Gaston Caperton, a former two-term governor of West Virginia, is the eighth president of the College Board, a not-for-profit membership association founded in 1900 that consists of 5,000 of the nation's leading schools, colleges, and universities. Among its best-known programs are the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) and the SAT®.
Since his appointment in 1999, Caperton has transformed the College Board into a resolutely mission-driven, values-oriented organization that takes bold steps to connect greater numbers of students to college success and opportunity while raising educational standards. In his successful effort to expand equity within programs that foster academic excellence, he has more than doubled the size of the College Board's staff, modernized its management structure, and established collegeboard.com, the nation's predominant comprehensive Web site serving nearly 4 million students a year as they plan their paths to college.
Question: What’s your advice for high school seniors considering higher education?
Caperton: Well, as you know, we provide the SAT, which is a part of the college admissions process, but the colleges today don’t just look at the SAT. We don't think they should just look at the SAT for admissions. We think they should look at the students’ grades and how they’ve done in school from a pretty early standpoint, and, also, what are their interests? What are their activities? What energy have they shown that they really want to accomplish, and they’re working hard. So, I think that, I say the students, you know, or parents say to me, I say, you know, don’t be worrying about what the SAT is. Worry everyday, are you learning as much as you possibly can? Are you taking the most challenging courses? And are you really putting the energy and commitment to your studies and in maximizing your own potential?