The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) invited Wayne State University Senior Director of Undergraduate Admissions Ericka M. Jackson to participate as a featured panelist in a national town hall titled Navigating the Impact of Racism on College Admission. The event was held virtually through Zoom Monday, June 29, and it was open to all NACAC members.
“We reached out to Ericka because she has gained a reputation as a leader in the college admission field — and for good reason,” said Executive Director for Educational Content and Policy David Hawkins. “Her approach to admission, much like Wayne State’s, is inclusive and forward thinking. She has provided NACAC with valuable insights as part of our Task Force on Standardized Admission Testing and is a leader in the profession. We appreciate her expert perspective and willingness to share her thoughts on an issue of such critical importance as racial justice.”
Jackson considers the town hall a key step in addressing a systemic problem.
“It was important for me to participate in this discussion focused on navigating racism as a college admission professional,” she said. “We cannot address or deal with racism if we do not have candid, open and honest dialogue about how it permeates our society and what we can do to dismantle systemic racism.
“Racial healing will not begin without truth and reconciliation,” Jackson continued. “The NACAC town hall is the start of many much-needed conversations to stimulate action to create inclusive and equitable environments for all students to learn and prosper, particularly in the higher education space. Admission professionals play an important role in providing access and opportunities while removing barriers to postsecondary education. We have a responsibility to commit to the work of creating a welcoming front door for students, caring for them, meeting them where they are, and shepherding them through what can be an intimidating process.”
Hawkins noted that Wayne State has proven exemplary in its efforts to create substantial change with equitable admission.
“Wayne State University has received national acclaim for its efforts to reach out to underrepresented populations and for achieving real results in opening the doors to higher education for thousands of students. The university is an anchor in a city that has faced difficult times socially and economically, and it remains a beacon for institutions seeking to be an engine of advancement and social responsibility. For these reasons and more, NACAC was grateful that Wayne State lent its voice to our town hall on racism and the college admission profession.”