I am seeking to develop a web based application using custom proprietary algorithms that I have developed for assessing the credentials of prospective college applicants versus the admissions standards of the colleges to which such applicants might apply. The output of the application is a likelihood of admission measure that assesses the chances of admission of any applicant to any college he/she may choose.
Fairly extensive specifications for the application have already been developed. A database schema and database table structures already exist. It is important to note, however, that these specifications were developed by me. I do have professional experience participating on technical development projects, but, as I am not technical, it is highly likely that the present contemplated database design as well as the design of prospective objects within the database, could be changed or optimized by a more practiced eye.
The application will need to collect information from college applicants across four variables areas. The first of these is Race-Ethnicity-Gender, where the applicant will be asked to identify himself / herself versus certain standard Race-Ethnicity-Gender combinations.
The second variables area, and the one requiring the most data entry (and therefore the most complex tables structures, is program of study. From this set of variables, applicants will be asked to provide the following:
- The High School the applicant attended for each of his/her four years in High School as well as the location of the high school(s)
- The structure of the academic year for each of the applicants four years in High School (possibilities include year, semester, trimester, quarters and/or modules
- The grading system utilized for each of the four years of High School (possibilities include 4.o scale, 5.0 scale, letter grades such as A, B, C, or percentages, with 100% connoting a perfect score)
- The Highest Level of Study (i.e. College Courses, International Baccalaureate Program, Advanced Placement Courses, Honors Curriculum or Standard Curriculum) for each of the 5 core subject areas (English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Foreign Language) in each of the applicants four years of High School
The third variables area is Grade Point Average, where the applicants’ current weighted and un-weighted Grade Point Average is captures as well as the applicant’s current status as a High School student (first half of freshman year, second half of freshman year, first half of sophomore year, etc)
The fourth and final variables area is Standardized Test Scores, where the applicants current best PSAT, SAT or ACT scores in each of Reading, Math and Writing are captured.
Similar information is captured relatives to each college’s admission standards. Portions of the college admissions standards data is captured from the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Post-Secondary School data set. Other portions of the college admissions data are captured in customized tables resulting from telephonic interviews with the colleges.
The math underlying the algorithms for each comparison area (Race-Ethnicity-Gender, Program of Study, Grade Point Average and Standardized Testing Results is disclosed in the more extensive specifications that have already been developed. Scoring has likewise been developed for each of the four comparison areas as well as at the composite level. The scoring will be displayed back to the college applicant as part of the assessment of his/her admissions chances relative to any selected college. These results will need to be archive-able and retrievable.
Prospective college applicants using the system will also have to provide contact information and a credit card number. This information will be provided on first usage, but must be retrievable in the future in order to edit and change. Likewise, the data provided by applicants will need to be retrievable as well so that applicants may either amend data about themselves that has already been input or append new data (more recent test scores, the most recent semester’s transcript) to the applicant’s record set.
Again, more extensive plan documentation including prospective web-site navigation, is available.
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