The White House and also the US Department of Education are asking that colleges and universities across the country consider no more asking applicants regarding their criminal history included in the admissions process.
The initiative, designed to increase use of higher education for millions across the nation, came after a meeting with presidents, deans, provosts, along with other representatives from institutions that had already taken the Fair Chance Education Pledge.
\”This is all about persuading institutions to do the right thing with respect to how they admit their students,\” Secretary of Education John King said. \”This effort is about removing arbitrary obstacles.\”
The move came as a response to an April report in The Atlantic?which found numerous admissions procedures that targeted students with criminal histories. ?The report argued this can decrease educational opportunity for these students, writes Juleyka Lantigua-Williams for The Atlantic.
\”Our goal here is to ensure that when people are released they have an opportunity to live a law-abiding life, they have all the tools they need in order to thrive after they are released,\” said Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president.
One survey found 35% from the institutions of higher education who responded admitting to denying a spot to prospective students as a result of their criminal background.
King said he expects the pledge to achieve the greatest impact on students of color. ?He added that because African Americans and Latinos are overrepresented in america prison system using one of those who hold criminal history records, the pledge should help such groups of people gain access to higher education.
However, the pledge doesn\’t discuss questions asked about a person’s criminal history during the procedure, which could be considered the greatest barrier?to higher education. ?Instead, it asks schools to recommit to creating opportunities for those students yet still time paying attention to returning citizens.
Each institution that agrees towards the pledge is going to be required to create a personalized plan that shows how they will go about reaching the aim of expanding use of higher education. ?Numerous leading universities have previously signed on, including Boston University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Ny University, and the State University of recent York.
Gaining the support of SUNY schools was seen as a victory by advocates who state that a person’s criminal background is not correlated to their academic potential. ?Their state system not only was the topic of a study that investigated the impact of these practices on potential applicants, but additionally has a separate application for prospective students who\’ve felony convictions. ?According to report results, 62% of applicants towards the SUNY system who also had criminal convictions did not complete the application process in comparison with just 21% who was without any convictions.
Long-term studies will need to be performed in order to determine the potency of the efforts. ?However, the administration said they don\’t have any plans for this in their rollout or recommendations.
\”There\’s a high level of interest within the philanthropic community to aid these kinds of initiatives,\” she said. \”The administration would welcome the collaboration from the nonprofit sector in evaluating the potency of this and related efforts.\”