ERIC Number: EJ861841
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep-9
Reference Count: N/A
Naval Academy Continues Its Diversity Trend
Cooper, Kenneth J.
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v26 n15 p16-17 Sep 2009
Sixty years after graduating its first Black midshipman, Wesley Brown, the U.S. Naval Academy has admitted its most diverse class, which boasts the largest numbers and percentages of African-Americans and Hispanics ever to enter Annapolis. The academy has touted the racial and ethnic composition of the class of 2013 as the result of aggressive outreach and as a future benefit to the Navy, which has a stated priority of diversifying its officer corps to match its enlisted ranks and the country's changing demographics. The class is 35% minority. That level of diversity tops the previous record, set a year ago. This year, the number of minority applicants jumped 57%, even more than the 40% increase in the overall applicant pool. Naval Academy officials say the 15,432 applications received were the most since 1988, when the movie "Top Gun" inspired a rush to get into Annapolis. To reach the record level of diversity, recruiters went into high schools whose minority graduates might make good prospects. A vocal critic on campus, however, has questioned the fairness of the admissions process, how much minority talent it attracts and the military value of a more diverse officer corps. Dr. Bruce Fleming, an English professor, says he observed different standards applied to White and minority applicants six years ago when he served on the academy's admissions board. Bruce Latta, dean of admissions, says he has no idea where Fleming got the idea the academy has separate pools for White and minority applicants. Latta suggests that the English professor is unacquainted with how the last round of admissions works because he was not involved in them. But Fleming remains skeptical of the basic premise behind diversity at the Naval Academy. He says students there are taught to obey orders, regardless of the commander's race or ethnicity.
Descriptors: Race, College Admission, Higher Education, African American Students, Hispanic American Students, Military Schools, High School Seniors, Selective Admission, College Students, College Preparation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland; Rhode Island