ERIC Number: ED298991
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Mar-8
Reference Count: N/A
Institutional Commitment to Cultural Diversity.
In 1987, one-third of the kindergarten students in the United States were minority. These students will be the pool from which institutions of higher education will draw their college freshmen in the year 2000. The impact of this increase in cultural and ethnic diversity will be pervasive, especially with respect to broadening European-oriented curricula to make them more inclusive of other cultures. The changes that the colleges will face must be approached systematically. Institutional commitment to ethnic and cultural diversity from the executive level must be in place before progress can be achieved. This commitment must be reflected in recruitment and retention efforts to increase the number of minority and female faculty members, in activities to educate faculty members who are insensitive to minorities and non-traditional students, and in efforts to involve minority faculty members in guiding institutional responses to diversity. Student recruitment and retention efforts must focus on reversing the trend toward declining rates of participation of minority students in higher education; identifying barriers to transfer and academic success; and developing academic and personal support systems to ensure achievement. Black colleges, which provide many role models for students, promote high expectations, and foster student/teacher interaction, have played an important role in educating black youth, awarding an estimated 40% of all of the degrees earned by black students. The predominantly white colleges that have been successful in graduating minority students share the views that minority achievement is a preparation issue rather than a racial issue, that the campus environment is critical, and that the underrepresentation of minorities within the faculty needs attention. All colleges prepare themselves for the future if they begin to embrace the changing student population now. (AJL)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Affirmative Action, Black Colleges, Black Students, Change Strategies, College Students, Cultural Pluralism, Curriculum Development, Educational Change, Educational Responsibility, Enrollment Projections, Futures (of Society), Higher Education, Minority Groups, Population Trends, School Demography, Student Needs, Student Recruitment
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (Chicago, IL, March 8, 1988).