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AACN News Watch Weekly Edition

Published June 02, 2021

AACN has been monitoring the national discussion about removing criminal background questions from college admissions applications as well as conversations about using disciplinary notations on transcripts. This dialogue has been met with guidance from the Department of Education and influenced by legislative debates in Congress and state houses across the country.

To date, five (5) states (Louisiana, Maryland, Colorado, New York, and California) have enacted legislation that limits or prohibits the collection of criminal history information from applicants prior to rendering an admissions decision with California providing an exception for “professional degree programs”.  Some state laws may allow educational institutions to request criminal history information before a student arrives on campus and/or enters university housing or other facilities. Currently, Virginia and Pennsylvania have bills on this topic moving through their state legislatures.

NursingCAS will remove four applicant background questions from the core application beginning with the 2021-22 NursingCAS cycle (set to launch in August 2021). Participating NursingCAS schools must work with their internal legal counsel annually to determine if or how they should collect this information in the Custom Questions section of the NursingCAS application or post-admissions per individual state laws. Liaison International and AACN will not be responsible for any questions or content added by NursingCAS participating programs. Content contained within the Custom Questions is the responsibility of each institution. More information is available on the NursingCAS website.

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