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Summer 2007

EP College of Human Sciences

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Education Policy and Practice Perspectives

Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

No. 3 Summer 2007


Affirming Diversity in Higher Education On April 20, 2006, the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina aired a national teleconference, Shattering Barriers: Transforming the College Experience for Students of Color. The authors of this policy brief were panelists and planners who helped create the teleconference.

As a result of this teleconference, which reached thousands of educators across the nation, we learned that college and university faculty and administrators were interested in getting more information about what they could do to create a campus that affirms diversity. Affirming diversity is about: • Creating a fully inclusive campus community that embraces faculty, staff and students who are diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, nationality, socio-economic background, gender, age, ability, immigrant status, world view, sexual orientation, religion and spirituality. • Providing a high-quality education for students in a diverse, inclusive and welcoming context. • Transforming institutional structures

Student Editorial Board Vijay Kanagala, Editor-in-Chief Penny J. Rice, Managing Editor José A. Cabrales Jr., Associate Editor Jessica J. Ranero, Associate Editor Philip L. Vasquez, Associate Editor

(e.g., student and faculty composition, curriculum, assessment) to promote equality and social justice for all. In this brief, we address the following questions: 1. Why is the issue of affirming diversity important now? 2. What are the key issues educators need to know about when working with culturally diverse students? 3. What are examples of the prevailing belief system, which work against diversity, and what are examples of new beliefs and core agreements that can serve as the foundation for affirming diversity? 4. What is the role of assessment in developing and instituting initiatives and programs that affirm diversity? 5. What are examples of best practices that can be employed to affirm diversity? Importance of Affirming Diversity

Affirming diversity on college and university campuses is critical now

Laura I. Rendón Iowa State University Wynetta Y. Lee Jackson State University Evette Castillo Clark Tulane University Barbara F. Tobolowsky University of South Carolina

as we learn more about the nation’s demographic trends and the research that notes the benefits of diversity for both White and students of color. Below are key issues underlying the importance of affirming diversity. Dramatic Growth of Racial/Ethnic Population in the United States.

At just over 300 million people, the United States is growing ever more diverse. The White population has been declining, while the non-White population has been steadily increasing. As of 2005, Whites constituted 67.4 percent (excluding White-Hispanics) of the population in America. Latinos are now the largest minority group in the nation at 14.1 percent, and African Americans follow at 12.8 percent. Asian Americans constitute roughly 4.2 percent of the U.S. population, while American Indians are 1 percent, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders represent 0.2 percent.

EP3Education Policy and Practice Perspectives No.3 Increased Diversity in College and

Understanding Underserved

University Campuses. Just as the

Students: Key Issues

nation is characterized by increased diversity, so is higher education. In terms of racial and ethnic diversity, American Council on Education (2006) reports that from 1993 to 2003, college enrollment of minorities rose by 50.7 percent to 4.7 million students. Even with this progress, African American and Hispanic students lagged behind Whites in terms of enrollment rates. Between 2002-2004, 47.3 percent of White high school graduates age 18-24 attended college. Conversely, only 41.1 percent of African Americans and 35.2 percent of Hispanics in the same age group enrolled in college.

Diverse students bring both strengths and challenges to the college and university learning environment. For example, prior life experiences such as quality of schooling, validating and invalidating experiences, language development, and support and encouragement from significant others such as peers, family members, educators, and mentors can ultimately shape access and success (Rendón, 2006). Below are key issues that educators should know about when addressing the needs of underserved students (e.g., low-income, firstgeneration, immigrants) in higher education.

Benefits of Diversity. A number of research reports now confirm that diversity matters in very significant ways. Students exposed to diverse experiences are more likely to be engaged in college (Kuh, 2003). Further, students who attend a diverse institution are likely to have more interactions with students from different backgrounds as they learn from and stimulate each other’s world views and assumptions (Gurin, Nagada, & Lopez, 2003). Having social and academic interactions with someone from a different racial group or discussing racial issues has been found to contribute to student academic development, satisfaction with college, level of cultural awareness, and commitment to promoting racial understanding (Astin, 1993; Chang, 1996; Villalpando, 1994). Interestingly, these same characteristics have been associated with student success factors such as higher rates of retention, overall college satisfaction, GPA, intellectual development, and self-confidence (Astin, 1993).

Academic Preparation. Academic

preparation affects students of color at both ends of the college pipeline, from admission to degree attainment (Horn, 1997). Smith (2001) found that students of color were more likely to come from the most under-resourced (e.g., per pupil funding, course offerings in languages and sciences, technology, and teachers that teach outside of their credential areas) high schools in a district. National data on student performance reveals a longstanding trend of an academic performance gap between students of color and their White counterparts that starts around age 9 or fourth grade and continues at all points along the education pipeline (Perie, Moran, & Lutkus, 2005). Financial Preparation. Each year,

college tuition tends to increase, while the availability of scholarships and grants continues to decline, which creates a major hurdle for many students’ college access. This is particularly true for students of color, who, as a group, tend to come from

2 Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Iowa State University

families that are not able to finance a college education (Nora, 2001). Financial need makes it necessary for these students to work. The responsibility for students to contribute to the family’s household income fuels this need to work. Students tend to hold jobs with wages that require long hours to earn enough to cover the financial gap and family responsibilities, further challenging the students’ abilities to focus on and engage in learning. Social and Cultural Preparation.

Students of color are often socially and culturally unprepared for college (Carter, 2004; Ogbu & Simons, 1998; Fordham & Ogbu, 1986). Many of them are the first to go to college in the family. This accomplishment is clearly a cause for celebration, but it comes with the price. First-generation students do not have the benefit of experience to draw upon for navigating college environments. These students do not know what they need to know and are ill equipped to seek essential information. In addition, since their families are unfamiliar with the college experience, the students are unable to get practical help from them about college (Jalomo & Rendón, 2004). Compounding the situation, students who are proactive and assertive in attaining information are best equipped for success, but proactively seeking information is in direct conflict to the cultural perspectives that students of color bring to college. Students tend to perceive asking questions as a deficit, which is a deterrent to their willingness to seek help in class or through academic support structures, e.g., tutors, writing labs, advisors (Lee, 2004). Stereotyping and Mega Grouping.

Many institutions are well aware of the extensive literature on students of

Summer 2007

color that focuses on their academic preparation deficits, poor academic performance in college, and low-degree completion rates, which perpetuates the view that these students are a large, homogenous group—a mega group (Anderson, 1995). Students of color do share some cultural norms and racial experiences, but there are intercultural differences that collectively result in diversity. Even those faculty and staff who are aware of micropopulations (e.g., African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans) within the mega group (e.g., students of color) tend to treat each micro population as if their members are all the same. Students face the challenge of coping in environments that devalue or ignore the effect of intracultural differences and the impact of these differences on students’ adjustment to college. If left unaddressed, emotional challenges can become a deterrent to long-term academic success. Shattering the Prevailing Belief System: New Core Agreements to Affirm Diversity

At its core, affirming diversity is about transforming the entire institution. Transformation requires breaking free from the stifling, dominant belief system that is present on campus. Every institution has an overt and covert shared belief system. This belief system is very powerful, especially when most everyone agrees to follow it and when rewards and punishments are based on this belief system. Consciously or not, most, if not all, institutional actors adhere to this belief system and agree to its unspoken rules. Many fear punishment if they act against the status quo. “Don’t rock the boat,” “Don’t challenge the administration,” “We’ve always done it this way,” “Women and

people of color aren’t good in math and science,” “Don’t disagree with senior faculty and staff,” “We operate as a color-blind institution”—all of these are examples of largely unspoken agreements that most of us follow almost blindly. These beliefs (agreements) are part of the hegemonic structures that help perpetuate the institution’s status quo and constitute the consciousness with which institutions operate (Rendon, 2005). To transform the institution requires exposing the hegemonic beliefs and practices that work against affirming diversity. McLaren (1989) defines hegemony as “the maintenance of domination not by the sheer exercise of force but primarily through consensual social practices, social forms, and social structures produced in specific sites such as the church, the state, the school, the mass media, the political system, and the family” (McLaren’s emphasis, p. 173). What people say and do, as well as policies that legitimize social practices, constitute the existing hegemony. Transformation also necessitates instituting, validating, and internalizing a new institutional consciousness that embraces inclusivity and respects difference. While some practices, policies, and belief systems are beneficial, others have created injustices and inequalities. Creating a new belief system to eradicate harm and to disrupt status quo thinking and social practice is key to campus transformation. An important beginning step to affirm diversity is to examine the existing hegemony at a particular institution. What are people saying and doing that most everyone is following? Who is benefiting and who is losing from entrenched beliefs and practices? Addressing these questions can help both to illuminate where inequities occur and to create a new belief system based on social

justice and democratic values that both academic and student affairs staff can agree to and follow. Examples of what could be newly constructed agreements that affirm diversity follow. 1. Old Belief: The Agreement to Resist Engaging the Topic of Diversity. So often faculty and staff

express that diversity cannot be discussed openly because the topic creates tensions and makes people feel uncomfortable. When most institutional actors agree to follow this belief, resistance to diversity can ensue. As soon as the term diversity comes up the conversation will shut down. However, this does not need to be the case if the institution is guided by a new belief system where diversity is viewed not as a problem, but as a value. New Agreement: Diversity is an Institutional Value. While it is true

that bringing up diversity may create discomfort for some, working through and resolving difficult issues can be liberating and rewarding. Diversity creates tensions because it is a concept that disrupts complacent and unexamined attitudes to move forward with institutional transformation to affirm all people. When diversity becomes an entrenched value, the campus community is enriched through the exchange of diverse viewpoints. When there is an atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance, open discussion of ideas with honesty and mutual respect can be fostered. These values may be facilitated by including diversity in the institution’s mission statement, by developing principles of community to provide a framework for diversity, and by making structural changes to transform the institution, a topic addressed on the following page.

Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Iowa State University 3

EP3Education Policy and Practice Perspectives No.3 2. Old Belief: The Agreement that Diversity Can Be Affirmed Simply by Making Small, Marginal Changes.

In this belief system, faculty and staff operate with the assumption that affirming diversity requires making only minor changes to the institution. Special programs are set up and new people may be hired; yet none of what these programs and individuals do impact the mainstream academic structures. The result is minimal change, if any, along with reinforcement of the status quo. However, if faculty and staff were to view diversity as a key element that holds the institution together, then affirming diversity becomes a larger, deeper issue that involves making structural changes throughout the institution. New Agreement: Diversity Involves Making Structural Changes Throughout the Entire Institution.

When building a house, contractors must consider structural issues such as the home’s foundation, plumbing, electrical and ventilation systems. When one of these fails, a structural

problem is cited. Similarly, the structures of higher education are the elements that hold it together. Figure 1 displays the key structures of an institution that affirms diversity. The mission and core values provide an important philosophical framework to guide the institution. Both academic and student affairs play central roles in affirming diversity. Additional structures include a diverse faculty and student body, an inclusive curriculum and a pedagogy that embraces diverse ways of knowing, and a validating and respectful campus climate. Additionally, there is planning and accountability as well as attention to the scholarship of diversity (e.g., collecting quantitative and qualitative data and information to assess institutional success along different indicators that are disaggregated by race and ethnicity, such as: student enrollments, faculty and staff hires, student retention data, graduation rates, as well as assessing campus climate, student and faculty experiences). It must be kept in mind that numbers by themselves will not yield diversity. Diversity can be about numerical equity, but it also involves

Figure 1: Structural Elements of Institutions That Affirm Diversity

Diverse Faculty and Staff

Diverse Student Body

Academic/ Student Affairs

Planning and Accountability


Affirming Diversity Institutional Structures

Core Values

Conceptualized by Rendón, L.I. (2007). 4 Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Iowa State University

Inclusive Curriculum and Pedagogy

Academic/ Student Affairs

Scholarship of Diversity

Validating and Respectful Campus Climate

making structural changes throughout the institution. 3. Old Belief: The Agreement to Disconnect Excellence from Diversity. Some believe that

excellence is impaired if the institution strives to have a diverse student body, faculty, and staff. Perpetuating this belief is harmful because it associates diversity with mediocrity, and all students, faculty, and staff of color are then generally viewed as less qualified and unable to add to the excellence of the institution. However, an institution can operate with a different mindset that connects diversity with excellence. New Agreement: Diversity and Excellence Can and Do Co-exist on College Campuses. An institution

that links diversity with excellence understands that students learn best in a campus context rich with differing perspectives and world views. Excellence is not based on sameness or on one-sided views of the world. Rather, it is diversity of perspectives that enriches academic excellence, while monocultural frames of thought impoverish excellence (Shiva, 1993). As such, it is important to have a diverse student body and faculty and a multicultural curriculum that embraces diverse perspectives and ways of knowing. A multicultural curriculum affirms the dignity and worth of all people, respects and honors diverse ways of accessing knowledge and rejects one-sided perspectives. Content is carefully selected to weave in the contributions and perspectives of diverse groups.

Summer 2007 Role of Assessment and Accountability

An effective assessment and accountability system not only points to breakdowns in planned efforts for students of color to succeed, it also points to areas of success and efforts that merit additional institutional resources in terms of human and fiscal capital. Assessment and accountability should be a continuous cycle of work that has three major vectors of work: planning, implementation and reflection—see Figure 2. The core element underlying each vector of work is assessment, the measurement of essential indicators of success. In the planning vector, it is crucial that indicators of success be established and operational means of measurement developed. Using key indicators of success during the planning stage minimizes the chances of lost data collection opportunities. The assessment plan should inform stakeholders about the breadth and depth of success and to understand why or why not expected success is attained. Quantitative assessment can provide insight to the breadth and depth of success, but qualitative assessment is essential to help understand findings so that they can be put in proper context. Thus, a mixed-methods design is preferred. The importance of establishing assessment strategies during the planning stage cannot be over emphasized. As a tool in the planning stage, assessment can indicate gaps in the plan prior to implementation, and it can outline future data collection strategies. However, it is important to note that assessment plans should be created and implemented with care keeping the following points in mind. First, if the assessment plan is too complex then there is a strong possibility that it will not be effective, and implications of success,

if any, will be suspect for credibility. Second, assessment is exciting and can become the priority for institutional efforts. The focus of institutional effort should be planned strategies for success, and assessment should be viewed as an essential tool to attain success for students of color. The second vector is implementation of the planned strategies. Here, assessment is essential to monitor the extent to which planned strategies are implemented. This information is very important to placing indicators of success in the proper context when reporting to stakeholders. Should implementation failure occur, planners and stakeholders would know how to correct problems so that success might still be attained. Assessment in the implementation vector of work could point to unexpected outcomes (whether they are positive or negative) as well as deficits in planning strategies. The third vector is reflection, which is when the assessment plan (developed during the planning vector) completes one iteration of the cycle. When educators make time for critical reflection about assessment findings,

this thoughtful process can identify priorities for future planning and address newly discovered needs. In this reflection stage, savvy practitioners include the target population in the process so that the lessons learned are confirmed with the most important stakeholder—students of color. Note that reflection alone is not enough to perpetuate or strengthen institutional success for students of color. Effective practitioners not only are reflective in their work and assessment of lessons learned, they also use this knowledge for future iterations of effort that are both effective and efficient. In each vector, assessment is essential to the process, but accountability is equally important. Accountability involves both responsibility and authority. In each phase of the assessment and accountability system, specific personnel should be identified with the responsibility and authority to act. Accountability also includes the notion of reporting to stakeholders. Stakeholders are generally identified as decision makers, which for colleges and universities could include legislators,

Figure 2: Institutional Assessment Strategy to Affirm Diversity





Adapted from Nakamara & Smallwood (1980). Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Iowa State University 5

EP3Education Policy and Practice Perspectives No.3 trustees, and senior administrators (i.e., presidents, provosts, senior cabinet leaders, etc.). Recommendations should be presented in a way that stakeholders can see a rational reason for continuous allocation of resources. It is vitally important that students of color are involved in assessment, and it is equally important that institutions hold themselves accountable to this population via the reporting process. Reporting to the target population lends a sense of empowerment that gives students of color validation that they are indeed valued members of the campus community. Summary of Strategies and Best Practices to Affirm Diversity

The strategies and best practices below provide examples of what two- and fouryear colleges and universities can do to affirm diversity. Best Practices in Planning for Diversity

• Develop an institutional strategic plan and framework for diversity along with a vision, goals, and strategies which focus on long-term, sustainable change. The plan should have measurable goals, a system of accountability, and connect diversity to mission and values. • Ensure that cross-cultural centers are included in discussions of campus master planning and strategic planning. Understand the role centers play in recruitment and retention not just for students of color, but also for all students. • Work collaboratively and create purposeful partnerships with middle schools and high schools, community agencies, and other institutions of higher education to create a seamless pathway to college. • Enhance recruitment and retention of a widely diverse faculty through funding, mentoring, and retention programs. Innovative recruitment

efforts should be practiced (e.g., nominations, advertisements in ethnic-based journals and magazines, interviewing at various conferences, providing adequate community resources for people of color in predominantly White communities, and providing involvement/mentoring opportunities for students of color). • Provide diversity training for faculty, staff, and students. It is important to first teach students, staff, and faculty the value of diversity and its benefit for the campus community. • Provide seed funding to support research as well as academic and student initiatives related to diversity and social justice (e.g., social justice minor/certificate programs, field experience). Best Practices for Assessment and Accountability

• Develop an institutional assessment and accountability plan to affirm diversity that includes attention to planning, implementation, and reflection phases. A senior-level administrator should be appointed and provide seniorlevel leadership and accountability. • Create a university-wide, representative Diversity Council that is responsible for diversity planning and assessment of diversity. • Involve underserved students in the assessment process, especially with regard to determining lessons learned and areas which need further development. • Institute policies and practices that ensure the institution recruits and enrolls a diverse student body, including attention to providing financial aid opportunities. It is also important to support home recruitment programs where continuing students serve as ambassadors to prospective students. Outreach programs to local high schools where high-achieving

6 Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Iowa State University

students of color are enrolled should also be supported. Be vigilant in providing opportunities for students of color to lend their voice in all recruitment and retention efforts. Best Practices for Engaging in the Scholarship of Diversity

• Institute a plan to assess diversity along with an accountability system. • Conduct climate studies to identify structural issues and the prevailing belief systems that work against fostering diversity. • Collect and analyze quantitative data to assess how well the institution is doing in moving forward to attend to diversity. Data, disaggregated by race/ ethnicity and gender, should be collected on key indicators such as: student enrollment, retention rates, grades, graduation, transfer rates, faculty and staff hires, and financial aid recipients, among others. Best Practices for Creating Inclusive Classrooms and Campus Climate

• Employ an inclusive curriculum that welcomes and embraces diversity of voices and perspectives. • Shift faculty positionality from allknowing expert to learning partner and allow students to hold a central place in all that takes place in the teaching and learning experience. This includes welcoming student voices and lived experiences and allowing students to play a part in shaping their own learning experiences. • Include diverse, engaging instructional styles to reflect different ways of knowing. These may include courses with reflective components, such as contemplative practice, community service, and collaborative learning. • Involve students in service learning projects where social justice themes are highlighted, such as working with victims of natural disasters and people

Summer 2007

who live in poverty, among others. • Develop guiding principles to promote respect, tolerance, community, and open expression of ideas. • Plan and implement programs and initiatives such as: Multicultural Centers, Intergroup Relations Centers, Diversity Lecture Series, Intergroup Dialogues, mentoring programs, and Safe Zone Training. Best Practices to Affirm Diversity in Student Services

• Involve both academic and student affairs faculty and staff as participants in diversity work. All campus departments, staff, and faculty should have a responsibility to embrace, promote, and teach diversity. Academic and student affairs programs (e.g., task forces, committees, offices, events, courses, recruitment practices, training) should all have a responsibility for diversity. • Increase the recruitment and involvement of diverse students in leadership opportunities, campuswide awards, and student organizations. It is equally important for practitioners and academicians to understand cultural backgrounds, stages of identity, and what activities might be most important for students of color to get engaged in. • Shift from instituting cultural centers that coordinate cultural celebrations to cultural centers that focus on educating the campus community through co-curricular programs. • Design or enhance orientation programs that address issues for students of color and their families. Conclusion

Affirming diversity is perhaps the most significant challenge facing institutions of higher education today. Creating a fully inclusive campus community, providing a high-quality education for

all students in a diverse and welcoming context and transforming institutional structures require commitment from top to bottom, assessment and accountability, perseverance and risk-taking. It is commendable that many two- and four-year colleges have moved forward to affirm diversity and want to do even more. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the complexity of the task, but the work of affirming diversity can be done step-by-step, person-by-person. The idea is to realize that perhaps not everything can be accomplished in our lifetimes, but to know that actively engaging in the work now is as important as realizing the full vision of diversity in the future. References American Council on Education. (2006). Minorities in higher education: Twenty-second annual status report. Washington, DC: ACE. Anderson, J. A. (1995). Towards a framework for matching teaching and learning styles for diverse populations. In R. R. Sims, & S.J. Sims (Eds.), The importance of learning styles: Understanding the implications for learning, course design, and education (pp. 69-78). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Astin, A. (1993). Diversity and multiculturalism on the campus: How are students affected? Change, 25 (2), 44-49. Carter, D. J. (2004, Winter). Editor’s review of John U. Ogbu’s Black American students in an affluent suburb: A study of academic disengagement. [Review of the book Black American students in an affluent suburb: A study of academic disengagement]. Harvard Educational Review, 74(4), retrieved March 7, 2007, from: Chang, M. (1996). Racial diversity in higher education: Does a racially mixed student population affect educational outcomes. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles. Fordham, S., & Ogbu, J.U. (1986). Black students’ school success: Coping with the burden of acting white. Urban Review. 18(3), 176-206. Gurin, P., Nagda, B.A., & Lopez, G. (2003). The benefits of diversity in education for democratic citizenship. Journal of Social Issues, 60(1), 17-34.

Jalomo, R. E., & Rendón, L. (2004). Moving to a new culture: The upside and downside of the transition to college. In L. I. Rendón, M. Garcia, & D. Person. Transforming the first year of college for students of color (pp. 3752). Columbia, SC: Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Kuh, G. D. (2003). What we’re learning about student engagement from NSSE: Benchmarks for effective educational practices. Change, 35(2), 24-32. Lee, W. Y. (2004). Enhancing the first-year experience of African-Americans. In L.I. Rendón, M. Garcia, & D. Person. Transforming the first year of college for students of color (pp. 93-107). Columbia, SC: Center for the FirstYear Experience and Students in Transition. McLaren, P. (1989). Critical pedagogy: A look at the major concepts. In Life in schools: An introduction to critical pedagogy in the foundations of education (pp. 166-191). New York: Longman. Nakamara, R., & Smallwood, F. (1980). Politics of policy implementation. Gordonsville, VA: Palgrave MacMillan. Nora, A. (2001). How minority students finance their higher education. (Report No. EDOUD-01-0/ No-171). New York, NY: Institute for Urban and Minority Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 460243). Ogbu, J. U. (1995). Understanding cultural diversity and learning. (Report No. UD 030 379). Chapter 32 in the Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, (pp. 582-583). (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED382727). Ogbu, J. U., & Simons, H.D. (1998). Voluntary and involuntary minorities: A culturalecological theory of school performance with some implications for education. Anthropology and Education Quarterly. 29(2) 155-188. Perie, M., Moran, R., & Lutkus, A.D. (2005). NAEP 2004 Trends in Academic Progress: Three Decades of Student Performance in Reading and Mathematics. (NCES Publication No. 2005463). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Rendón, L.I. (2005). Recasting agreements that govern teaching and learning: An intellectual and spiritual framework for transformation. Religion & Education, 32(1), 79-108. Rendón, L.I. (2006). Reconceptualizing success for underserved students in higher education. Commissioned paper for the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative. Washington, DC: NPEC. Shiva, V. (1993). Monocultures of the mind. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Horn, L. (1997). Confronting the odds: Students at risk and the pipeline to higher education. NCES Statistical Analysis Report. October 1997. Washington, DC. Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Iowa State University 7

EP3Education Policy and Practice Perspectives No.3 Smith, A.P. (2001). Differences in performance in African American and White students at a large predominately White university as a function of progress towards degree completion. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Villalpando, O. (1994). Comparing the effects of multiculturalism and diversity on minority and White students’ satisfaction with college. Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education annual conference, Tucson, AZ.

About the Authors Laura I. Rendón is professor and chair of the

Wynetta Y. Lee serves as executive in residence at the Jake Ayers Institute for Research at Jackson

Department of Educational Leadership and

State University. Her research interests include

Policy Studies, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University. Her current research

culturally competent pedagogy and assessment,

focuses on access, retention, and graduation

students, M-generation students and assessment/

of low-income, first-generation students and

evaluation of educational and social programs.

educational parity for micropopulations, transfer

the transformation of teaching and learning addressing intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual student development.

Evette Castillo Clark is executive administrator for Initiatives and Divisional Planning at Tulane University. She is a past board member of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and served as the National Asian


DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND POLICY STUDIES IS PROUD TO present Shattering Barriers: Affirming Diversity in Higher Education as guide to address issues of diversity in institutions of higher education. While this is the third issue of EP3, it is also the first issue under a student editorial board. This issue of EP3 provides frameworks for achieving campus environments that value diversity, and inclusiveness, and for ensuring social justice and equality in day to-day decision making and program development. This brief provides an overview of the issues and needs of our diverse students, the existing attitudes and beliefs that must be addressed and adjusted to best meet these needs, and the structural dimensions that affirm diversity and social justice. Although the authors focus on affirming students of color, the EP3 student editorial board would like to note that diversity should include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, class, disability, socio-economic status, and religious beliefs to name a few. It is our hope that the information included in this issue simulates understanding, heightens awareness, and serves as a catalyst for transformation on campuses across the nation. We continue to welcome inquiry and dialogue as we collectively educate ourselves to affirm the needs of students. HE

EP3 Student Editorial Board

Advisory Board Cheryl Achterberg, Dean, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University Cheryl Blanco, Vice President for Lifelong Learning Policy and Research, Council for Adult and Experimental Learning Hector Garza, President, National Council for Community and Education Partnerships

Diana Gonzalez, Policy and Operations Officer, Board of Regents, State of Iowa Patricia Keir, Chancellor, Eastern Iowa Community College District Tom Mortenson, Senior Scholar, The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education Tom Narak, Superintendent, West Des Moines Community Schools

and Pacific Islander Knowledge Community co-chair for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Her areas of research concern college students of color and leadership in higher education. Barbara F. Tobolowsky is associate director of the National Resource Center for The FirstYear Experience and Students in Transition at University of South Carolina. In this position, she has overall responsibility for the center’s research and publication efforts. Her research interests include the effects of media on students’ college aspirations and expectations and the college transition experience for underrepresented students.

All questions regarding this Policy Brief may be directed to: Editor-in-Chief Education Policy and Practice Perspectives Iowa State University N243 Lagomarcino Hall Ames, IA 50011-3195 Phone: 515 294-4143 Fax: 515 294-4942 Email: Home page: /EP3/EP3.php (ISSN: 1933-5245, e-ISSN: 1933-5237)

Michael Nettles, Senior Vice President and Edmund W. Gordon Chair, Policy Evaluation and Research Center, Educational Testing Service Amaury Nora, Professor and Editor of the Review of Higher Education, University of Houston Christopher Rasmussen, Director of Policy Research, Midwestern Higher Education Compact

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries can be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 3210 Beardshear Hall, 515 294-7612.

8 Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Iowa State University


On April 20, 2006, the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina...

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