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NOLS is committed to building a diverse community that is inclusive of people from all backgrounds regardless of race, ethnicity, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or veteran status.

In Vision 2020: NOLS Strategic Plan 2014–2020, we have committed to extending the reach of our mission to a broader audience, providing students with the best experiences possible, and better engaging our alumni. Achieving these three strategic goals demands we make diversity and inclusion (D&I) part of the fabric of our culture. The world is becoming less Europe- and North America-centric, more urbanized, and more connected. The United States will soon be a plurality nation, where within two decades no single ethnic group will be in the majority. At the same time, it is aging, with the population over 65 years old expected to double by 2060, representing one in five residents. These demographic changes present the opportunity to evolve with society by engaging with a broader range of people.

WHY WE CARE Demographics alone do not drive us. We care about diversity and inclusion for a myriad of reasons. »» Inclusive classrooms improve student outcomes and experiences. »» Research shows that diversity in teachers and role models (our instructors) will improve student experiences and outcomes. »» Diversity brings a broader range of perspectives, ideas, and ultimately better decisions. »» Inclusion and cultural competence are also important to our students in their lives after NOLS, where being a leader demands that they interact effectively with people very different from themselves. »» Cultural competence and inclusion are integral to leadership, which is a core of our mission. »» Inclusive workplaces improve staff satisfaction and retention. »» Diversity fosters healthy organizations just as it nurtures healthy, stable ecosystems. »» Research shows diversity increases market share and improves business performance. »» The future of our outdoor classrooms is tethered to connecting more and different people with nature. »» These same people will benefit from what we teach, which is relevant and useful to a broader range of people than we currently reach. »» Educational institutions should create inclusive environments in order to decrease the risks of bullying or discrimination claims.

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Profile for NOLS

Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2020  

In Vision 2020: NOLS Strategic Plan 2014–2020, we have committed to extending the reach of our mission to a broader audience, providing stud...

Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2020  

In Vision 2020: NOLS Strategic Plan 2014–2020, we have committed to extending the reach of our mission to a broader audience, providing stud...

Profile for nols.edu