Thursday, July 15, 2010

Criminal Background Checks for Students?

"The Chronicle of Higher Education in an article datelined June 30, 2010, reports on program at the annual conference of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. Speakers discussed the advisability of asking for criminal background checks on students, usually as part of the admissions process. In the absence of formal policies on how to handle the information, or how to interpret it if received, at least one speaker counseled against background checks.

Most colleges and universities that have policies requiring criminal background checks began doing so either after a murder or other crime on their campus or a nearby campus. But as more institutions begin to require this information, it may become adopted more widely without considering the ramifications. The speakers at this conference wanted to raise the consciousness of their listeners. A recent survey showed that about 18% of colleges and universities perform a background check on "some sub-set of general applicants."  
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