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Colleges and universities should adopt admissions criteria that consider not only what classes students have taken, but also what they actually know and are able to do, argues a report from the Center for School Change.

The report by the center, a research organization at the University of Minnesota, is based on a study of 28 U.S. high schools that require students to demonstrate specific skills and knowledge to receive their diplomas. It urges more discussion with higher-education officials about how such reforms affect the admissions process, as well as how changes in admission policies can drive reforms at the high school level.

But the report also argues that changing graduation requirements without other major changes in schools will not necessarily yield improvements in student performance.

Copies of the report, "Deserved, Defensible Diplomas: Lessons From High Schools With Competency-Based Graduation Requirements," are available for $7 each from the Center for School Change, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minn. 55455; (612) 626-1834.

Although Hispanics are expected to become the nation's largest minority group by 2020, they are still underrepresented in higher education despite affirmative-action programs, according to a report by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

Although 9 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic, only 6.6 percent of college students are Hispanic, according to the report, released last month. And over the past 25 years, high-school-completion and college-enrollment rates for Hispanic students have decreased.

"Despite the obstacles still facing Hispanic and other minority students, federal commitment and priority given to eradicating these obstacles is still tremendously low," the report charges. Copies are available free from H.A.C.U., 4204 Gardendale St., Suite 216, San Antonio, Tex. 78229; (210) 692-3805.

A new guide lists more than 200 summer programs for minority pre-college students offered at college campuses across the nation. Published by the Washington-based Council of Independent Colleges, the "Summer Adventure!" guide lists general preparatory programs as well as others focusing on specific disciplines.

A limited number of copies are available free of charge from the C.I.C., 1 Dupont Circle, Suite 320, Washington, D.C. 20036; (202) 466-7230.

--Meg Sommerfeld



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