April 2004 (v6 i5)
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ITT Tech to raise academic bar for applicants
Top 95 percent rule to be implemented next fall
by Christie Young, Staff Writer

Thanks to ITT Tech, I got a job as a real life dipshit.
Oh, and I'm making over $15K a year. Chew on that,
ST. LOUIS — ITT Technical Institute, a leader in higher education, publicly announced last Monday their decision to consider applicants' academic merit. While ITT's acceptance rate has averaged approximately 98 percent over the past 10 years, the administrators have decided to move towards a stricter admissions policy.

"We're trying to preserve the prestige of a degree from ITT Tech," Dean of Admissions Carl Wirtz said. "Right now we're looking at implementing a Top 95 percent rule, which will cut off those students who have fallen to the bottom 5 percent of their high school class. We realize this is going to make the process very competitive, but we're looking to train the leaders of tomorrow for the IS-heavy market of today."

ITT Tech has already received mixed feedback concerning the decision. While most currently enrolled students are comfortable with the new policy, those who have yet to receive acceptance letters have voiced their indignation.

"What a bunch of stupid jerks," said Johnson Tucker, a recent high school graduate who is awaiting an acceptance letter. "I busted my ass in Algebra last year, and for what? To have some jackass go and change the rules on me so I don't get in? Thanks a lot, pal. Now how am I supposed to get the high-tech education this modern job market demands?"

The Top 95 percent rule has also raised questions of fairness in regards to high school size. Critics argue that large high schools typically have a larger proportion of students with high GPAs, making it more difficult to be in the top 95 percent of the class.

"My graduating class has 900 people in it, and my 2.3 GPA puts me right in the 96th percentile. Coming into this school, I knew I never even had a chance at getting into somewhere like ITT," said Justin Parron. "If I had gone to Hillview where there are only 200 people graduating, I could have gotten into college easy. Dude, I might have even been valedictorian at that boondock school."

Supporters of the policy change point out that a student's academic record comprises only 5 percent of the total application. Other considerations for acceptance include criminal history, neatness of application, and an optional essay prompt entitled "Why I Love Computers."

"This is a huge move for us as an institution," said Theresa Ellis, professor of Information Systems. "Today's work force demands computer proficiency, and unlike some other schools, we guarantee you're going to leave this place with a firm understanding of information technology - in addition to a free copy of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing."

"ITT Tech truly helped me build a foundation for my future," said Industrial Design major Kenneth Johnson. "My teachers pushed me to the educational edge, and I also learned the necessary tool of how to take on leadership positions. This is definitely a place for people who want to get ahead in a country that demands technical ability."

The small classes and personal attention are what draw most of ITT's students. Others have found that the traditional college setting simply doesn't meet their educational needs.

"What initially got me interested was the campus diversity and the location," said Missy Chang, a senior at Clancy High School.

Chang, who is ranked 327th in her senior class of 400, is guaranteed a spot in next fall's incoming class.

"Right now I'm trying to decide between the Burr Ridge and Matteson campuses - they both have incredible programs. Plus, Burr Ridge is right next to Wet Seal and The Body Shop inside the North Lake Mall. Man, I can't wait for college!"

While Chang's plans for next year are more or less set, many students who have yet to be accepted into the school must look for other options. The San Antonio College of Medical and Dental Assistants and the San Francisco Academy of Art are two of the more popular second-choices for those students who fail to get accepted. While the curricula of those schools differs from that offered at ITT Tech, both provide a comparable quality of education.

"We're anxious to see the crop of students next semester will bring us," said Wirtz.

"It's sure going to be a brighter bunch of kids. These are the people who are really going to make their mark on this world."
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