Purdue Fort Wayne will not add new SAT component to admissions process

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Colleges and universities will now have another tool to determine if they want to accept a student. It’s called the Environmental Context Dashboard.

The ECD will be added to the SAT.

College Board, the developers of the SAT say, this tool shines the light on students who demonstrate resourcefulness to overcome challenges. However, not all colleges and universities have to use the Environmental Context Dashboard.

In an interview on CBS This Morning, College Board CEO David Coleman says the SAT shows what a student learned in reading and math.

“It doesn’t measure what you’ve overcome, the situation that you’ve achieved that in. What we can do with this context data is see how resourceful you are,” says Coleman.

The variables added to the dashboard include the locale of the student, housing stability, and state norming. That’s contextualizing the disadvantage levels based on the state the student’s residence.

“It’s really about the broad context they group up in. Every kid in the same neighborhood gets the same score for their neighborhood. And every kid in the same school, gets the same score for their school,” says Coleman.

College Board says the ECD will not affect a student’s SAT score.

Purdue University Fort Wayne says they will not be using the ECD in their admissions process.

“At the end of the day, our admissions policy is set at an institutional level, and we qualify students by grade point average and test scores,” says Kenneth Christmon, vice chancellor of admissions at Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Kenneth explains Purdue University Fort Wayne will take a personal approach if a student is slightly under that qualifying point. Then once a student is admitted, the Trio Support Services program will help students succeed if they have unseen barriers.

“Just understanding lingo, understanding how to acclimate to college, how to talk to people, it can just put a lot of stress on students, not feeling like they fit in, so we try to alleviate those barriers so they can be successful academically,” says Shubitha Kever, director of Trio Support Services at Purdue Fort Wayne.

Coleman provided a statement to WANE 15 about the Environmental Context Dashboard:

Through its history, the College Board has been focused on finding unseen talent. The Environmental Context Dashboard shines a light on students who have demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness to overcome challenges and achieve more with less.  It enables colleges to witness the strength of students in a huge swath of America who would otherwise be overlooked.

There is talent and potential waiting to be discovered in every community – the children of poor rural families, kids navigating the challenges of life in the inner city, and military dependents who face the daily difficulties of low income and frequent deployments as part of their family’s service to our country. No single test score should ever be examined without paying attention to this critical context.  

We are proud that results from our pilot of the tool show that using the Environment Context Dashboard makes it more likely that students who demonstrate strength and resourcefulness in overcoming challenges are more likely to be admitted to college.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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