Integrity in Admissions

Erika Toren, director of University and College Counseling at TASIS The American School in England, looks at how schools, students, parents and universities/colleges must continue to work together to preserve and protect the values of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

A student and guidance counsellor sit at a desk at TASIS

TASIS The American School in England’s four-year College Counseling curriculum guides its students through the university application process.

Following the recent US admission scam, where allegations include cheating on entrance exams and bribing college officials, it’s important to talk about the commitment to ethical admissions that all of us should uphold whether as organisations, students or parents. As a global community, scandals like this show how the actions of a few individuals can have a ripple effect on an entire university and a whole industry.Not only is it important for us to maintain our constant integrity so that universities and colleges around the globe know they can trust schools to put forward an honest representation of each of their students, but it is also imperative that colleges know that schools share this dedicated interest to ethical reporting and submission of documents. The recent scandal has given us cause for introspection, as well as serving as a call to continue to work together for the good of all students and society.

TASIS upholds the NACAC Code of Ethics

TASIS has always upheld the NACAC Code of Ethics, its college counsellors are members of both NACAC and the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC) and are, thereby, bound to preserve and protect these values.When individuals in the community and the education sector at large evaluate the recent news coverage, it should be noted that the allegations have been levelled at particular individuals in testing arenas and sports coaches, and not at the universities and colleges themselves. Many of the accused have already been discharged by their institutions, showing that action is immediate and severe. Out of millions of honest US applications, there are a limited number of accused families; perhaps scrutiny of this small population will lead to a positive outcome and serve as a reminder of our shared duty to submit truthful and authentic applications. 

Continued partnerships with university colleagues to maintain excellence and standards

As college counsellors and professionals in international education, we value our university colleagues and look forward to our continued partnerships with them. Schools must continue to fully support those applications that are verified as genuine and written by students. We believe these recent events should not harm applicants nor tarnish the reputations of excellent schools and universities that already work together for the greater good in the highly connected admissions world. As a global community, we must continue to work together: organisations, universities/colleges, counsellors, students and parents.
For further information, NACAC has published a statement to its members on 13 March 2019.
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