Symposium on Admissions in the 21st Century

In July 2012, the Symposium on Admissions in the 21st Century brought together members of the original Task Force on Admissions in the 21st Century and new collaborators from K–12 and higher education for a two-day convening in Reston, Virginia. The purpose of this gathering was to reflect on the progress made in achieving the recommendations set forth in the original Admissions in the 21st Century report, Preserving the Dream of America: An Open Letter to Professionals in Admissions, Financial Aid and Counseling, and to plan for the future.

The symposium opened with keynote speaker John Casteen, President Emeritus of the University of Virginia. Employing Alden Thresher’s book College Admissions and the Public Interest, President Casteen engaged the attendees on the state of admission past, present and future. A panel of task force Implementation Committee members interacted with President Casteen in a panel discussion and engaged the rest of the symposium attendees in a lively question and answer session. Casteen noted in his remarks that Thresher’s treatment of his vision for the development of the role of the admission officer, while employing some period-specific language and written in a highly academic style, was as valuable a resource for all in the profession today as it was when it was originally published.

The second day of the symposium continued the theme of looking at the past, present and future of admission. Attendees discussed the findings from a special landscape review on the current state of admission and reviewed progress and commitments made by the College Board’s many units toward the task force’s seven Opens in a new windowaction commitments. Breakout sessions offered symposium attendees an opportunity to determine issues and areas of research for future Admissions in the 21st Century projects.

“Through the enthusiasm and dedication of all the attendees, the symposium met all of the goals established for it,” said Brad Quin, the College Board’s Executive Director of Higher Education Advocacy. “We evaluated progress toward the task force’s original goals and recommendations, reviewed selected examples of activities in support of those goals, and discussed and suggested topics and activities for next steps.”

Download the presentations from the Symposium on Admissions in the 21st Century: