DEA Inclusion – An update on Fisher v. University of Texas

It’s hard to believe that another summer has flown by so quickly!  How can it possibly be fall again?     For those of us on the college side it means packing our suitcases, hitting the road, talking about our institutions non-stop day in and day out and packing in those airline miles and hotel points; for our colleagues on the high school side it means letters of recommendation galore and many, many conversations about future plans, goals and managing expectations of both students and their families. While we were away for the summer the 5th Circuit Court issued another ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.  I wrote an opinion piece on this case before and have been closely following the story as I feel it is very important to understand what is happening with this case when looking at the big picture of access to higher education. Last summer the Supreme Court ruled 7 to 1 to vacate the 5th Circuit Court’s opinion and remanded the case back for review under the … [Read more...]

I’m Going to College! Now What?

It’s summer! For recently graduated high school seniors it means one thing: college.  The summer between high school graduation and starting college marks an important time -- a time of transition. Students are excited and gearing up for what is sure to be the best four years of their lives, but hopefully, what is also going to be a time of growth and learning. Most of the time, students start college with some knowledge of what to expect and what they want to gain from this experience. Working on a college campus and constantly being surrounded by students I find myself thinking back to my own transition into college. The transition process from high school to college was a little bit different for me as a first-generation college student; to be honest I’m not sure I really understood how important and significant it all was, and it wasn’t just because I was your typical 17-year-old. Being a first-generation student means that your resources and knowledge are sometimes limited. I … [Read more...]

Don’t Rush to ADT the UC

The University of California (UC) recently released a report titled “Preparing California For Its Future: Enhancing Community College Student Transfer to UC,” which discusses imbalances in UC transfer admissions and examines possible social, economic, academic, and institutional causes. They point out the fact that the vast majority of transfer students are admitted from a small handful of the state’s 112 community colleges. I commend the UC and President Janet Napolitano for creating a Transfer Action Team and publishing this study, which shows a degree of transparency that is much appreciated. As a Transfer Center Coordinator, I particularly like that the tone of the report is that of partnership. No one person, institution, or solution can address all of the challenges we face in California’s system of higher education. Within days of the report’s publication,a statement was issued by theCampaign for College Opportunity in which Executive Director Michelle Siqueiros (citing UC … [Read more...]

A Public Conversation about Undocumented Students

For many of us on either side of the desk, working with undocumented students presents quite the challenge. We seem to have more questions than answers. What do we do if a student tells us they are undocumented? Do we have the resources to assist them? Do we know the resources? How do we advise them in regards to funding their college education? AB540? Dream Act? Many would agree that undocumented students have been invisible in higher education until recent years, a population we have always known to be in our classrooms, but also one institutions have not openly addressed and supported. Just recently colleges and universities are making great strides in addressing the specific needs of undocumented students through programs and services and are also more willing to publically acknowledge and share their plans. The University of California, San Diego is currently in the process of hiring a new Undocumented Student Support Center Coordinator who, according to the job posting, will … [Read more...]

I have an IDEA…

Each year WACAC offers several pre-conferences for admission professionals to address specific topics in more depth during the annual conference.  Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA), is one of the pre-conferences.  IDEA is designed to create a safe space that encourages and supports the discussion of issues of diversity that are often sensitive and require careful dialogue.  We feel it is important for all college admission professionals to attend and be a part of this important dialogue to learn from one another. We strive to share information and incite discussion with our colleagues to remain up-to-date and well informed on best practices. This year’s theme addresses the multiple and intersecting identities of our students and how these are manifested  through the college admission process and beyond.  We have designed a pre-conference that will address the process of self-identifying with and negotiating multiple identities.  Workshop topics will include working … [Read more...]