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Conference to reform college admissions

Conference to Reform College Admissions
Jerome A. Lucido, executive director of the USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice

Every year, leading U.S. universities publicize their selectivity by announcing low admission rates, and high-achieving students battle to secure a coveted spot at an exclusive, top-tier college. Meanwhile, the nation has fallen behind other developed countries in the percentage of adults with college degrees and certificates.

As a result, a national agenda has emerged for the nation to once again lead the world in the attainment of college degrees. Thought leaders in the field of admissions are looking at how to change admissions policies and practices in order to reach this goal.

On Jan. 26-28, the USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice (CERPP), led by Jerome A. Lucido, executive director of CERPP and professor of research at the USC Rossier School of Education, is holding a unique forum in Los Angeles for leading thinkers and practitioners to examine these issues and move the agenda forward.

“The Case for Change in College Admissions” was conceived in partnership with the Education Conservancy, a nonprofit that works to help students, colleges and high schools overcome commercial interference in college admissions, and sponsored by the College Board and the Lumina Foundation. The nearly two-day program is designed to stimulate thinking and harvest ideas for reforming selective college admissions.

“Many of our educational values are being undermined by our fervent competition for students,” Lucido said.

A number of leaders in higher education will present and lead sessions at the conference.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Andrew Delbanco, director of American Studies at Columbia University; Sandy Baum, professor of economics emerita at Skidmore College; Harry Brighouse, professor of philosophy and affiliate professor of educational policy studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Michael McPherson, president of the Spencer Foundation; Roberto Rodriguez, White House education adviser; Lloyd Thacker, executive director of the Education Conservancy; and Robert Zemsky, University of Pennsylvania professor, chair of the Learning Alliance for Higher Education and author of Remaking the American University.

Among the panelists are USC Rossier School of Education professors William G. Tierney, a University Professor and director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, and John Brooks Slaughter, president emeritus of Occidental College.

Participants will identify what works, what doesn’t and what needs to change about admissions in higher education, and will develop a research agenda and well-crafted arguments for change that include social, political and economic levers.

Following the meeting, a report documenting the discussion and outlining a case for change will be available online free of charge. Materials will be adapted for ongoing social networking use to inform, generate feedback and build support for change among educational scholars, practitioners and policymakers nationwide.

CERPP is offering a limited number of discounted registration rates for USC faculty, staff, and graduate students. For more information, contact Scott Andrew Schulz at

To register, go to ESVP code: college

For more information about “The Case for Change in College Admissions,” visit

Conference to reform college admissions

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