Monday, October 03, 2011

FAMU reducing fall semester profile admits

The days when FAMU’s first-time-in-college (FTIC) “profile admit” freshmen could enjoy a long, relaxing summer before transitioning into life on The Hill are coming to an end. As part of its strategy for raising retention and graduation rates, FAMU plans to require most of these students to enroll in summer classes immediately after high school graduation and begin hitting the books early.

By 2015, 90 percent of FAMU freshmen students who do not meet the regular admissions requirements of the State University System of Florida (SUS) will have to enroll for summer classes. FAMU took a first step toward this goal during Summer 2011 by enrolling around 600 profile admits, about half of the total profile admit number, in courses for that semester.

“Profile admits” are students who are accepted into the SUS through the “profile assessment” process. The guidelines for this process are outlined in Florida Board of Governors Regulation 6.002, which states: “Applicants who are not eligible for standard admissions may be considered for alternative admission. In addition to reviewing a student’s GPA and test scores, a university may consider other factors in the review of the student’s application for admission.”

Universities are permitted to take a wide variety of factors into consideration during profile assessments. They include: graduation from an International Baccalaureate program, socioeconomic status, family educational background, graduation from a low-performing high school, a record of improvement in high school, and special talents and/or abilities.

FAMU has seen an increase in its percentage of FTIC profile admits as a result of a recent change to the SUS minimum admissions requirements. Back in 2006, a new Florida law raised the mathematics requirement for FTIC freshmen from three units at Algebra I or higher to four units at Algebra I or higher.

FAMU’s profile admit numbers went from 694 (47.60 percent) in Fall 2006 to 971 (62 percent) in Fall 2007, 1,275 (70 percent) in Fall 2008, 1,601 (78 percent) in Fall 2009, and 1,380 (63 percent) in Fall 2010. FAMU will reduce the overall number to about 1,200 this academic year and then 1,000 from 2012 through 2015.

The university is using summer semesters to provide profile admit students with specialized attention and advising. Summer classes will also give these students an opportunity to develop strong college-level work and study habits well ahead of fall semester distractions such as football games, step shows, Greek parties, and Set Fridays. This is part of FAMU’s strategy for raising its retention and six-year graduation rates.

FAMU plans to enroll 900 profile admits, 90 percent of the FTIC alternative admission student population, during Summer 2015. Only ten percent of that year’s profile admit freshmen will be permitted to wait until the fall semester to start classes. That ten percent, or 100 students, will consist of “special talent” students in the Marching 100 and various athletic programs.

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