In numerous conversations and leadership forums the topic “equal representation” or “diverse recruitment” seems to be important AND unavoidable.
“We need to have 50/50 in demographics”
“How do we recruit diverse professors?”
“Retention is a constant issue”
These commonalities found within countless institutions across the U.S. share a fatal flaw that lives deep beneath the professional lens. A simple solution…we admit a student based on their academic preparation.
No Color preferences
No Location preferences
No preferences but the information on the application
However, in the current educational state, institutions have fallen to accommodate all students. As a business it is beneficial to offer products at various prices to introduce new consumers but even in business, some populations cause losses or investments to be low in return. This is not meant to stop or prevent education, rather to re-envision and start at the beginning.
Education begins from birth.
The path an individual takes from Elementary to Junior High into High School should culminate into the person we experience in the college environment. It has somehow become Higher Educations responsibility to devise a plan that ensures success in retention, graduation, and other issues that plague the profession. Is it fair to regulate the admissions that earlier education is meant to define and test?
We cannot earn a PASS when we ensure the students failure.
Those who are unprepared, uninformed, uncertain, and under-represented.
The consistent response to this failure is – Colleges/Universities have become paper-mills where students do not learn anymore. It is not the institutions responsibility to regulate how well you will do or admit someone due to their “potential.” Higher Education takes the blame for the work undone in the K-12 system and though education should be open to everyone – everyone is not open to education.
So, do we strengthen the resources and structures within K-12 to prepare more populations for success or do we continue to weaken Higher Education’s purpose through the equal representation vision?
For caution: this is a mere thought. I believe it is important for all peoples to share opportunities to learn but with constant retention and graduation rates on the decline, other options need to be available.
Open Policies ≠ Retention Rates