Monday, July 14, 2008

UC Considering Admissions Changes

From the San Jose Mercury News:

The University of California's admissions standards would undergo their most far-reaching overhaul in decades under a faculty proposal that would allow students who have not completed the prescribed college-prep courses or earned minimum test scores to have their applications considered.

Starting with the freshmen class of 2012, the revised policy also would promise a spot on one of UC's nine undergraduate campuses for all students who graduate in the top 9 percent of their senior classes, compared with the 4 percent now promised admission.

The changes, scheduled to be discussed by the university's governing board on Wednesday, are designed to ensure the state is making room in its premier public colleges for promising students who are overlooked under current qualification requirements, said Mark Rashid, who chaired the faculty committee that developed the proposal.

Community colleges are for people who aren't quite up to UC snuff or haven't taken the minimum coursework. Considering that we already have community colleges, what possible legitimate reason could there be for this proposed change? We're given a hint in a later paragraph:

But Rashid said his committee, which is charged by the Board of Regents with revising the freshman eligibility policy, found that the current system did not produce unyielding equality, but was a model of "structural unfairness" that penalizes students from less-privileged backgrounds.

"If you are in that eligible cohort, you are visible to the university. You are guaranteed admission somewhere within the system. If you are not in that cohort, you are as good as invisible to the system. You don't even get to make your case," he said.

I guess if you don't believe in merit or in getting up to speed at community colleges, the current situation seems like a problem. To me, the current situation is the way it should be. You're invisible to a system for which you're unqualified? That's a feature, not a bug.


Eric W. said...

If the kids don't meet the standard, lower the standard. Right.

Ellen K said...

I think community colleges get a bad rap. I took a painting class this summer just because and frankly, it was much better organized and taught than any course I took as an undergrad in a very costly private university. Similarly, the economics class my daughter took in a community college allowed her to test our of nine hours of economics at the upper level university she attended during the regular year. True, because of their missions such schools have to admit everyone, but in our area, if you can't pass a class in three tries, you pay a penalty tuition rate. Frankly, I think all of my kids would have had better core education had they gone to community college first.