Today happens to be the first anniversary of the blog. It’s been a good year, and as I have told several people at NACAC in Toronto, one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. I am particularly grateful to all of you who read and comment both privately and publicly.
I celebrated by doing a session this morning with Lee Coffin from Tufts and Chuck Lovelace from the Morehead-Cain Foundation at UNC-Chapel Hill. Our topic was one that readers of the blog will find familiar. Are we measuring the right things in the college admissions process? We addressed (not the same as answering) that question in three different areas: non-cognitive predictors of success; 21st century skills; and measures of institutional quality. It’s a discussion worth having, and Lee and Chuck have both done first-rate thinking in how to merge theory with practice.
Last week Eric Hoover at the Chronicle of Higher Education asked me to write a guest post for the Chronicle’s Head Count blog, and it appeared yesterday. Here’s a link.
This was the first time in five years that I didn’t have official duties. Several people asked me if I missed it, and I responded by asking if I looked like I had a sense of loss. No one answered yes. I enjoyed the opportunity to serve NACAC, and the experience has certainly benefitted me both personally and professionally, but I finished my term with a sense of satisfaction that I had done my best and that it was time to move on to other things. Writing about the ethics of college admissions has helped make that transition easy.
This morning the NACAC Assembly amended the Statement of Principles of Good Practice to address the use of international agents. The Assembly adopted amended language to the motion put forth by the Board of Directors and Admission Practices Committee based on the report of the Commission on International Student Recruitment. The amendment to the SPGP’s Mandatory Practices allows member institutions to use incentive-based agents when working with international students but requires that the institution ensure “accountability, transparency and integrity.”
I think it was important for the Assembly to validate the thoughtful deliberative process employed by the Commission, but "accountability," "transparency," and "integrity" all leave plenty of room for definition and further discussion. I think no one believes this will resolve the agent issue once and for all.