I work for a large nonprofit employer whose mission is to help inner-city children finish high school and go on to college. We do fundraising, provide tutors and coaches, work with teachers and parents, and help school districts come up with strategies and resources to reduce dropout rates, among many other things. Our employees do everything from sending out mailings and answering phones to lobbying Congress to helping kids with their math homework and college applications.
Recently, the Board decided to require all new employees to have a college degree. The Board feels that it would be great for the kids and their families we work with to see the benefits of staying in school; the Board has also said that having employees who never finished high school or college runs counter to the message we're trying to send about the importance of education. I can see their point, but I'm concerned that this requirement might screen out large numbers of applicants of color. Is it legal for us to adopt this hiring requirement?