Diversifying Diversity: Meeting the Needs of a Multicultural Campus


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Diversifying Diversity: Meeting the Needs of a Multicultural Campus

  1. 1. Matthew P. Ciszek Penn State Shenango March 16, 2013
  2. 2.  Diversity and multiculturalism have become goals in higher education in past 40 years  Many reasons, including: ◦ Change in demographics ◦ Recognition that diverse points of view enrich the educational experience ◦ Using education to further social justice and socioeconomic equality  Central role in mission statements, strategic plans, and educational priorities
  3. 3.  Most IHEs support and represent “historically underrepresented” groups  These groups include: ◦ Racial minorities ◦ Ethnic minorities ◦ Women  Many IHEs are only beginning to consider the how to support and represent other underrepresented groups
  4. 4.  Diversity and multicultural climate is the responsibility of whole institution  “One’s cultural identity is more than ethnicity or race”  “Gender, age, religion, geographic identity, and sexual orientation are equally part of the makeup of a multicultural individual”
  5. 5.  Biracial and Multiracial Students  Lesbian, Gay, Bisex ual, and Transgender Students  International Students  Non-traditional Age Students  Students with Disabilities  Students with Diverse Religious Beliefs or Spirituality
  6. 6.  Typically 25 years or older  More than 70% of new students in recent years  Come to higher education with different expectations  Preparation for college level work is often less than traditional age students  Students juggling work, family, and other priorities
  7. 7.  Be available outside the classroom and during weekend/evening hours  Build additional help and assistance with technology and research into curriculum  Be flexible on attendance and other policies due to family commitments  Incorporate expertise of older students into examples and curriculum  Highlight areas of coursework that speak to work/family life, job seeking, and like topics
  8. 8.  Individuals with a sexual orientation or gender expression/identity different from the majority  Number of self-identified LGBT students has grown in last 20 years  Due to social stigmatization, many students struggle emotionally/academically in high school
  9. 9.  Creation of “safe spaces” in the classroom where LGBT students can have open discussion  Inclusion of LGBT themes in curriculum or classroom instruction  Training faculty on sensitivity and awareness of LGBT issues  Partnering with campus LGBT groups and resource centers  Developing a minor in LGBT/Queer Studies
  10. 10.  Due to the ADA (1990), increasing number of disabled students are enrolling at IHEs  More than 11% of all students report a disability  Students with learning disabilities are a growing segment of this group
  11. 11.  Accessible spaces in the classroom  Ensure that curricular materials are available for all students regardless of disability  Supplementing traditional materials with audiovisual and technology  Training for faculty on dealing with learning disabilities and physical disabilities  Working with disability offices on accommodation of student needs
  12. 12.  Ciszek, M. P. Diversifying Diversity. College & Research Libraries News, 73 (9), 547-549.  Cuyjet, M. J., Howard-Hamilton, M. F., and Cooper, D. L., editors. Multiculturalism on Campus: Theory, Models, and Practices for Understanding Diversity and Creating Inclusion. Stylus Publishing: Sterling, VA, 2011.
  13. 13. Matthew P. Ciszek Penn State Shenango mpc16@psu.edu