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NACAC Seeks Feedback on SPGP Revisions

By Todd Rinehart, Chair of the Steering Committee on Admission Practices

The NACAC Board of Directors last year appointed a Steering Committee on Admission Practices to examine the association’s Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP). The committee was charged with modernizing the principles of the SPGP, developing content to include cohorts of students and members not adequately addressed in the current document, and ensuring the SPGP is relevant in a changing enrollment landscape.  

The committee committed itself to developing a document that is easy to understand and navigate, yet has the depth to promote ethical conduct and provide guidance for members to implement various admission practices. While the document is still in draft form, and reflects the feedback of several NACAC committees as well as the AP Affiliate Chairs, we have reached a phase where it is appropriate to receive additional feedback. Before we advance further with the current draft, we truly need your input to help shape the final direction of our work.

If you are not a member of NACAC, please use this link to provide comments on the revised SPGP. NACAC members should use the unique SurveyMonkey link they received by email. If you are a NACAC member and did not receive a survey link, contact us.    

To provide greater context, and to assist you in your evaluation, I want to provide some background on how we arrived at this point, and explain the organization of the new SPGP.

Please remember this is a working draft. There are still items to be added, removed, and revised. Further, the draft you are reviewing is simply content, and does not reflect the formatting or template that will eventually be developed by the NACAC staff to display the document in a professional, attractive manner.  

The new document is organized by topic, and is no longer divided by member type. The traditional organization of All Members, Postsecondary Members, and Counseling Members, has been eliminated.  We also eliminated the categories of Mandatory; Mandatory Interpretations; and Best Practices. The entire document is now ‘mandatory’ and we’ve included interpretations in the respective sections, allowing users to have all of the content in front of them. 

While this latest draft is similar in size/pages to the current SPGP, we actually eliminated a good deal of text. We condensed or eliminated some content in the mandatory/interpretations sections, and eliminated most of Best Practices. Some Best Practices are now ‘mandatory’ and others will be assembled into a separate educational document by another NACAC committee.   

The reason the number of pages remained similar is that we added quite a bit of content to modernize the document and to include cohorts/topics that weren’t represented previously. We added significant text to include transfer students, aligning with NACAC’s strategic plan, as well as content to address international students, members, and related practices. In addition, we have brought greater clarity to the use of commissioned agents in recruiting international students. Finally, we added content to cover topics like mid-year admission, and wait list management - items that were either absent from the current SPGP, or only previously addressed in Best Practices.    

The SPGP is now divided into two main sections – our core ethical principles, followed by the chief practices that drive our work. In essence, we have a code of ethics, and a code of practices. Each section contains a grey box, outlined in blue, that represents the core statement and overarching values of each respective topic. All of the rules/principles/interpretations follow directly below these core statements.

The following is an outline of the document, allowing you to understand the overall organization before you embark on a comprehensive review.  

Part I. The Ethical Core of College Admission
A.    Truthfulness and Transparency
B.    Individual Professional Conduct
C.    Respect for Confidentiality

Part II. The Responsible Practice of College Admission
A.    Application Plans for First-Time Undergraduates in the United States
B.    Admission Cycle Dates, Deadlines, and Procedures for First-time Fall Entry Undergraduates
C.    Wait Lists
D.    Transfer Admission 
E.    The Use of Commissioned Agents in International Student Recruitment

Part III. Glossary of Notable SPGP Definitions

Part IV: Education, Monitoring and Compliance Procedures (information to come)

Words alone cannot express my gratitude for the efforts of the Steering Committee, the NACAC staff, the National AP Committee and their respective affiliate chairs, in providing invaluable time and feedback as this current draft came to form. I now thank each of you in advance for your willingness to review this current draft, and provide valuable feedback as our committee continues to work towards our goal of presenting a finished product to the NACAC Assembly at the annual conference this fall in Boston. 

In addition to this survey, you will also have an opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions at the various affiliate conferences this spring and summer, allowing you to interact directly with members of the Steering Committee, and National AP Committee.   

Responses are due April 28.

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