Wake Forest University


Rethinking Admissions

Continuing the Conversation

Posts Tagged ‘diversity’

Time to Start a New Conversation

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Losing to Win large logoIt’s been almost exactly two years since we started a national conversation on Rethinking Admissions. We began by hosting an interdisciplinary conference on the Wake Forest campus and inviting experts from around the country to come and share their ideas on how to improve on the college admissions process. One of the key issues we discussed was the pros and cons of making the SAT and ACT optional for applicants. Since then, we have seen more and more colleges announce their decisions to go test-optional. The latest is DePaul, the largest private, non-profit university to make the standardized tests optional.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of another national conversation. This one is about race and intercollegiate athletics, and it ties in with many of the admissions issues that we have been discussing here on this blog. Parents and their teens often jump at the chance of an athletic scholarship without stopping to consider the important factors that go into choosing a college. Graduation rates, support services for athletes and even the recruitment process can influence an athlete’s college experience both positively and negatively.

That’s why we’re hosting our third interdisciplinary conference this week, and it’s entitled Losing to Win:  Discussions of Race and Intercollegiate Sports. We’re bringing together an unprecedented team of athletes, sports journalists, academics and other experts to discuss a host of issues related to intercollegiate athletics and race. In the spirit of Rethinking Admissions, we’re also launching a blog to keep the conversation going after the conference ends.

We hope you’ll consider joining us for the discussions. You’ll find updates throughout the two-day event at our new Losing to Win blog. You can also follow the latest news on Twitter and Facebook. We look forward to having you join us, and starting a conversation that continues long into the future.

The Case for Change in College Admissions

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

This month marks two years since we started the conversation about the college admissions process by hosting the Rethinking Admissions conference at Wake Forest.  Since then, we have continued the conversation here on this blog, and many others have joined in the debate.

The latest example took place at the University of Southern California’s Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice (CERPP). At a three-day meeting, “The Case for Change in College Admissions,”  a host of experts weighed in on what’s wrong with the current system and how it might be improved. Here are some views from a cross-section of participants:

“The admissions arms race we were talking about a decade ago continues to accelerate relentlessly and it’s possibly unstoppable…we’ve gotten to the point where we define the quality of an educational institution by how many applicants it turns away, which, when you think about it, is pretty weird.”

Andrew Delbanco, Director of American Studies, Columbia University

“If we want to craft a class that is as diverse as we will be in 2023, we need to make big changes.”

William G. Tierney, Professor of Higher Education, University of Southern California

“The battle for America is going to be fought in the public schools of the world. America either rises or falls to the extent we’re able to tap the talents of students in all of society rather than just the white, the privileged, the few.”

William Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions, Harvard University

“We are looking for diversity in the presence of equity, and opportunity in the presence of excellence.”

John Slaughter, Former President, Occidental College

“This meeting gives me hope that we might work together to develop different tools and practices to help colleges manage enrollment in the public interest.”

Lloyd Thacker, Executive Director, Education Conservancy