What policies and practices are most effective when it comes to race-conscious admission? And how do recent lawsuits — including the ongoing Harvard case — affect the ability of colleges to promote diversity?
An Oct. 24 webinar hosted by the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) will address those questions and more. The two-hour program is aimed at university counsel who advise institutions, but is also open to admission professionals and others who are involved in student enrollment and retention. The webinar is presented in cooperation with NACAC.
The statistics are stark when it comes to college access and success for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
On some reservations, the college-going rate for high school grads is as low as 18 percent, according to data from the American Indian College Fund. And US Census Bureau data shows that only 14 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives hold college degrees.
Yet when given support and curriculum that affirms their culture, Native students excel, Carrie Billy, president and CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), told attendees Thursday at NACAC’s 74th National Conference in Salt Lake City.
“A lot of our students don’t know who they are,” she said. “They’ve been through the K-12 system — a lot of them on reservations — and still haven’t learned their culture and their identity.”
Heading off to college can be an anxiety-ridden process for all teens, but first-generation and low-income students experience “a whole different level of stress,” NACAC member Andrew Moe wrote in a recent op-ed for the Hechinger Report.
As a result, such students are far more likely than their peers to “melt” — a term used to describe the phenomenon of students who enroll in college but fail to show up in the fall.
“They think there aren’t any other students on campus who are the first people in their families to go to college. But there are,” wrote Moe, associate dean of admissions and director of access at Swarthmore College (PA). “And it’s our job as educators to ensure that first-generation students don’t feel alone, and that they have the necessary support during this tough transition—from high school applicant to college graduate.”
Common App’s announcement is a shift in policy. The question has been asked since 2006. Common App last reviewed the policy in March 2017 and decided to keep the question.
“Our focus is always on serving the needs of members, students, and counselors. We believe this change provides members with the greatest flexibility and is most responsive to the evolving landscape around this issue. As the conversation around criminal history continues, we will keep monitoring it to ensure we support the needs of our membership,” Common App President and CEO Jenny Rickard wrote in the announcement of the new policy.
Editor’s note: A version of this post was originally published on Admitted in October 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.
On-campus jobs aren’t optional at Berea College (KY).
Students at the NACAC member institution work 10 to 15 hours a week in approved positions either at the college or within the surrounding community.
The requirement has been part of the Berea’s formal educational program since 1906, and college president Lyle Roelofs thinks more institutions should consider the model as a way to address the growing challenges of access and affordability.
College students are paying less for class materials, thanks in part to the success of OpenStax – an organization that provides free textbooks and digital resources.
The nonprofit, started six years ago by Rice University (TX), serves more than 2.2 million students, according to a recent article in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Nearly half of all US colleges currently use the service, which offers 29 free textbooks for college and Advanced Placement classes.
And for the first time in five decades, average textbook costs are decreasing, according to recent data analyzed by the National Center of Education Statistics.