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Open the Doors and Let Them In Admitting Students with Criminal Convictions W. Mack Palmour Dr. Alicia Caudill Gainesville State College SACRAO 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Open the Doors and Let Them In Admitting Students with Criminal Convictions W. Mack Palmour Dr. Alicia Caudill Gainesville State College SACRAO 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Open the Doors and Let Them In Admitting Students with Criminal Convictions W. Mack Palmour Dr. Alicia Caudill Gainesville State College SACRAO 2009

2 Goals for the Session Overview GSC’s process for admitting students with previous misdemeanor and/or felony charges Share our philosophy underlying the process Provide data about these students Practical Exercise

3 Overview of GSC Public two-year institution offering a limited number of 4-year degrees students Two campuses (Commuter) One campus 50 miles north of Atlanta One campus located near Athens, GA (UGA)

4 Why a process? Mandate from Board of Regents Created policy and process in spring 2007 Approved on campus by Exec. Council Begin implementation summer 2007 Have made small adjustments to questionnaire Relies on students to self-report

5 We couldn’t make this up! Two friends and I were involved in a high school prank that was blown out of proportion by the police. We put a small amount of cleaning solution into an empty 16 ounce water bottle and then added a couple of small balls of tin foil. There is a chemical reaction involved that causes pressure to build in the bottle and make the bottle pop. The fact that we threw the bottle out into someone’s yard makes it “intent to intimidate”. My attorney says we were grossly overcharged and most likely the charges will not be pursued.

6 Guiding Philosophy Are students admissible (can they do college-level work)? Does the student pose a threat to him/herself or others on campus?

7 We couldn’t make this up! Charge: Urinating in public and knocking over a sign. I was arrested behind my dorm room for urinating in public. The second arrest came a few months later; there is a parking spot in front of the dorm building that people like to park, the school decided to make that a spot for maintenance vehicles. Some of the students didn’t like it, so they started pulling the sign out of the ground. After many of these instances, the campus police put a camera up. I decided to uproot the sign one night and next morning I was arrested. Between the two arrests I’ve learned a lot.

8 Our Process Policy Overview Students self-report information on Admissions application Admissions counselors, using policy as a guide, send questionnaire to those who meet criteria Completed forms are reviewed by Director of Admissions and Dean of Students

9 Our Process Review of Questionnaire: Make decision to process application Deny Admission Send “Final Adjudication” Letter asking student to re-apply once case outcome is finalized in court (for more serious “pending” cases) Meet with student in-person or through phone conference to gather more details and ask questions then make decision

10 Our Process Completed questionnaires of applicants are stored separately from academic record.

11 We couldn’t make this up Possession of marijuana. Student wrote an essay “It Can Be Done”. In the essay he stated, “I feel like I have a renewed life since starting my job at Lowe’s and it feels great. My brain has been deprived of knowledge for too long. The history and discovery channels only have a selected amount of knowledge, I need MORE!

12 We couldn’t make this up First arrest - I had a fraternity function and was walking back toward what I thought was the direction of my dorm. I was picked up by the police when they realized I was drunk and was arrested for underage drinking. Second arrest – I was downtown at a fraternity function and was walking back to the fraternity house, I tripped over the curb, I was found lying down by the campus police. The police asked if I had been drinking and I admitted that I had, I was arrested for underage consumption.

13 Additional Follow-Up Make contact with resource on campus Counseling Center (resource connection) Dean of Students  Bi-weekly meetings  Check academic progress  Assist with navigation of college resources and processes

14 Data from Summer 2007 – Spring 2009 Total Applications Summer ’ % Fall ’ % Spring ’ % Summer ’ % Fall ’ % Spring ’ % Total59821, %

15 Data from Fall = Total Number of Applicants 179 = Sent Questionnaires 2.7% 48 = Did not return Questionnaire 3 = Tried to start application process over omitting criminal information 27 = In-Person Meetings

16 Data from Fall = Sent “Pending Letters” to await final adjudication before processing application 11= Required Additional Follow-up support

17 Data from Fall 2008 Common Offenses Minor in Possession - 55 DUI - 32 Possession of Marijuana - 30 Shoplifting - 24

18 Data from Fall 2008 Academic Performance Average GPA 2.57 Average CC GPA 2.45

19 We couldn’t make this up Charged with battery: Student’s girlfriend attacked him with a 3 pound totem pole and he had to go to the hospital. She split his eyebrow and busted his lip open. Student had to have stitches. Student included photos of the totem pole and his face.

20 Group Activity – You Decide

21 Questions or Comments

22 Success Stories

23 Gainesville State College, Gainesville, GA W. Mack Palmour Director of Admissions Dr. Alicia Caudill Dean of Students


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