ASU Prep Digital CEO, Julie Young, Interviewed on the TeachThought Podcast

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The TeachThought Podcast

Episode 18 with Julie Young

Using virtual education, ASU Prep Digital is working to remove barriers that prevent or inhibit high school students from moving on to higher education. In this episode of the TeachThought Podcast, Drew Perkins is interviews Julie Young, the Deputy VP and CEO of Arizona State University.

Throughout this episode on the TeachThought Podcast, we hear about a lot of different barriers that students face when it comes to higher education – including the rising cost of college and universities paired with the requirements for above-average grades, test scores, and a high number of extra circulars. Students are being put under an almost constant pressure to perform higher and exceed expectations in every area of study. All while participating in sports, student clubs and/or their local community. What Julie really highlights in the interview is the simple concept that — not all students are perfect — but that shouldn’t make them ineligible for higher education.


“I was wondering if you could talk a little more about test scores being a performance measure. And if you were able to redo the system and sort of throw out how you get into college and grades, test scores and I know that I have a friend who has a daughter who is looking at colleges and who at this point, grades are being examined and ACT scores and other metrics and I am not particularly convinced that those are good metrics. So what are you seeing, or what you like to see in a perfect world, as sort of the pieces of metrics that should allow kids to get into colleges or universities?”


“Great question.

I don’t know that I think that all of those measures are necessarily, not necessary to take a look at. I think what is unfortunate and very sad in many situations is that if each one of those is considered gospel and is required for the package, you have students who are very, very capable but they don’t test well. So you will have a student who has exceptional grades and maybe a very high achiever in terms of their extracurricular activities, such as student government. They are a very solid contributing student…but maybe their ACT is poor because they don’t test well. Many, many colleges have the criteria that you have to check each box and when you don’t check one of the boxes, you are excluded

So, in my opinion, I think that…well, I am not one that believes that tests are evil and that we should not have any, I feel like we have gone overboard in the last ten years and we have too many. When you and I were kids, we had one a year. You took your test and off you went.”


“Ah, it was CAT testing, I think?”


“Yes! It was!

It was a validation point; it was a piece of information. It could give a teacher an opportunity to go “yes, this is matching up, the student is on track” or  “oh, there is a red flag here I might want to dig a little deeper. “

So I think what is kind of unfortunate, is that we have coupled all of these pieces and parts in such a way that is a student doesn’t check one box then they are not eligible.

I think that there is some fairly encouraging movement that they are close to almost one thousand accredited colleges and universities that have stopped using ACT and SAT scores to admit their students, which I think is very encouraging because it does give a student the opportunity to represent themselves in a holistic way as opposed to “well if I cant test well in the ACT then I’m done.”

So when we think about what we want to do in business and we read collectively always the discover your strengths, which is a wonderful view of how we should be capitalizing on our strengths instead of spending all of our time trying to strengthen our weaknesses. And I think about how these students enter college, so to answer your question:

I think all of that information is important to look at but I would love to see a more collective, objective view. That would allow students to make up for areas of defecate in other where areas of strength.”


ASU Prep Digital works hard to combine high school and university courses through virtual education, helping students capitalize on what matters most, their true strengths and talents. But in this podcast episode, Julie truly captures the key opportunity students should have — the ability to demonstrate a level of balance and passion in their path to higher education.

To hear the full episode, visit the TeachThought website or listen on iTunes