College admission officials in Maryland may have made a mistake in admitting students to the University of Maryland in 2011, the college’s chief academic officer said.
“You can’t just throw away the best year you have,” said David Johnson, dean of admissions and admissions.
The Maryland College Board has been reviewing admissions practices since the beginning of the year and will release a report by late September, Johnson said.
Johnson said that while he would not fault the College Board, the school has made “significant progress” in closing the admissions gap.
“It has made some significant strides, and I think they will continue to do that,” Johnson said in a phone interview.
“But there are still many students out there who don’t have a great opportunity.”
Johnson did not provide details on how many students were admitted to the College of Engineering, but he said that more than 5,000 students were accepted for the program between 2011 and 2013.
“We are pleased with that number,” Johnson added.
The College of the Arts and Sciences has a similar admissions policy, which states that “only students with the best possible academic credentials will be admitted to MSA.”
Johnson said there are “a lot of people” who are applying for MSA, and that the college should “reconsider the admissions process” as the school continues to improve.
“The process is not perfect,” Johnson noted.
“There are a lot of things that need to be improved.
But it is the right thing to do.”
Johnson also said that MSA does not “get a free pass” for failing to meet academic standards.
“MSA needs to be judged on the basis of how well it does in achieving the standards of excellence it sets,” Johnson told CBS News.
Johnson added that the College and its College of Letters and Science do not have an admissions policy.
“They do not get free passes for failing,” Johnson stated.
“And they are also very difficult schools to get into.
We have to work very hard at MSA and do a lot to make sure they are a great place to go to college.”
Johnson added, “If you are a student who is not eligible to be admitted, the worst thing you can do is be a victim.”
The Maryland Department of Education said it does not comment on student admissions.
A spokeswoman for the College at Mount Vernon, where Johnson serves as chief executive officer, did not respond to a request for comment.
“I think that’s fair and appropriate to say that,” said Jennifer Leopold, director of admissions at the college.
“What they are saying is we are in a different time now, and we are taking steps to address what we can, but we are not going to stop until we get to a point where all of our students are getting an opportunity.”
Leopolds statement echoed those of other college officials who have said they are “hopeful” the school will be able to close the admissions gaps this fall.
“That is our goal,” said Leopels statement.
“In our view, this is a win-win for the students and the administration.”
Johnson has previously said that the admission system is not a perfect system.
“For all of the things that have been happening with the admission process, you can’t have everything perfect,” he told CBS.
“Some things are not ideal.”
Leopeld said that she and Johnson are working on a plan to improve the admission experience for students, and she said the plan includes establishing “a strong reputation for the college and its academic offerings.”
“There is still a lot that needs to happen in our admissions process,” Leopells statement continued.
“Our goal is to have a strong reputation in the world of higher education, and to be considered for many top positions.”
The College at Mt Vernon declined to comment on the situation.
Maryland’s Higher Education Coordinating Council said it is “aware of the situation and we will provide further information when it is available.”
The University of Washington announced that it would be reducing its admissions requirements for freshmen students, starting in fall 2018.
The university has about 17,000 freshman students, but the College said that fewer than 1,000 were admitted this fall, and only about 200 were accepted this fall through the admissions lottery.
In addition, the UW said that it is lowering the number of full-time employees in its admissions department by 15 percent.
“This is a tough decision,” UW president Maria Klawe said.
In an interview with CBS News, Johnson noted that he has “no regrets about any of the decisions we’ve made.”
Johnson is the former dean of the University at Albany College of Education.
He is the first of three candidates to be named dean of Maryland’s College of Learning, which was created by the state in 2010.
Johnson is also the former director of the College for the Arts at Maryland.
“David is a great person,” said Michael Prys