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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Admission officers get fiesty

One of my favorite moments as an admission officer came after only a week in the field. Like most rookie counselors, I was sent to a summer conference for new professionals put on by the regional NACAC. The week was full of sessions, some good and some bad, but the best part was probably meeting a few hundred people starting their admission career.

On the last day of the conference, a representative from the College Board came to give us a presentation about the SAT and how great it was at predicting academic excellence in college. I don't think she counted on the crowd getting a little feisty.

One of my new friends, who was starting off at a private, liberal arts school in New England, raised her hand during the presentation and asked what the representative had to say about recent research that said the test had a cultural bias. The room erupted in applause. The CB rep was flustered. After all, admission officers for years had held the SAT in high regard. Suddenly, a new generation of admission officers was questioning the exam. The rest of that conference session was pretty fun.

Anyway, The Chronicle of Higher Ed has a story today about a similar conference session happening at a regional NACAC meeting. I hope that we actually see some changes now that more and more admission and guidance officers are voicing their discontent with the format and administration of the SAT.