The Lawyers\’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is requesting to possess discipline-related questions taken off the Common Application that\’s currently used by more than 620 colleges and universities and completed by 860,000 students every year.
\”So long as racial disparities persist at every stage in our criminal justice system, we fully expect that these kinds of questions will unfairly deny educational chance to, or have a chilling impact on, African Americans along with other minority groups,\” wrote Kristen Clarke, Lawyers\’ Committee president and executive director, inside a letter to the Common Application.
Meanwhile, admissions officers say the questions are needed due to the?increase in campus shootings and terrorism, adding the questions provide a more complete?picture of the applicant. ?Kent Rinehart, dean of admission at Marist College along with a board person in the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, said?down to the admissions offices to uncover possible indicators?increased after the Virginia Tech shootings.
Rinehart went on to say that answers to the questions at Marist vary from private school students being suspended because of not having their socks opened up to bullying, cheating, and felony convictions. ?He explained all are considered.
The questions were put into the Common Application after participating universities requested them in 2006-07. ?Many colleges which use their own applications also employ these questions.
In January, New York University pushed for any review from the Common Application as to whether the section does actually help with safety on campus or if it disproportionately?discourages minority applicants. ?This is actually the first year the University no more considers whether the criminal conviction box is checked until after the initial screening.
According to?Aba Blankson, senior director at the not-for-profit Common Application, the audience is looking in to the issues available. ?Until a final conclusion is created, those who check yes be capable of offer a more in-depth explanation. ?For example, she said a student who got in trouble for alcohol consumption may become associated with a group for example Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Results from a report by?the middle for Community Alternatives conducted last May found?73% of universites and colleges collect senior high school disciplinary information. ?Of that group, 89% make use of the information when making an admissions decision. ?However, only 25% have formal policies with regards to the use of that information, and fewer than one-third train their admissions staff to correctly interpret any disciplinary findings.
The report has also found that?50% of school districts have policies in place that do not permit them to share disciplinary information?with colleges. ?In December, the Syracuse City School Board in Ny State approved this type of policy.
Meanwhile, a separate report conducted by?the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and signed off on by admissions representatives from over 80 universites and colleges across the country, shows that?the admissions process needs to focus less on personal achievements, arguing that doing this places too much emphasis on personal success and not enough on helping others or even the common good, reports Sherri Lonon for US News.
The report,?\”Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for other people and the Common Good through College Admissions,\” states that instead, students should be encouraged to take part in community service and to make ethical contributions to society.