ERIC Number: ED418750
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Creating a Campus Climate that Truly Values Diversity.
In 1987 Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts opened two new campuses: one in Lowell, serving primarily Asian and Hispanic students, and the other in Bedford, serving mostly Caucasian students having limited experience with other cultures. To ensure that both campuses were viewed equally and that a tone of racial harmony was established, the staff of the college's Student Development department implemented the following seven initiatives: (1) valuing diversity became the focus of the college orientation program; (2) free, six-week English as a Second Language programs were developed for all community members; (3) the student activities budget was revised to focus on programs that address diversity; (4) international student fellowships were created; (5) an international club was created on campus; (6) the Freshman Seminar curriculum was revised to integrate an appreciation of cultural differences; and (7) a student improvisational theater troupe was created to focus on student issues. The initiatives have had positive results. In exit surveys, graduates have cited improvements in becoming aware of other cultures and listening to what others have to say, while responses to student needs assessments suggest that the college's racial climate is accepting. Finally, minority student retention has also increased at the college, from 40% between 1988 and 1989 to 49% between 1993 and 1994, although it is still slightly below the college's overall retention rate. (BCY)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Community Colleges, Diversity (Institutional), Minority Groups, Multicampus Colleges, Organizational Climate, Outcomes of Education, Program Effectiveness, Racial Attitudes, School Holding Power, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Middlesex Community Coll., Bedford, MA.