Holes in Boat of Coalition for Access

Coalition for Access, College Coalition, Coalition for Access and Affordability

The Coalition for Access is chasing waterfalls.

We at Ivy Coach have been outspoken critics of this new proposed Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success. We’ve shared our opinion with various news outlets, on the pages of “The Brown Daily Herald,” the newspaper of Brown University, on the pages of “The Dartmouth,” the newspaper of Dartmouth College, on the pages of “The Yale Daily News,” the newspaper of Yale University, and newspapers far and wide. And we’re sure glad to have played a part in making sure the holes in the boat of this fledgling Coalition for Access can be visible to all. The holes are significant. So significant in fact that we suspect the boat won’t be floating for many years to come.

Well, the holes in the boat have become so well known in the admissions community that the Coalition for Access has felt the need to release a statement to members — like us — of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling. Here’s an excerpt: “We are writing with an update to the message we sent you on September 28 about the formation of the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success. Since that time we have heard from many of you individually and we also had a chance to engage in valuable discussion at NACAC on October 3. We understand that our work to improve the college admission process will have a broad impact on something that matters deeply to all of us.”

The Coalition’s letter went on, “Our initial announcement was made before the details were fully resolved because we wanted an opportunity to get feedback from you and to incorporate that feedback into the design of our system.” Uh huh! There’s more. “In retrospect, we could have improved our communication by offering detailed examples of how institutions are thinking of using the new platform. Since our announcement, many questions have arisen and a number of counselors have asked for more time to learn about and provide feedback into the system before it goes live. We are definitely listening to you and as a result, the Board decided yesterday to shift the release date to April for the Virtual College Locker tool (formerly referred to as ‘Portfolio’) to allow for more time to engage and answer questions and for counselors to be closer to finishing their work with the current senior class. Once we are farther along in development, and prior to public launch, counselors will have the opportunity to review the system and provide us with feedback. In light of your questions, we think it would be useful to communicate more clearly the values and beliefs of the Coalition.”

It seems the Coalition for Access knows they’ve got big holes in their brand new boat. And as they row down the stream, the waters may well not be so gentle ahead. In fact, we see a waterfall in the distance. Don’t go chasing waterfalls.


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