“Identifying Motivation and Developing Ability” –Seigakuin University

Respecting and stretching the personality of each and every student through cultivating meaningful human relations through small group instruction.

Seigakuin University has been known as “A Caring University” and as “ A University Where You Can Grow and Improve" and has been highly regarded by the mass media in recent years. Even though Seigakuin University is relatively new, having been established only 20 years ago, it has responded to requests from the community ever since its inception, with the goal of creating a type of university that had previously not existed in Japan. In response to a situation in which the significance of spending four years at a university is lost when the final target of many students is merely getting into some school, we maintain the belief that there can be significant growth during those four years if the students “desire to enter the University with a specific goal” and they begin to think about what they would like to do after they graduate from the time when they first enroll.

To this end, each department is limited to 100 students, and many classes have less than 50 students. This is particularly true in classes where the student’s self-expression is especially important, in which cases most such classes are conducted in small groups of 10 students or less. On a scale in which the instructors know the students' names and faces, it is possible to respect and stretch each students' personality while concurrently cultivating meaningful human relationships in the classroom.

In addition, there is a group advisor system at Seigakuin University in which one of the faculty members serves as an advisor to approximately 10 students, and there are assembly hours where various topics are approached at the department level; through it all, the student's independence as an individual is highly respected. There is also positive support for challenging volunteer work, while at the same time there are a number of avenues available should problems arise or should students simply wish to converse within a cooperative network that plays the role of a safety net. Christianity is the backbone of our school, and surely the Lord’s words "Ask, and it shall be given to you” indicate the essence of “caring" that emphasizes personal dignity, freedom and autonomy.

Our stance is that we desire to admit those students who will work towards creating a positive university life based on an understanding of Seigakuin’s unique type of education. Therefore, we have published our school’s formal “Admissions Policy” and changed the entrance examination. We declare a posture in which “we strive to admit those students who are suitable for our university by focusing on each one’s unique personality and character, which cannot be quantified”, and not to formally require the National Center Test for University Admissions used by many private universities.

Therefore, examinees are not selected based solely on one-sided academic ability as assessed by the written examination. We are continuing to reform our examination to “discover motivation and ability”, and to “determine the school most appropriate for the individual" who is taking the exam. We like to consider our exams as being learning exams, and, as such, we believe that "education at our school begins with the exam". We use careful interviews and theme-based reports where we take time to investigate those students who are considering each department with "report-type Admissions Office (AO) exams” and “one- day lecture-type AO exams”. The information gleaned regarding the merits of the examinees is then presented from a positive viewpoint, starting with the daily application status, the minimum points required for passing, the average points for the test, and the correct answer ratio.

Our school will illuminate those students who have the motivation and willingness to grow and develop their abilities with an eye to the future. We plan on supporting them from every possible angle in meeting this challenge.

 

* Published in the free paper, “Lock On!” Vol. 1, University Entrance Plan Research Newspaper


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