Inclusion on Campus: Reach Out to National Organizations to Learn More

Many organizations and federal agencies offer support to students from underrepresented backgrounds, their families, and institutions that want to serve them. The U.S. Department of Education lists such offices here.

Organizations like the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities offer useful programming and research for campuses, as does Excelencia in Education. Excelencia in Education is an organization dedicated to Latino student success in higher education by providing data-driven analysis of the educational status of Latinos. Excelencia in Education is a resource for influencing policy at the institutional, state, and national level and a network of educators and policymakers.

ACCU member Mexican American Catholic College also offers programming for other Catholic colleges that want to better serve the Hispanic population.

This post concludes our “Inclusion on Campus” series, short stories about how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur. To learn more, read the first blog post in the Inclusion on Campus series, or see the full list of tips on the ACCU website.  Want to share a promising practice from your campus?  We welcome you to leave a comment or email Lexie Bradley (abradley@accunet.org) to share your success story.

Inclusion on Campus: Connect with Efforts Addressing Diversity Beyond Campus

St. Thomas University (FL) partners with MCCJ, formerly the Miami Coalition for Christians and Jews, for the annual MetroTown diversity leadership camp on the university’s campus. The six-day camp brings together high school students from across the region to learn cross-cultural teamwork and conflict resolution by exploring race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and socio-economic issues. Thomas University’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) staff served alongside MCCJ staff as hosts and counselors of the camp, while introducing the students to the opportunities for community-engaged learning at the university.

Students from the University of St. Francis (IL) serve as fellows for the Multi-Cultural Education Recruitment in Teaching program, which seeks to increase diversity among PK-12 teachers. Participants explore issues related to the demographics of the teacher and student pipelines, as well as national efforts to diversify the teaching profession.

Over the next few weeks, we will release short examples of diversity at Catholic institutions of higher education as part of a series called “Inclusion on Campus”.  Stay tuned to hear how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur!

Inclusion on Campus: Involve Alumni to Support Diversity Initiatives

Many graduates who have achieved success are looking to give back. The University of Dayton’s Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) offers an Alumni Engagement Program that connects alumni with current students who are of diverse backgrounds, helping boost student retention and persistence. The program cultivates opportunities for graduates to provide mentorship and other forms of support, while identifying students who would benefit from alumni guidance. Alumni provide support for current undergraduate students in a variety of ways such as as a resource to empower students in their major or field of interest, participating in ongoing programming through OMA, writing a letter of encouragement, or sponsoring a student’s textbooks through the Diverse Students Population fund.

Over the next few weeks, we will release short examples of diversity at Catholic institutions of higher education as part of a series called “Inclusion on Campus”.  Stay tuned to hear how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur!

Inclusion on Campus: Celebrate Diverse Cultures on Campus

Student success is encouraged when students feel welcome and appreciated; simple efforts include offering Mass in Spanish. At Christian Brothers University, the student-led organization Hola CBU has grown from a club into a large organization with an infrastructure that partners with the community to bring Latin cultural events to campus, including Salsa and Bachata Nights. Hola CBU hosts events to expose the campus to Latino culture and create a welcoming Latino community.

Stonehill College’s annual DiverCity Festival is “part celebration, part education,” and features dance, song, fashion, art, and spoken word performances that explore diversity and social issues. Pulling from the talents of the campus community, the DiverCity Festival supports the many students who work to promote a more just and compassionate community.

Over the next few weeks, we will release short examples of  diversity at Catholic institutions of higher education as part of a series called “Inclusion on Campus”.  Stay tuned to hear how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur!

Inclusion on Campus: Help Bridge the Transition to College

For degree completion, some students – especially those who are first-generation college students – need encouragement and support in setting a path to higher education. Donnelly College’s Gateway to College program is designed for high school students who have fallen behind in their studies because of family issues, language challenges, or other reasons. The free program helps motivated students earn a high school diploma while amassing college credits.

Each summer, Duquesne University hosts its Project SEED program, which provides economically disadvantaged high school students an opportunity to define a STEM-related research project and work in a campus lab alongside a faculty supervisor and graduate student mentor. “Project SEED provides these students with the support, encouragement and mentoring that they need to pursue a career in the sciences,” said Dr. Jennifer Aitken, director of Project SEED and associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Duquesne.

The Center for Student Success at Saint Leo University assists targeted student populations and their families in transitioning to the university. The program encourages academic, professional, and personal development through a range of resources.

Over the next few weeks, we will release short examples of  diversity at Catholic institutions of higher education as part of a series called “Inclusion on Campus”.  Stay tuned to hear how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur!

Inclusion on Campus: Increase Affordability for Underserved Student Populations

Financial support can be critical to attendance decisions. Beginning in fall 2017, Immaculata University will offer a $10,000 inclusion grant to five full-time freshmen. The grants will support initiatives that strengthen and promote diversity on campus, focusing on student with diverse racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds.

A College of Saint Benedict alumna committed $1.5 million to create scholarships for students from under-represented communities and first-generation students, challenging participation from other alumni.

Each year at St. Edward’s University, 35 students from migrant worker families enter the College Assistance Migrant Program, which provides nearly full financial support, as well as a dedicated office that acts for many as a segunda casa.

Over the next few weeks, we will release short examples of  diversity at Catholic institutions of higher education as part of a series called “Inclusion on Campus”.  Stay tuned to hear how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur!

Inclusion on Campus: Make a Visible Commitment to Diversity

As the nation grapples with conflicting views and tense rhetoric, Catholic college leaders have the opportunity to raise high the value of diversity and inclusion. In a recent State of the University address, Madonna University President Michael Grandillo reminded his campus of the longstanding Franciscan commitment to diversity, embodied in the institution’s diversity committee, the appointment of a nationally known diversity expert to the board of directors, and other activities.

Ursuline College President Sr. Christine De Vinne is teaching a course this spring, “50 Years of Diversity at Ursuline, 1966-2016,” exploring changes in the local community since the 1966 desegregation riots.

Over the next few weeks, we will release short examples of  diversity at Catholic institutions of higher education as part of a series called “Inclusion on Campus”.  Stay tuned to hear how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur!

Inclusion on Campus: Make the Admissions Process Accessible for Underserved Communities

Recruitment material can make a clear and visible statement that your campus welcomes a diverse student body. The College of Saint Mary created a branding campaign with a Spanish-language component, adding a section for Spanish-speaking parents to its website. The Holy Names University website features a prominent link to Spanish translations of all admissions and financial aid information and forms. And the University of St. Thomas (Texas) offers detailed information about the university in Spanish and Vietnamese through its website. The site also links to Spanish-language videos that include a campus tour and a walk-through of the admissions process.

Over the next few weeks, we will release short examples of  diversity at Catholic institutions of higher education as part of a series called “Inclusion on Campus”.  Stay tuned to hear how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur!

Inclusion on Campus: Increase Faculty and Staff Diversity and Encourage their Commitment to Inclusion

Diversity among faculty and staff can create a more inclusive and robust learning environment for everyone. At the College of the Holy Cross, the Diversity Leadership Team is charged with developing a comprehensive approach to diverse hiring, including building networks to attract a diverse faculty. The team also works on developing faculty’s inclusion skills in teaching, scholarship, and community engagement. Reflecting on their Catholic identity, the team is focused on the relationship between diversity, education, religion, and social justice transformation. They do this in a variety of ways including: encouraging the practice of authentic, daily interaction between people of diverse backgrounds and acting as a leader and resource for the community in developing a Campus-wide diversity plan.

At Xavier University (Ohio), Mission Animators — a group of faculty and staff who work to integrate Jesuit identity into everyday campus life — is offering mini-grants this year to faculty and staff who create programming on the theme of immigration. Events funded by these Mission Animators include a film screening of Documented, a lecture series on “Serving the Mental Health Needs of a Refugee Population”, and a photo exhibition on the lives of immigrants in Cincinnati entitled, “Americans? Foreigners? Citizens!”

Over the next few weeks, we will release short examples of  diversity at Catholic institutions of Higher Education as part of a series called “Inclusion on Campus”.  Stay tuned to hear how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur!

Inclusion on Campus: Support Underrepresented Students who are Pursuing High-Need Careers

savethedate-bannerAs Catholic campuses, we strive to build a true sense of community and oneness based on our understanding that we are all children of God. ACCU member institutions have developed many successful initiatives to bring about greater diversity and a stronger sense of inclusion. Here, we share just a few of those practices that have helped forge vibrant, welcoming campus communities.

Underrepresented students may be the first in their families to pursue a career in fields such as science or technology. Offering them specialized resources can help them achieve their goal. St. Mary’s University (Texas) recently received a $5.3 million grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM program. The five-year grant will fund creation of new STEM programs and include coaching services for Hispanic students. St. Mary’s has seen significant enrollment gains in undergraduate STEM programs since 2010, especially among Hispanic students.

Villanova University hosts a number of efforts, such as a weeklong Diversity in Engineering camp, designed to introduce STEM topics to students in low-income communities and inspire their interest in related careers. Students are introduced to Villanova’s College of Engineering’s programs like international service learning, Sustainable Engineering and Engineering Entrepreneurship to inspire a diverse population of students form different ethnic and social backgrounds to the traditional fields of engineering.

Over the next few weeks, we will release short examples of  diversity at Catholic institutions of Higher Education as part of a series called “Inclusion on Campus”.  Stay tuned to hear how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur!