NKU may raise standards

Northern Kentucky University may raise its standards for admission over the next two years.

Jerry Smith, the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, is one of many staff members involved with the project.

He said that NKU has always been “basically an open admission institution. You could get in one way or the other. And I think that is what is on the table to change at some point in the future.”

Students who would be most affected by a revised admissions policy are those Smith calls “low-end.”

“What our research has shown us is that we’re bringing in some folks way down the ladder…and these people statistically are not succeeding,” said Smith. “What we’re looking at right now is how we can best implement…and raise the bar for admission standards.”

The earliest the new standards will take effect is the 2004-2005 school year. No details of the new standards have yet been confirmed.

Smith said, “It truly is a work in progress with no decisions final other than the decision that we want to move toward some admission standards.”

He added that the new requirements “will probably ladder up incrementally,” although cutoff points have not yet been determined.

The vision of the project is clear, however: to raise the standard of education at NKU by increasing the bar of incoming students.

“We’ve got a wide range of students, and we’re trying to focus more on the mid and upper-mid range and gravitating on up to some of the high-end ability students in some of our…programs of excellence,” said Smith.

“Serving the students in the best way possible is the vision,” said Joel Robinson, Director of the Office of Admissions, who is also a member of the planning team for the new policy.

NKU will work with Gateway Community College in order to accommodate the needs of students that will be turned away from the university by the new standards.

“Gateway will definitely be a factor,” said Smith. “Gateway will have a lower-priced tuition, they will have probably some support services for low-end students.”

Smith said the eventual goal is for low-performing students to attend Gateway and receive academic help from its student-support systems.

Students may then transfer their credits to NKU or continue their education after obtaining a degree from Gateway.