Saturday, December 17, 2016

 A Need for Improved Diversity in Higher Education

In today’s society, we are a huge melting pot of various ethnicities and multi-cultural individuals.  Every one is unique, and deserves a chance to integrate, and have a chance at academic opportunities, such as attending college.  On the other hand, we know that our society is diverse and heavily populated in the United States, but what about our academic society?  Is there a huge concern about the current diversity in higher education?  Some often ask: how does higher education actually treat diversity?
 Some students that are considered “low-income” may not be on the call list for admissions advisors at colleges.  Some admissions officers may not realize the unique opportunities of recruiting students that have financial burdens but are gifted academically.  Therefore, we can conclude that cultural diversity and internationalization do not automatically lead to intercultural contacts and intercultural learning experiences.   One begins to realize, how are universities adopting diversity? Is it accepted or declined? What can be done to increase it, and how far have we come since the early 1900’s?
Diversity Acceptance Statistics in Ivy League Schools
Moreover, there are various elements within diversity that have to be taken into account.  The elements are the following: African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, Caucasian LGBT, and Asian American individuals. However, let’s analyze the statistics of a pioneer Ivy League school, such as Harvard University.   There were fewer African-American (10.2 percent), Hispanic (11.2 percent), and Native American (12.1 percent) students accepted in 2016 alone. Yet, Harvard accepted more Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians but only ten percent of international students were also accepted.  Meanwhile, Princeton has a different approach when it comes to diversity and acceptance.  In 2016, the admitted class comprised from all 50 stated within America and 73 countries. Of the admitted class 97 % are in the top 10 percent of their high school class 50.6% and are male and 49.4% are female. Furthermore, out of the percentages, 47% are students of color. (Ivy Coach, 2016).  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of Blacks and Hispanics has rose from the year 2000-2013. Black college students rose from 11.7% in 2000 to 14.7% in 2013.  The percentage of Hispanic student increased from 9.9% to 15.8% over the same given time period.  Yet, 30.5% of college students identifies as Black or Hispanic. However, the ratio to faculty within university leadership is unfortunately quite low, and only 11% college faculty identify as Black or Hispanic. (Mrig, 2015).

Diversity Initiatives
For years, there were many attempts to increase diversity at schools, and even initiatives have been set in employment and hiring practices. For instance, East Carolina University has a diversity initiative that assists in being present when a minority applicant is being interviewed to make sure of fair treatment, and that individual is treated with the highest moral fiber possible.  Hence, the impact of diversity and equality in academia has fostered these diversity initiatives, and helped bring in qualified applicants from minority populations. The goal at some universities, especially when job-seeking candidates apply, they will state, is  that minorities and African-American women are encouraged to apply.


Comprehensive approaches that Universities can use to diversify Faculty & Administration
§  Remove biases from the hiring process
§  Create more inclusive environments
§  Onboard new hires
§  Align incentives and reward systems with stated priorities
§  Facilitate mentoring across campuses.
(Mrig, 2015).

In summary, diversity and equity is a very important concept that academia should embrace.  In today’s society, we live in a very diverse and multicultural society that embraces concept and change according to our ethnicities and genetic nationalities.  In addition, the same would apply to our academic arena within higher education and administration. The hiring of minority leaders and faculty members is continually low, and universities across the United States would work hard to increase that extremely low number of minority faculty and administered percentage number.







References:
Ivy Coach (2016).  2016 Ivy League Statistics. Retrieved December 16, 2016 from https://www.ivycoach.com/2016-ivy-league-admissions-statistics/
Mrig, A. (2015). Seizing the Moment. Retrieved December 17, 2016 from https://www.academicimpressions.com/news/improving-diversity-higher-education-beyond-moral-imperative



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