How is Higher Education Making College Degrees More Attainable?

by Sharita Forrest  /   Aug 29, 2018

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Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, a professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, recently spoke with Illinois News Bureau education editor Sharita Forrest about the decision by the University of Chicago to no longer require applicants to take the ACT or SAT, reverse transfer degree programs, and Facebook’s partnership with community colleges.

Zamani-Gallaher said she was pleased with the decision by the University of Chicago when asked by Forrest if the discontinuing of the use of standardized test scores in admissions will potentially make postsecondary education attainable to a broader population of students.

“Many students from underserved communities cannot afford the costly college prep courses that enable more affluent students to navigate the ACTs/SATs and improve their scores,” Zamani-Gallaher said. “And due to familial and employment obligations, many students don’t have the luxury of focusing on acing these tests.

“The University of Chicago’s decision recognizes that a student’s academic performance throughout high school, civic and community engagement, and myriad other factors are more significant than performance on a four-hour test. Holistic admissions processes take the whole student into account, providing a more balanced and individualized assessment of experiences, capabilities, and potential contributions.”

In addition to her professorship, Zamani-Gallaher is the director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership and associate dean of the Graduate College at Illinois.

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