Pima Community College Chancellor Roy Flores recently announced that he wants the college to consider new admissions requirements. What he had to say on the subject to his governing board was right on target:
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.…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.
In 2009, Saturday Night Live described Arizona college and university admission standards as “slightly more selective than the Burger King Kids Club.” We need to do right by both students and taxpayers by raising our standards. I commend Chancellor Flores for his courage and intellectual honesty.
Dr. Matthew Ladner is vice president of research for the Goldwater Institute.
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