Ethnicity, gender now factors in CGA admissions

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by Luigi59, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Ethnicity, gender now factors in CGA admissions

    By Jennifer McDermott
    Publication: The Day
    Published 01/23/2011

    Change in law gives the Academy more flexibility

    New London - First came the Coast Guard Authorization Act, which Congress approved last fall.

    This gave the Coast Guard Academy - for the first time - the leeway to consider an applicant's sex, race, color and religious beliefs as it shapes the makeup of its classes. The act struck down the provision in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations that prohibited the academy from considering those characteristics of an applicant.

    But the act is just the beginning.

    "The thing that is going to change the diversity at the academy is us getting off our butts and going out into areas where we haven't recruited before," Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. asserted in a recent interview.

    "We acknowledge that a lot of people don't know about the Coast Guard. What are we doing about it?" Papp demanded. "We need to let them know about the opportunities, let them know they can have challenging careers and get their education paid for, and I think people will come...."

    ...The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that race can be used in university admission decisions, but limited how much of a factor it could play. Selective universities looking to diversify could consider race, but the Coast Guard Academy never could.

    Qualified students of all races have been turned down in past years because of the small class sizes. At the same time, members of Congress were trying to bring the academy's admissions process in line with the other service academies to increase diversity.

    The other military service academies admit students by congressional nomination, while the Coast Guard Academy has traditionally admitted students on the basis of academic merit, like civilian colleges and universities.

    Read the rest of the article HERE
     
  2. Cats1

    Cats1 New Member

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    Whew, talk about stirring the pot Luigi, LOL.

    Discrimination is Discrimination and it’s unconstitutional. Studies have shown that these types of manipulation to help politicians sleep better at night have mixed results. Certainly non-minority males are displaced but still do well and still find money for college. The minorities that are chosen do go back into their communities in larger numbers which can make a difference. They still scored lower over the course of their education in every respect but their presence in communities as leaders was a plus for their culture.

    Institutions like to use population percentages as a guide to help give a picture of how diverse they should be but think about if college basket ball teams where forced to use this as a guide for their scholarship appointments?!? LOL. Maybe white kids seeing more whites on the court will be inspired to go and work harder on the B-Ball court instead of playing video games? Who knows? Before I get flamed let’s look at BYU who is ranked 9 in the country and compete with anyone in the top ten.

    I believe only solid outreach and better high school preparation can reduce overall racial disparities that the Coast Guard faces so I agree with Adm. Papp but….. CGA has the problem that they are very limited by their curriculum. The fact is that you can put money into a community and get kids where they need to be academically but realize that they will become attractive to many institutions giving them more choices. I will flip this again. Imagine a prominent college B-ball school in the desert that wants more diversity on the court. They spend time and money making this kid competitive. He decides to go to UCLA because the beach is close by? Same thing would happen to the CGA with a kid that benefits from a community outreach program from the CGA only to decide he wants to go to a better pre-law school.

    Numbers in studies can be manipulated in many ways to make people feel better but at the end of the day the CGA has the job select applicants that will help the CG meet the mission. I think diversity can only help the mission but meeting yearly quotas to make Washington happy is going to be a tough job. I have absolutely no doubt from every contact with the CGA that they will do their job. In assisting my DS, I have never met a more open and helpful group. This includes the forums here, the base he visited, and the officers at the academy
     
  3. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    The point the article makes (not me) is that there was a Federal Law that prevented the USCGA from considering race/gender/religion as an admissions factor, and the new funding bill/law has removed that law.

    Therefore, when choosing between two equally qualified candidates, they now legally can give preference to a candidate based on the color of their skin, something they have been legally unable to do before.
     
  4. Cats1

    Cats1 New Member

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    It's a thought provoking post Luigi, hopefully it will gain more discussion :thumb:. It's a bit prickly though during an open admissions period:biggrin:.

    My opinion "Based on the article you posted" is that basing an admissions decision on the color of ones skin is unconstitional, period. Equal or not equal. I believe it would be a better variable for the USCGA to use social economic status (SES) as a determinant.
     
  5. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I have no doubt that the USCGA admissions department will continue to select the most highly qualified class regardless of race. There is no need for anyone to assume that any standards will be lowered, in fact the annual class profile continues to show higher average/mean SAT/ACT scores while the URM percentage increases as well.

    As Admiral Burhoe states (paraphrasing by me) increasing the minority applicant pool gives the CCEB more choices among the many highly qualified minority applicants.
     
  6. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Personally I think it's a farce to think that those characteristics don't come into consideration in any type of hiring/admission process.

    Is it more than cursory in (insert made up percentage here) of the situations, probably not.

    Yes, I know there are laws, regulations, etc about it, but I still think it crosses the minds of pretty much everyone sitting at the table.
     
  7. AcademyFriend1

    AcademyFriend1 Member

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    Currently it is constitutional to consider race as "a factor" among other factors--that is the current Supreme Court interpretation--but there are certainly some on the current Supreme Court who believe that precedent is erroneous and would like to overrule it. Whether there is a majority in favor of overruling current precedent is unclear; it will also depend on what appointments are made in the next decade or so and which justices are retiring. Your idea about using socio-economic status as a factor instead may well be the wave of the future (no pun intended).
     

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