachers will be asked to comment on their observations of the essential traits of students well suited for the Microcampus experience: namely, students who:
- are passionate about learning new things
- like taking on challenges and handle them well
- are good team players
- have shown a commitment to act with integrity and compassion
- are responsible and can manage their work independently
- have the ability and willingness to connect with adults
The SAS Counselors, Nurses, Office Staff, Coaches, and others who see the student every day will be asked to provide their input as well.
All of this information will be used to develop a profile of each student. From there, trip rosters will be assembled that provide the best possible balance of student strengths, gender, Chinese language skills.
Trip rosters will be posted via email as soon as a decision is made. In the spirit of keeping the process open, families are welcome to inquire about the reasons that students are/are not offered a place on the trip rosters.