Why the College Process Needs to Change
Recently, a friend of mine sent me an article published in the Atlantic. The title is pretty bold in terms of what it is trying to say, "There is More to College Than Getting into College". I took a couple of days to read the article, I like to read them twice when it shares a lot of good information and opinions. Here are a few things that stood out to me about this article that I want to share with you.
The article is written by the College Board CEO.
For those of you that don't know, the College Board hosts the SAT standardized tests, and also host the AP exams, while also provide all the materials for teachers to teach each AP course. I have had a big problem with standardized testing for awhile, and recently have found AP courses to be something students take because they think they have to. Resulting in a downward spiral of mental health, anxiety, and loss of self-confidence. I was personally shocked to see what he had to say.
I agreed with a lot of what he had to say.
This one was deeply shocking for me because referring back to my above statement and my opinions on standardized testing and AP exams, I didn't think I would find myself agreeing with the CEO of a company who claims to be a non-profit, while profiting off of millions of students every year. He made some pretty important points about the importance of not taking more than five AP courses, searching for a college based on future outcomes, utilizing professors as mentors in college, and stepping back from participating in 7-10 after school activities. All of these things I have tried to shout from the rooftops to families that I counsel, however, it won't change unless the conversation around applying to college changes. This is a good start.
Actions speak louder than words.
One criticism I have after reading this article is that actions really do speak louder than words. I can appreciate that he is using this article to start a conversation around the college process, but in order for a movement to happen, actions need to be put in place. As a CEO of one of the biggest educational non-profits in the country can, Mr. Coleman can craft one of the most well-written and on point articles I have read in a while. But until there are actions that follow those words, I'm not sure how much I believe College Board is actually trying to change how we approach the college application process.
Despite my criticism, I will say that I am interested in seeing the direction that College Board goes in the next five years. After the admissions scandal it is clear that changes need to be made, and I can only hope that those changes come from bigger companies and colleges that are looking to set a new example, that are looking to open doors of opportunity and equity. We need to start giving students what they need to be successful, not just providing a fair playing field, that only works if everyone has started from the same place.