Home > Industry News   +   Technology + Innovation

Acuity Insights introduces admissions assessment solution for engineering schools to help improve diversity outcomes

<strong>Acuity Insights introduces admissions assessment solution for engineering schools to help improve diversity outcomes</strong>

Acuity Insights announces the introduction of its admissions assessment solution for engineering schools in higher education. The company’s Casper situational judgment test (SJT) is now available for engineering schools to select and admit more diverse cohorts than traditional knowledge-based measures have allowed. Casper, when combined with measures such as GPA, allows schools to have a more holistic perspective on their applicants, seeing their professionalism and social intelligence as well as academic attributes. In addition, since Casper has smaller demographic differences compared to SAT/GPA, it can broaden the pool considered for admissions.

Built on and backed by nearly 20 years of research, Casper supports diversity outcomes in many ways:

  • Casper tends to have 25-50% smaller demographic differences, compared to more traditional metrics like GPA or knowledge-based tests like the SATs.
  • Compared to knowledge-based exams, Casper demonstrates lower group differences between male and female applicants
  • Previous studies have shown female applicants consistently score higher on the Casper test than male applicants

Gender imbalance and representation of other historically under-represented minority groups have been some of the greatest challenges for engineering schools over the past few decades. This has led to initiatives to engage in more holistic admissions practice which attract more diverse cohorts to create a pipeline of engineers that reflect the communities they will serve.

“While gains have been made in decreasing gender imbalance and increasing representation of minorities in engineering, there is still a lot of progress needed to ensure diversity in the profession,” says Dr. Kelly Dore, Co-Founder and VP, Science & Innovation at Acuity Insights. “We’ve seen the impact Casper has had in medical and health education, and its ability to deliver diverse cohorts who better represent various sections of our society. We are excited to support the widening of pathways into engineering, so that together with engineering schools we can help create a world powered by engineers who bring diversity of perspectives, and who represent and serve the whole of society.”

Casper, the most widely-used open-response SJT

Casper is the most widely used open-response situational judgment test in higher education admissions worldwide. It reliably measures social intelligence and professionalism and provides admissions teams with distinct data that supports their holistic review. Casper helps programs identify applicants who are most likely to be successful in their program and as future professionals. It provides an early measure of competencies and attributes beyond academic achievement, which helps admissions teams refine their pool of applicants based on a complete picture of their applicant, while delivering a more diverse cohort.

“Adopting a holistic approach to admissions is important as it promotes a more equitable process for applicants and allows for a more comprehensive evaluation that takes into account essential skills for the future, beyond just academic achievements. Casper brings applicants’ non-cognitive strengths to the fore, such as collaboration, communication, problem solving, and empathy – these skills are critical for success in both engineering education, as well as within the profession,” says Rich Emrich, Co-Founder and CEO of Acuity Insights. “Society needs engineers who possess excellent communication skills, are collaborative, and bring diverse experiences and perspectives to creatively tackle major global challenges, and we are delighted to be able to contribute to that mission.”

How does Casper work?

Casper evaluates what an applicant would do in personal and professional dilemmas and, more importantly, why. Its open-response format encourages authenticity by allowing the applicant to explain what they would do in a given scenario, while also giving them the opportunity to provide the rationale behind their decision. Casper presents real-world scenarios, which means that no prior knowledge of a particular profession is required. The test format includes both text and video-based scenarios and responses that represent real life and encourage freer expression of thought.

Casper also benefits the admissions process with:

  • lower demographic differences than other standardized knowledge-based admissions assessments
  • high program and applicant acceptability
  • time savings, as Casper delivers a single ‘z’ score for every applicant
  • evaluation by highly trained human ‘raters’, who represent the members of the community that students will eventually serve
  • easy incorporation into existing admissions process
  • performance outcome prediction, such as in-program performance
  • lower instance and cost of student remediation

Please visit our website to discover how Casper can support your engineering admissions goals.