Wake Forest Launches Program to Help Chinese Students Come to the US

Wake Forest University is offering Chinese students who dream of enrolling in college in the United States an opportunity to prove they’re ready. Rogan Kersh, the provost of Wake Forest, views the new program as bridging the gap between instructional approach at American and Chinese schools.

The service provided by Wake Forest is timely. The number of Chinese applicants to US schools is up more than 135% over the past five years – and increasingly admissions officers tasked with handling the increased load are struggling to come up with ways to validate credentials granted in schools around China.

Admissions officers around the US find themselves dealing with concerns surrounding fake transcript, letters of recommendation and test scores – and lack of resources to truly check into the validity of each. Wake Forest will handle such concerns – for a fee – and provide incontrovertible proof of the legitimacy of each candidate.

The program, called the Wake Forest Advantage curriculum, will be provided in partnership with EdisonLearning.

Wake Forest has partnered with the company EdisonLearning, and will be offering the curriculum in several formats. It will offer a two-week intensive summer academy, taught by its own education faculty and teacher education alumni and students; it will employ and train local teachers to deliver the curriculum in an after-school setting; and it will train instructors at partner high schools to teach the content during the normal school day. In the latter case, Wake Forest enters into a financial relationship directly with the high school; otherwise, the 72-hour summer academy costs $1,500 (£970), while students who take a 90-hour after-school programme pay $2,500.

Student participants will get a “digital portfolio” which will be forwarded to admissions officers at schools around the country. The videos of students participating in courses will be individually evaluated by an instructor, sealed in an envelope with a gold, silver or bronze seal, and forwarded to the schools of the students’ choice.

Parke Muth, a consultant for the University of Virginia, is not impressed. Calling the program nothing more than “a gold star,” Muth questioned the value for the money that the students will get for $2,500 they spent. Muth called it “a good moneymaking venture potentially,” but not a good investment.

Wake Forest has partnered with the company EdisonLearning, and will be offering the curriculum in several formats. It will offer a two-week intensive summer academy, taught by its own education faculty and teacher education alumni and students; it will employ and train local teachers to deliver the curriculum in an after-school setting; and it will train instructors at partner high schools to teach the content during the normal school day. In the latter case, Wake Forest enters into a financial relationship directly with the high school; otherwise, the 72-hour summer academy costs $1,500 (£970), while students who take a 90-hour after-school programme pay $2,500.