Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

ACE Report Urges Nontraditional Admissions Criteria

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

ACE Report Urges Nontraditional Admissions Criteria

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- When it comes to admissions practices, the status quo has got to go. That was the core message of the American Council on Education's (ACE) latest status report highlighting progress in the growth of minority students and faculty on American campuses.

Released on September 22, ACE's sixteenth annual "Status Report on Minorities in Higher Education" urges colleges and universities to begin using nontraditional assessment measures to increase the number of minority students admitted to higher education institutions.

The report makes a detailed examination -- by race and ethnicity -- of high school completion and dropout rates, and trends in college participation, educational attainment, college enrollment, degrees conferred, and higher education employment.

"The year's annual status report reveals that we continue to make [progress] in expanding access and educational opportunities to all students. It also shows, however, that important changes still remain," said Dr. Stanley O. Ikenberry, president of ACE.

This year's report emphasizes that attacks on affirmative action demonstrate the need for ACE's sustained commitment to monitoring the progress of minorities in higher education.

"[E]fforts to dismantle affirmative action underscore the important role of this report in providing educators with annual information about access to -- and progress within -- higher education for African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and American Indians. These trends illustrate the need for closer monitoring of trends in college participation, enrollment, and degree attainment among underrepresented groups," the report says.

The ACE report reveals that "students of color have experienced steady increases in college enrollment since the mid-1980s, but that the rate of growth has slowed in recent years."

The enrollment rate for students of color increased by 3.2 percent between 1995 and 1996, slightly higher than the 2.9-percent increase between 1994 and 1995. However, the 1995-96 gain fell short of the gains between 1993 and 1994 with its 4.6-percent increase, and between 1991 and 1992 with its increase of 7.1 percent, according to the report. …

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