Outreach pays off in a Diverse Class

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by Just_A_Mom, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Interesting article in the Navy Times on methods used to increase diversity at the Coast Guard Academy.

    http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/07/coastguard_diversity_070410w/

     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    It's unfortunate that Rep. Cummins doesn't care more about funding the Coast Guard.

    Diversity means more once they graduate. 50% of minorities (which of course, wouldn't make them a minority), but if that doesn't translate into a more diverse class, it really doesn't mater.

    Diversity for diversity's sake has never impressed me. If everyone is as qualified as anyone else, then it would make me happy.
     
  3. officer

    officer Member

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    Yep,

    If it's been earned (by your own merit) with blood, sweat, and tears. Nothing else should matter. :cool: -officer
     
  4. Maui1

    Maui1 Member

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    well said Officer!
     
  5. BruceRTalbot

    BruceRTalbot Member

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    Keep in mind that the USCGA is not allowed, by law, to take race into consideration in selecting candidates. As an admission partner in the Chicago area, the direction we have been given is to attend as many college fairs in under represented neighborhoods as possible. What I learned is that many of the inner-city students have never even heard of the Coast Guard, let alone the academy. Hard to get qualified minority kids to apply if they have never heard of the Coast Guard. What is amazing is how much can be done with little or no money because the Admission Partners program is all volunteer. I would urge parents on this web site to consider volunteering as an Academy Admission Partner. I have found the experience to be personally rewarding.
    http://admissions.uscga.edu/partners/
     
  6. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    ^^^
    Bruce, we live here in CT and many people have NO idea that the Coast Guard Academy is located in their own state :eek:
     
  7. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    This is a sensitive topic and one on which I must indeed tread lightly for fear of offending anyone.

    I too am an admissions partner and to this point have had no minority candidates come before me. I live in a large city in CT and have made a number of visits to local high schools in hopes of getting some minority kids to apply. I also went to a local Civil Air Patrol group which was made of mostly of black and hispanic youngters.

    My take on it is this. It is very difficult to find minority kids with the strength in math and science willing to make the sacrifices necessary to go to a service academy.

    A minority kid with good SAT's and math and science scores is generally going to find themselves heavily recruited by schools such as the Ivies and given great scholarship aid, without having to go through swab summer and square meals for a year etc.

    My son's class(2009) started off I believe with 11 African-American kids. Only three graduated, with one being from the Virgin Islands.

    Another thing is maybe the CGA is not as well known or "prestigious" as say West Point or Annapolis. They do seem to get more minorities there.

    Whatever the reasons, I am hoping this year's class will be the start of greater diversification at the Academy. Hope these kids will hang in there and not give up when the going gets tough. And I mean that for everybody.
     
  8. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Nor are the other academies.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I predict someone cites the law now...
     
  10. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    You'd be surprised to learn how many AAPs are doing the same thing, in all areas of the country. :thumb:
     
  11. officer

    officer Member

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    I'm certain AAP's are already doing this in all middle/high schools, but here goes my thought. When my son became interested in CGA, he was an 8th grade homeschooled kid. He did all his own research into different branches of the military and decided CG was his #1 choice. What he and I did then was to plan out his high school career with as many Honors/AP's he could handle and really set some EC and leadership goals with talking about CGA everyday. Are conversations always started with, "When you're at the academy...." He was determined and never waivered because he had his plan early on.

    Sometimes with learning about SA for the first time at a high school college fair, I think kids tend to discount themselves or feel defeated because they didn't start their high school career on the fast track to really push towards a definitive goal. Perhaps middle school is where the kids start to have their dreams of where to go (and dreams are shared by all "diverse" kids)and can start setting their plans up according to "merit" based selection.

    In short, interest the kids early enough for them to plan their route on how to get there and to be competitive. We don't want any of these kids to feel defeated, but inspired. Nab 'em early, and they'll do the rest. :thumb: GO BEARS! -officer
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    True officer. Sadly middle school parents think you're trying to recruit their kids and complain to the principal. :confused:
     
  13. BruceRTalbot

    BruceRTalbot Member

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    OK, here goes:
    I have represented the USCGA at several inner-city Chicago high schools, one was a "math & science academy" that is in such a high crime neighborhood I was told (by the school) to only park in front of the school in view of the two police officers who would be standing outside on the sidewalk. Everyone goes through a metal detector and all bags are x-rayed just like the airport. This school had a student who was beaten to death (caught on video) on the way home from school.

    The school staff were really great, very caring, professional in every way, and HAPPY to have USCGA at their college fair. All the kids I met were polite but knew little to nothing about the Coast Guard. Although this was a "math & science academy" with selective enrollment, the highest ACT composite score of a student that I talked to over a 4-hour period was a 19. The school-wide average is only a 20.5 ACT (Chicago city-wide public high school ACT average is 16). By way of comparison, a suburban high school I presented at had a AVERAGE of 31.5!

    In the boy's bathroom were posters over the urinals saying "Will you be there for your partner?" and full-size manikin legs with a baby between them encouraging the boys to be at the hospital when their partner was giving birth. I took a picture because I knew my suburban born and raised wife would not believe me.

    I was very happy to present the USCGA material at this school. These kids need to know what the Coast Guard is and that there may be a future for them saving lives and defending the country, if not in the officer corps, then in the enlisted ranks. I plan to go back again this coming academic year.
     
  14. officer

    officer Member

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    Thank you BruceT and all AAP's. Your job is not easy when you have a deck stacked like this. Be encouraged and finish the race strong. Sometimes it's easy to get down when we start to focus on all that is wrong--I know I tend to do this. But it doesn't sound like you're doing this. You sound very persistant and willing to put a good face out there for the CG. I love Hollywood movies about one single person or teacher willing to step out for the "unexpected type" of person, and they end up changing their lives. That can be you, and people just like you. The United States Coast Guard is very fortunate to have you on board--you're doing a fantastic, worthy job. -officer
     
  15. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    They are given more than just great scholarship aid - often they are given free tuition or free tuition and room and board.
    The tippy top colleges all have programs now for kids from low income famiies. Not just the Ivy's but many very good colleges from Boston College to Davidson will offer a full ride.
    Years ago finances would keep low income and minority students out of top schools. In their quest to diversify their campus (racially and economically) they are using their hefty endowments to provide for low income students. Gone are the days when these kids would join the military or attend a service academy to pay for college.
    The vast majority of minority students are low income. Low income top students no longer are attracted to a Service academy for the "free" tuition. Most who are attracted by the "free" tuition are middle class who are glad not to have mega student loans and/or parents forking out $40,000/year.
    Nowadays what you have are colleges (not only Ivy's) like Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Universtiy of Richmond, and on who will provide a great college education for low income students for free competing against the Service Academies.


    This is why this statistics from the Naval Academy is so important:
    African Americans average top 6% for all college
    bound African American students.

    Hispanics average top 5% scores for all college
    bound Hispanic students


    Many of these kids can go to other top colleges for FREE. Yet they chose the Naval Academy.
     
  16. Farleigh85

    Farleigh85 Member

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    Exactly. Playing the diversity game for its own sake perpetuates racism--it does not eliminate it.

    Social engineers and their cheerleaders cause more problems than they cure, but their tinkering gives them an opportunity to feel morally superior and insufferably self-righteous. I suspect that's a large reason why they do it.

    We're a long way from being a color-blind society and remain so as long as the social engineers have their way. Let the sore of racism heal. Quit picking at it!
     
  17. BruceRTalbot

    BruceRTalbot Member

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    Yes, Admission Partners are required to write a full report on each school college fair attended. I always give a full background on the school including location, economic and ethnic demographic, as well as school ACT/SAT testing averages. Most schools supply them to the college reps attending the fairs, but a few I have to look on the State of Illinois Education Report Card web site.

    I can tell you that I have attended many college fairs at underrepresented neighborhoods and there is no one from USMA, USNA or USAFA, only me and the guy from USMMA. I asked the USMMA guy (very helpful) why the other military service academies were not at the fair? He said they have learned which schools are likely to have high academic students and put their limited resources at the targeted schools. He said, "Even though I have never had a single application form this school, I never want it said that USMMA wrote them off and didn't even bother to show-up." I've learned a lot from the Kings Point admissions volunteer (even though he busts my butt constantly about beating the Bears this year -- LOL).
     
  18. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    For years I have bemoaned the fact that the socio-economic gap between Service Academy graduates and the enlisted whom they lead has continued to widen. Not too many years ago, 70% or so of all SA attendees were the first generation in their family to go to college. No more. Now they are the sons and daughters of parents, both of whom are college grads and of a much higher socio-economic background than a generation or so ago. Currently, these are the ones who can and do take advantage of the free education. And let's not kid ourselves, a free education is a huge draw for the SAs.

    An interesting theory. And one, I think, with a lot of validity.
     
  19. FriendofCGA

    FriendofCGA New Member

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    CGA looses top minority grads for a lot of reasons. Last summer I met a woman in the post office line whose son accepted a Navy appointment instead of Coast Guard. She was a single mom but many of her nieces and nephews had gone to service academy’s over many years including West Point, Navy and Coast Guard. Her son graduated from a top 50 public high school in America our kids were in a magnet middle school together.

    I asked her why he had chosen Navy over Coast Guard. Basically she said that Coast Guard was the toughest of the Academy’s and the cadets had the least amount of fun. She also said that he was greatly influenced by the bells and whistles available at Navy. Her son had communicated with my older daughter’s friend who went to the same high school and just graduated 70th in his class at Navy. He was fast tracked to graduate school from day one because he had graduated with an IB diploma and got credit for some of his AP and IB classes. (He will receive his masters in December although he graduated with his class in May.) Their summer training was more serious and educational. They had more training sessions versus just spending time in the fleet. My daughter’s friend spent four weeks last summer touring Vietnam learning to communicate with resident nationals and learned to gather logistic information as a tourist. When I asked her what sport her son intends to play I wrongly assumed football because he is a big kid. She said that he was interested in cycling. (Navy has a veledrome and this same friend of my daughter has been traveling the country participating in iron man triathlons. ) It is hard to compete with that. Navy spends about $100,000 more per cadet than CG.

    Unless the government funds more of the Coast Guard Academy’s facilities, including recreational, they will have a hard time competing against an Navy alumni annual budget in the 10’s of millions of dollars. The same goes for West Point. You must remember is will be years before Chase Hall even completes the simplest of modern renovations… Air Conditioning. CGA’s total alumni endowment is about 12 million (2008). I agree with other posters. Rep. Cumming’s needs to pony up more cash if he expects the Academy to recruit top candidates who can with stand the rigor without a corresponding decrease in academy standards. If you look at the Academy’s wish list they need the basics like a new pool and a shooting range.
     
  20. MakeItHappen

    MakeItHappen Member

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    Interesting comments. What do you base them on?
     

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