Many learners experience different cultures, religions, and philosophies for the first time in college. This blend defines multiculturalism. A multicultural college presents many opportunities for degree-seekers. For example, students can consider different viewpoints and reevaluate long-held beliefs. These processes help them grow emotionally and prepare for a multicultural workplace.
The following article discusses multiculturalism in college. Read on to learn how to become involved in student groups and how professors encourage college campus diversity. The embedded links provide information about diversity in college and how it promotes a well-rounded educational experience.
Finding an Inclusive and Diverse College
- Check Out Student Groups
- Prospective students interested in multiculturalism in college should explore student organizations and groups. The presence of several groups promoting college campus diversity indicates an inclusive and supporting environment. Prospective enrollees can contact a group to learn what members think of their school.
- Do Your Research
- Researching a school’s history, policies, and culture may reveal much about its college campus diversity. Some Christian schools do not appeal to learners from a different religious background. Other institutions may attract students with liberal or conservative views. Applicants passionate about multiculturalism in college should focus on schools that welcome all learners.
- Speak to Students and Professors
- Speaking to students and professors reveals much about multiculturalism in college. This behind-the-scenes look allows prospective degree-seekers to judge whether a school lives up to its commitment to diversity and acceptance. However, one person’s opinion may not reflect the school as a whole.
- Sift Through Scholarships
- Nearly all colleges and universities award institutional scholarships. Schools committed to college campus diversity sponsor awards for members of various minority groups. These scholarships attract learners from different backgrounds and promote an inclusive campus environment. Similar initiatives include college recruitment efforts in minority communities and new student orientation programs aimed at increasing retention.
- Look For Innovation
- College campus diversity encompasses more than the student body’s composition. Multiculturalism in college also involves innovation grants. Schools award these grants to degree-seekers developing unique initiatives, such as a new student organization or club. Professors use these grants to create engaging curricula and academic majors.
- Research Engagement Levels
- How a school engages with the local community reflects its dedication to college campus diversity. Colleges and universities promote engagement by hosting events open to community members. These efforts invite different ideas onto the college campus and promote higher education’s value.
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Getting Involved on Campus
International Student Associations
These associations appeal to learners studying abroad in the United States — as well as their U.S. peers interested in a different culture. These groups hold seminars, food fairs, and other events to increase awareness and acceptance. Schools focused on multiculturalism in college may feature dorms where international student association members live together.
These organizations promote gay, lesbian, and transgender people’s rights. They do so by inviting speakers, holding events, and organizing protests. A school may feature multiple organizations, such as one for medical students and another focusing on gay-straight relations. These groups may exist under an umbrella organization open to all degree-seekers.
Socioeconomic Diversity Organizations
Students who earned a scholarship may experience difficulty making friends with peers whose parents paid for their education. Socioeconomic diversity organizations help these learners find a community. These groups strive to bridge the socioeconomic divide through lectures and social events.
Female-Oriented Interest Groups
These groups unite women from different backgrounds to increase retention and provide resources for academic and professional success. Organizations such as the American Association of University Women provide members with training. They focus on earning a raise, reducing gender bias in the workplace, and improving mental health.
Students part of a minority group may feel isolated on campus. Organizations for these degree-seekers offer community, connecting people with similar life experiences. They promote multiculturalism in college by hosting events open to the campus and local communities. Doing so raises awareness and creates a better learning environment for all students.
Getting Involved in Your College Town
Learners passionate about multiculturalism in college should look beyond their school’s physical boundary for inspiration. The local community provides numerous opportunities for student groups to demonstrate the value of college campus diversity. Benefits include making the surrounding area more accepting and helping students feel safe off campus.
Becoming involved in a college town starts with determining residents’ most pressing needs. Student groups speak with local leaders and other stakeholders to assess important issues. These may include housing or food insecurity, pollution, and crime. Degree-seekers work with the community to develop and implement potential solutions.
On-campus groups can get involved in their community through outreach programs such as food and blood drives. Volunteering leaves a positive impression on community members and raises goodwill on both sides. Students also gain hands-on experience and transferable skills. Employers expect college graduates to possess these two traits.
Diversity Resources for College Faculty
Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan
Brown University created DIAP to increase on-campus multiculturalism. The university provides free guides to visitors wanting to use DIAP at other colleges. Downloadables include action plans and statistical data.
Building Inclusive Classrooms
BIC helps college professors develop a positive classroom environment appealing to all learners. Resources include documents on fostering relationships, teaching with inclusion in mind, and using universal design for learning.
Diversity Awareness Training
Educators take this training to understand unconscious bias, microaggressions, and white privilege. They use this information to connect with their students and build bridges between historically divided groups. Case Western Reserve University offers the training entirely online.
National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity
NCFDD strives to help new college faculty thrive in their career. Resources include diversity training on healthy relationships between students and professors. NCFDD members access professional development courses and register for faculty bootcamps.
Writing an Inclusive Syllabus
California State University, Chico offers this free extensive guide featuring different inclusive syllabi. Professors download or copy templates aligned with business, communication, mathematics, and philosophy courses. Embedded links lead to top diversity and social justice resources.
Multicultural Guides and Resources
Thomas Broderick is a freelance writer and the owner of Broderick Writer LLC. He creates study guides, informational websites, and blog posts for clients in the education field. Thomas is also a published author of over 20 short stories and a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.
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