OSA Cleveland State Picks up Wins to Make CSU More Accessible to Folks with Criminal Records
July 31, 2020
“Cleveland State University believes students are more than their record. We are dedicated to providing an inclusive pathway to higher education and successful re-entry for the formerly incarcerated. The university will fairly consider all applicants regardless of previous charges or convictions. Responses to this question are kept confidential.”
This disclaimer serves two purposes. Firstly, we wanted to address the number of students who stop filling out their application because it inquires about criminal records. Some applicants feel they will be wrongly denied because of their record, so they don’t bother applying. Secondly, many students who submit their criminal record worry that they would be watched, surveilled, and scrutinized by professors and advisors due to the stigma. We wanted it to be made clear to applicants that the disclosure and the personal statement were only read by a review committee, and kept confidential.
3.) We also advocated for the review committee that reads these personal statements to undergo a training that addresses implicit biases and educates on the relationship between mass incarceration and access to higher education. We hope this will ensure the committee reviews these personal statements in a more informed way.
4.) Lastly, we will continue to work with the CSU marketing team to make sure the greater community understands their commitment to serving students with records, and encouraging those with records to apply should they want to seek higher education.