The Center for Community Alternatives is pleased to release "Education Suspended: The Use of High School Disciplinary Records in College Admissions" written by Marsha Weissman, Ph.D., Executive Director and Emily NaPier, M.A., Senior Associate of Research and Public Affairs.
The use of harsh discipline in elementary and high schools – suspensions and expulsions – has skyrocketed since the mid-1990s, and there is now growing awareness about the harmful effects of such practices. Largely neglected in the conversation, however, has been the impact on college admissions. This report highlights findings from CCA's national surveys of college admissions officials and high school guidance counselors.
We found that the collection and disclosure of high school disciplinary information in the college admissions process is widespread, despite the absence of formal, written policies and training around such practices for either college or high school personnel. This finding, coupled with the significant disparities in the ways that discipline is meted out in schools, leads us to conclude that the use of such information in college admissions is arbitrary and likely to create barriers to higher education for students of color and students with disabilities.
In line with CCA's prior work on increasing access to higher education, we recommend that colleges refrain from collecting disciplinary information and that high schools withhold such information from colleges. This New York Times Editorial from Sunday, May 24 cites "Education Suspended" and calls for our recommendations to be adopted.
New York Times Sunday Review Editorial, What College Applications Shouldn't Ask
Executive Summary of "Education Suspended: The Use of High School Disciplinary Records in College Admissions"
Full version of "Education Suspended: The Use of High School Disciplinary Records in College Admissions"
Additional CCA Publications on Access to Higher Education:
"Boxed Out: Criminal History Screening and College Application Attrition"
"The Use of Criminal History Records in College Admissions Reconsidered"