Affirmation Action and College Admission
Is it Ethical?
University of Phoenix
April 17, 2008
Affirmative action deals with various segments of segregation and/or equal opportunity. This paper will with affirmative action in relation to higher education 's admissions and enrollment. In respect to this topic this paper will touch on where the line is to be drawn between affirmative action's being ethical in the academic environment.
Affirmative Action and College Admission: Is it Ethical?
The debate over admissions policies in universities centers around three alternatives: (1) race-based preferences; (2) class-rank plans, admitting the top students in each high school; and (3) economic affirmative action for the disadvantaged. Affirmative action is a policy that seeks to address discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity and is viewed in higher education as either ethical or unethical (dictionary, 2008).
What is Affirmative Action?
For forty five years affirmative action has been both praised as well as criticized as a solution to racial inequality. President Kennedy was the first to introduce the term affirmative action in 1961 as a way of redressing discrimination that had continued even with the civil rights laws and the guarantees within the constitution (Brunner, B., 2007). One of the first times this policy can be seen taken in to effect in a higher education system was in 1950 after the Sweatt v. Painter and Hopwood case; a case that challenged The University of Texas School of Law. The end result was “…the justice of the United States Supreme court ordered the integration of the university’s law school and graduate school” (Russell, 2000, p. 507). Since this case, and most prominently in the last decade, affirmative action in public universities’ recruitment, admissions, and financial aid policies have undergone tremendous changes. The main focus for affirmative action is education and jobs. Affirmative action’s polices required that active procedures be taken to make sure that African Americans and other minorities benefit from opportunities such as, promotions, salary increases, career advancement, school admissions, scholarships, and financial aid. Opportunities, that had been almost exclusive to Caucasians (Cohen, C., 2008). Affirmative action was supposed to be a temporary fix that would come to an end once the playing field for all Americans became level (Brunner, B., 2007). However, we are still witnessing the implementation of affirmative action today. This paper will address affirmative action as an ethical issue in college admission.
How Affirmative Action Relates to College Admission
Affirmative action aids the proportion of minorities in higher education. We know this to be true because when it is not implemented, balanced minority enrollment declines (Long, 2007, p. 3). Colburn and Young (2008, p. 7-15) found enrollment patterns between 1990 and 2005, that indicated when affirmative action was not present in the institutions of higher education that the enrollment percentage of Asian minorities increased while that of African Americans and Hispanics declined or plateaued.
Through affirmative action in the colleges’ and universities, diversity of ethnicities is gained. It does this by taking into consideration race as one of the factors for acceptance in a schools admission process (OVPC for Communications, 1997). There have been times in the history of affirmative action that it has not been made available to the higher education systems by the court of law (Long, 2007, p 2). The main reason for not allowing some colleges or universities to use affirmative action in enrollment was that they implemented it in an unethical manner. They did this by using race as the only reason for acceptance, in order to maintain their campus’ student diversity. This goes against the Equal Protection Clause...