At the Pima Community College governing board meeting on Tuesday night, chancellor Roy Flores said he wants the college to think about new admissions standards or entrance requirements.
The school has been known for its "open door" policy, but that's problematic, he said. It's contributing to the college's problems with http://azstarnet.com/news/local/education/college/article_fa673322-3d54-5507-ae8a-996676c8c167.html"> remedial education and http://www.pima.edu/aboutpima/quickfacts/SRTK_July_2010.pdf">graduation/drop-out rates (PDF).
Here's what he told the board:
"Right now, the college does not require a high school diploma or its equivalent, a GED, or SAT scores that indicate that you're ready for college. As a consequence, we've been accepting people who really aren't ready.
And while the impulse may seem to be right -- that is, to be ‘open door' and to allow anyone who wants to walk in the doors to come to college -- that's not what ‘open door' means.
‘Open door' means that if you've completed the first 12 years in high school or can demonstrate that you've completed it in another fashion, or are ready for college, the door's open.
But it certainly doesn't mean that if you have a fourth-grade education and you're 18 years old and can drive a car and show up at college that you can get in. And it shouldn't mean that. And I think that's been a problem for us.
We've accepted individuals who have really not been ready for college, who were not successful in high school and have not been able to bridge the gap between middle school and grade 13 -- that is, college readiness."
He shared the policies of two other community college systems in other states.
"I'd like for us to really look at this. I'll be sharing this with the faculty senate and others.
We think that it's going to be beneficial to the college as well as to the community and the students for us to send a strong message that high school is important.
You have to graduate from high school in order to move on and go to Pima Community College or a university.
It ought not to be the case that (students think) ‘Hey, you know what, I don't really need to succeed here because then I can go to Pima Community College and then go to college that way.'
We need to have those serious discussions, all of us."
Expect to hear more about this from the chancellor and in the next strategic plan for the college.
I'm very interested in what you think about this. Should Pima start requiring students to prove they are ready for college by showing a diploma, GED or SAT score? Or should it keep the existing "open door" policy?