Teacher recs have to be from academic teacher?

<p>My daughter is applying to a competitive LAC which requires two teacher recommendations. Reading more carefullly over the weekend we realized they are asking for "academic" recommendations. My daughter has asked one academic teacher to write her a rec, but the other teacher she asked is in the Arts department and can describe her committment to her most important extracurricular activity and her leadership role in that group. </p>

<p>How important is it for both recs to be from "academic" teachers?</p>

<p>I would send 2 academic recommendations. There is often allowance for at least 1 other recommendation--you might consider sending the third teacher rec here. </p>

<p>The best place to spotlight your D's commitment to her art and her leadership role is in an essay.</p>

<p>Also see what kind of supplemental materials the college will allow--art work, music cd, whatever.</p>

<p>I would send two academic recs also.
My daughter was thinking of majoring in art at a LAC she sent two recs from her english and history teachers. She also had to send graded writing samples and a copy of a research paper.
Less competitive schools you may be able to have wiggle room, but with competitve schools, for best shot I imagine give them what they are asking for.( but not more than what they ask for)</p>

<p>The answer depends in part on what the admissions offices request. Some are quite explicit that letter writers should be in "core" academic subjects only. So read carefully what they say before you decide what to do. </p>

<p>But in general you want letter writers who can write convincing letters about your child's talents, character, and promise. And this could include at least one letter writer who is in a "nonacademic" area.</p>

<p>We had the same question, as my S would have liked to send one from his band director, who'dtaught him for four years, in addition to being the leader of most of his EC's. But the school was very specific about "academic" recs, and discouraged sending anything extra. Fortunately, the BD talked to the GC, and she included much of his input in her rec. What was particularly fortuitous is that he told the GC an anecdote, which she included, which turned out to be the same thing S wrote about in his essay. It nicely tied the application together.</p>

<p>Always follow the directions in the admissions packet. If they say they require two academic recs, they mean two from academic teachers, not one. You wouldn't want her app downgraded for not following directions. In a highly competitive admissions environment, why take that risk?</p>

<p>Most schools will accept a third "supplemental" recommendation as long as it is from someone that can offer a completely different view of the student, ie a perspective that one of the two required recs might not be able to provide.</p>

<p>In this case, the academic recs would not shed any new light on her artistic ability or her passion about art, so a third recommendation would not only be appropriate but also be an essential addition to her application and would not be looked down on by the adcom.</p>

<p>There is a fine line about supplemental recs however, and many schools frown on packets that are overloaded because of the already huge reading load that they have. Only use a supplemental rec if it will tell a completely different story, not one that reinforces what has already been said by the two academic recs and the college counseling office.</p>

<p>I got a very very very good reccomendation from a teacher in the art department. My high school had a very large art department, and it was printed on a completely different letterhead and everything than the traditional reccomendation's were. Needless to say, it was my best reccomendation of them all - and I was not going to school for an art related major (although I have picked up two art-ish minors along the way)</p>

<p>Are only English, Foreign Lang., Math, Science, and Social Studies considered academic or would any AP/IB class be considered academic? Or do I need to call the all the different schools and ask them?</p>

<p>Thanks, everyone, for your ideas on this. I can understand the "follow the rules, give them exactly what they ask for" philosophy. But my daughter makes the point that the school is going to know a lot about where she stands academically by her grades and test scores - and the one "academic" recommendation. She feels that she is just one of many with good grades and good scores applying to this school, and the only way to differentiate herself is by highlighting her accomplishments and leadership in this other non-academic area.</p>

<p>Perhaps we will follow eadad's advice and send in three, and risk irritating them with an extra piece of paper.</p>

<p>Or perhaps dustyrose has it right and we need to specifically ask the school.</p>


<p>each school has its own policy and it needs to be adhered to quite strictly. For example, a couple of colleges my S is applying to categorically demand that both recs be from high school teachers. One cannot be from a college prof (even from the college he is applying to) though my S has not taken any high school class in the subject. The college prof can write a rec, but it will be treated as supplementary material. Another school specifically requires that one rec be from a humanities teacher and another from a math/science teacher, but is okay with a rec from a college prof. As a result, my S is asking different teachers to write recs for different colleges.
Your D is wrong: grades and test scores do not tell the whole story. A good rec does not just say that Student Joe Blow was an A student. It says that Joe Blow demosntrated certain qualities, whether academic or personal or both, as illustrated in such and such anecdote. It helps adcoms visualize the student behind the statistics (try picking out Miss America on the basis of statistics alone).</p>

<p>Will your D's essays highlight her accomplishments and leadership in the art field?</p>

<p>We had the same question as you. Our #1 was interested in being a music major, so of course she wanted to use the music teachers. She needed two academic recs. though. She ended up using three recs. One from her AP Lit teacher, one from her HS band director (where she was the band president) and the third from the AP Music Instructor after confirming that AP music was considered an academic course. She had lined up her AP Biology teacher just in case, but was happy with the three.</p>

<p>I think your DD should have three. I wouldn't take a chance with not having two academic recs. Remember, the recs are necessary, but not the thing that matters the most in admissions. They are just one piece of the puzzle.</p>


<p>I agree, check with the school about supplemental recommendations. Last year, Yale and Stanford were two that told applicants not to submit them unless they were from someone that can add a completely different perspective. I would think that policy has not changed. They both did say that a supplemental rec that fit their criteria was not a negative but that a third or fouth or more, (Yale told of one student with 16 recs) that were just another rec would/could be held against the applicant. Yale came right out and said that the thicker files went to the bottom of the pile. </p>

<p>By contrast, Pomona welcomed anything to highlight and bring life to the applicant and Amherst did not discourage supplemental materials including CDs,publications, and videos of performances etc.</p>

<p>Your original post stated that she is applying to a competitive and I would assume highly selective LAC. Everyone applying will have grades and SAT's comparable or better than hers. She is naive to think that they alone will tell her academic story. The recommendations offer insight into her personality and motivation ie will they tell if she is a passionate student who loves to learn or merely one that does what she has to do to get the grades? This can't be inferred from grades and scores alone.</p>

<p>On another note, because most LACs are having a problem balancing their ratio of men to women, with female applicants far outnumbering those from males, her competition for a spot will be even more keen. Everything she can supply to support her academic prowess, drive and passion as well as insight into her character will be important.</p>

<p>Her application needs to follow instructions, have strong essays because they are what really show the admissions staff who she is, not the numbers, and again, in her case if the school permits it, I would definitely send in the supplemental rec.</p>