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Diversity Plan for Beloit College

Statement on Diversity:
Beloit College strongly reaffirms its commitment to diversity in word and action, policies and practices.  The College repudiates discrimination or marginalization in any form as an unacceptable trespass upon the values of individual merit, human dignity and mutual respect.  We will strive to create a campus community that is diverse with regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, class, and national origin.  We will require all individuals to assume responsibility for understanding and actively implementing their roles in creating such a community.

Implementation of the Statement:
By the reaffirmation of its commitment to diversity in the above statement, Beloit College and its leadership will develop and implement procedures and policies that will enable people of all backgrounds to flourish on campus.  To that end specific goals and plans have been developed to increase diversity in the student body, as well as the faculty and staff, with special attention directed to the recruitment and retention of domestic minorities. Just as important, plans to improve the “climate” of respect and understanding, and increase intercultural competencies, have been developed.  This plan is a working document that will be constantly evaluated and modified as we work to increase diversity and the acceptance of diversity on campus. The initial focus is primarily on domestic minorities and international students on campus, but the plan will continue to be modified and expanded as we strive to fulfill the goals of our statement on diversity.

The Strategic Plan has addressed directly the issue of numbers of on campus, as well as our international diversity.  These goals, which this plan embraces, are as follows:

Increase our domestic minority student enrollment to 15% within five years, increase the domestic minority faculty to 15% within ten years, and increase our enrollment of international students to 10% of the student body within five years.

To meet these goals and our commitment to diversity, we have developed the following plan with six areas of focus:

  • Recruitment of Domestic Minority Students
  • Retention of Domestic Minority Students
  • Recruitment and Retention of International Students
  • Recruitment and Retention of a Diverse Faculty
  • Recruitment and Retention of a Diverse Staff
  • The Campus Environment

Diversity Council:
A Diversity Council, comprised of students, faculty, and staff, has been formed under the leadership of the Director of Intercultural Affairs.  This group has as its mission to lead in the changes being made in campus culture and climate through the implementation of the Diversity Plan.  The Council will provide strong leadership and be involved in the education of others as it helps to create and develop practices and strategies that further campus diversity and its acceptance. It will provide information to the entire campus on progress in the implementation of our goals for diversity.  It will draw to the attention of the responsible individuals on campus instances where problems exist and receive from those individuals reports that demonstrate the progress being made to correct those problems.

Recruitment Plan for Domestic Minority Students:
The success of a recruiting program for domestic minority students is based on relationship building and the commitment of each member of the Admissions staff to incorporate diversity initiatives into territory management programs. We recognize that there are key markets important to Beloit in the recruitment of underrepresented students, not the least of which is the immediate region.  The recruitment program at Beloit must respond to market changes, demographic shifts, changes in staffing, and the diminished buying power of our operating budget.  Noted below are key strategies, plans and programs in place or in progress as well as areas for improvement. It should be noted that this recruitment plan, like all recruitment plans, is a work in progress and will be under constant evaluation. Like all other aspects of the plan, successful recruitment of minority students will require the collaboration and contributions of the entire campus.

Admissions Staffing
A new staff position dedicated to domestic minority recruitment has been created and filled. The Admissions Counselor for Multicultural Initiatives manages territory including Beloit and the surrounding region and will coordinate on- and off-campus programs and events to support domestic minority recruitment 

  • An Admissions Intern was hired in the fall of 2007, to provide additional support for student recruitment of domestic minorities and participation in programs, interviews, information sessions, etc. 
  • Student representatives from BSU and Voces Latinas are being encouraged and trained to accompany admissions staff to major college fairs and events in the region and present the student voice of the Beloit experience

Marketing/Direct Mail Plans

  • Increased budget and staff support for participation in relevant student cultivation programs including the Venture Scholars program, National Hispanic Recognition Program and Search Service of the College Board among others
  • Enhanced staff supported phonathons to admitted students that include the participation of Voces Latinas and BSU members
  • Increased recruiting of TRIO-eligible students
  • Create and then update diversity admission webpage
  • Assure that all Admissions publications are representative and include content relevant to diversity initiatives
  • Increased presence of students of color in all recruiting print media
  • Distribute a letter from BSU to minority applicants
  • Add a multicultural recruitment piece to communications plan

Recruiting Procedures

  • Enhance relationship-building with Upward Bound, Talent Search, Admission Possible, and similar programs in key markets
  • Partner with Chicago Public School system and the ACM for inaugural college coach program/college fair and campus visit programs
  • Maintain membership and participation in National Hispanic Institute summer programs nationwide (ten years)
  • Continue to identify key college-bound programs in places such as,  Milwaukee, Chicago, Madison and Minneapolis; coordinate visits and campus hosting
  • Sponsor group visits; assure follow-up
  • Subsidize travel for admitted applicants to attend Senior Open House
  • Continue to strengthen relationships with Beloit College Upward Bound/Help Yourself program with particular attention paid to Junior Visit Day Program, June College Fair Program, and Ousley and Neese Scholarship programs
  • Support athletic recruitment through close interactions between the coaches and the admissions staff

Scholarship Support

  • Re-evaluate Charles Winter Wood Scholarship Program for underrepresented minority students to increase the yield on qualified applicants
  • Increase efforts for socio-economically disadvantaged students to reduce loan burden
  • Work closely with the Help Yourself and Upward Bound Programs to increase the awareness of and interest in the Neese and Ousley Scholarships
  • Engage the Office of External Affairs in fundraising to support scholarship initiatives

On Campus Programming

  • Include diversity programming in Presidential Weekend, Senior Open House programs (under discussion)
  • Promote representation of faculty and students of color in on-campus programs, 
    including Gold Key and panel presentations

Policies and Procedures

  • Expand credit for International Baccalaureate exams.  The IB program has been adopted, or will be adopted, by key city school systems that often include a large percentage of domestic minority students (Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Portland, etc.), to enhance college readiness for their students
  • Evaluate decisions and strategies at the end of each recruitment cycle and financial aid process and revise based on these data and best practices for the coming year with goals set to achieve the mandates of the Board of Trustees and Strategic Plan with regard to diversity

Retention of Domestic Minorities:
To retain domestic minorities (and all students) a positive, inclusive and welcoming living and learning environment must exist.  To help create this environment a number of programs, policies and strategies will be introduced this year.  They include the following: 

Host Family Program

  • In the fall of 2007, the Office of Intercultural Affairs launched the first Host Family Program for Domestic Minority Students.  It is modeled after the current International Student Host Family Program.  Each student is assigned a “Host Family” for his/her time at Beloit, beginning the first week of orientation.  Students are contacted in the summer and matched up with a family. The host families help our students adjust to and become comfortable with their new environment.  Our goal is to establish a “home away from home” feeling, provide another resource/outlet, and allow our students to project a positive image to the Beloit community.

Co-Curricular Involvement

  • Admissions and the Office of Intercultural Affairs are in the process of planning a series of meetings and workshops outlining the many opportunities outside of the classroom and residence halls where students can and should be involved.  Our goal is to help domestic students of color understand how to be involved and the importance of being involved in the college and local community as another way to enhance their education and growth at Beloit College.

Academic Support

  • Academic counseling and assistance will be emphasized because a high percentage of our domestic minority students (particularly males) do not take advantage of the academic assistance that is available at Beloit College.  Modeled after an initiative started in athletics, with the assistance of the LSSC, BSU, Voces Latinas, and Student Affairs, the Office of Intercultural Affairs will organize sessions on time management, and study skills and habits, as well as a review of the resources available to all students at Beloit College.

Recruitment and Retention of International Students:
Beloit’s long history and strong support of international students, to say nothing of a curriculum that embraces international education, hold promise that we will achieve the goal that international students represent 10% of our student population.  We recognize that to reach this goal, we must overcome considerable challenges to international student recruitment in this post-9/11 era  The  presence of a large international student population has been embraced by many American colleges and universities that, in the past, had little interest in this market.  Also Canadian, Australian, and British institutions of higher education are competing successfully in the international market with the added benefit of much lower tuition costs.  It is important that we work hard also to retain these students, many of whom confront major language and cultural changes.

Improved Web Presence

  • International student admissions website will be added and updated; student profiles to be updated bi-annually
  • Dedicate part of the budget to appropriate international web search engines and advertisers

Communications Plan

  • Produce a profile publication each summer for distribution to international counselors and international education advising centers
  • Improve communication with applicants throughout the admissions process
  • Update all recruiting materials to include a heightened international focus including profiles of current international students

Student-to-Student Contact

  • A current international student will be hired to serve as a Student Outreach Intern in the Admissions office.  The student will email, “chat,” “IM,” and “blog” as part of our outreach to international students.  

Add IELTS Exam for Pre-Admission English Proficiency

  • Expand opportunities to demonstrate English language proficiency to include British-based exam, the International English Language Testing System.

Travel Through Colleges That Change Lives

  • Conduct international recruitment travel in Latin America through the Colleges That Change Lives group
  • Support small group or individual travel to Asia annually

Volunteer Support for Recruitment

  • Recruit young alumni living abroad through the international Alumni and Parent Admission Program. 
  • Develop an electronic newsletter to complement existing “FAQ” to facilitate conversations with prospective international students.

Engage Faculty and Staff When Appropriate

  • Make travel packets available to faculty and staff traveling overseas

         
Cultivate EducationUSA advisors through cooperative programs with WAICU and others

  • Serve as host institution and collaborative partner with other institutions to host visiting advisors prior to annual NAFSA conference

Staffing

  • Support international applicants with two staff members, including the Vice President for Enrollment Services

Retention of International Students:
Many of the same issues that confront the retention of domestic minorities exist for international students.  Here the continued implementation of the highly successful host family program will play an important role in providing a welcoming “home-like” environment for international students.  The supportive environments provided by the Office of International Education and the International House are also important factors in establishing connections to other students.  The International Club and its sponsored activities also help create a welcoming environment for international students.

Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Faculty:
Beloit College recognizes the presence of a diverse faculty as essential to the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body, as well as crucial to the education of all of our students. Domestic minority faculty members serve as models of high achievement for all students and play a key role in establishing a creative, inclusive, and welcoming environment for teaching and learning.  To realize strategic goals for enriching diversity on campus, the College is revising its faculty recruiting process and examining curricular diversity and pedagogies that value diverse ways of knowing and acting in the world.  Special attention is being directed at increasing the minority representation within each candidate pool.

Recruitment:

  • Conduct the faculty search process providing sufficient time and with suitable effort to build diverse candidate pools
  • Regularly seek minority nominations from colleagues at other institutions
  • Conduct database searches focused upon minority graduate student associations and minority faculty associations
  • Initiate and continue contact by Beloit faculty with diversity committees affiliated with major disciplinary associations, e.g., American Historical Association Committee on Minority Historians, Modern Language Association Committee on Minority Concerns
  • Identify and remain in close contact through the Dean’s office with universities that graduate significant numbers of minority PhD’s, e.g., Nova Southeastern University, Howard University, Ohio State, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Teachers College of Columbia University
  • Strengthen relationships through the Dean’s office and individual faculty with minority offices of the following professional organizations - American Association of Colleges and Universities, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives, American Association of University Professors, Committee on Historically Black Institutions and Scholars of Color
  • Support and participate actively in Associated Colleges of the Midwest consortial initiatives, including:
    • ACM minority faculty recruitment tables at major professional conferences and at all conferences with strong minority representation
    • Information sharing among ACM colleges regarding positions available
    • Creation of a comprehensive minority candidate/faculty database managed by the ACM and accessible to all member colleges.
  • Seek recommendations for candidates with diverse backgrounds from Beloit alumni, donors, and trustees, particularly those with ties to graduate programs in disciplines represented at Beloit
  • Educate and prepare individuals through the Dean’s Office and the Office of Human Resources to conduct and manage the search process from recruitment to final selection to ensure that there is full understanding of intercultural competency, hidden biases, and procedural guidelines

Retention:

  • Provide strong mentorship for all faculty from the Dean’s office, at the department level, and within the faculty.
  • Sponsor and promote social and academic activities for entering cohort groups both on and off campus and provide information and contacts with community organizations.
  • Provide clear expectations for success as teachers, scholars, and citizens of the College.
  • Actively involve minority faculty as conference attendees and presenters.
  • Provide opportunities for leadership and for professional development for members of the faculty.

Courses and Curriculum:
A preliminary survey of the courses taught at Beloit indicates that diversity learning exists in approximately 20% of the courses offered each semester (this result is based on an inclusive definition of diversity).  It will be important as we move forward to understand the relationship between the curriculum and campus climate, to encourage enrollment in courses focused upon diversity issues, and to craft new programs that are welcomed by students and that nurture intellectual, political, and social understandings of diversity and of the significance of such knowledge and skills in the new century. We will strive to create a positive classroom environment in all courses that allows the free exchange of ideas and concerns regarding diversity.

Staff Recruitment and Retention:
In addition to our efforts to recruit and retain students and faculty, we will continue to work to increase domestic minority representation among the staff.  At present 16% of the staff are members of a domestic minority.  This is a reasonable reflection of the local demography, but there exists unevenness in the distribution among the various position levels at the College.  In particular, minorities are underrepresented in administrative positions and efforts need to be made to increase their representation and provide a climate that is welcoming and presents opportunities for professional growth.  The process for staff will include efforts to build a diverse candidate pool for national, regional and local searches, as appropriate to the position.

  • Develop and utilize contacts at other colleges, universities and professional organizations that have a strong outreach to diverse job or program related applicants
  • Develop and utilize contacts within the local community to improve minority representation of applicants in each support staff search
  • Participate in recruitment opportunities at major professional conferences, particularly at conferences with strong minority representation
  • Seek recommendations for candidates with diverse backgrounds from Beloit alumni, donors, and trustees
  • Educate and prepare individuals through the Office of Human Resources to conduct and manage the search process from recruitment to final selection to ensure that there is full understanding of intercultural competency, hidden biases, and procedural guidelines

The Campus Environment:
Recruitment is important for the College to be a more representative community that embraces diversity.  Recruitment alone is not enough, though, for we must retain our students, faculty and staff by creating an environment or  “climate” that allows all persons to feel appreciated and accepted.  Creating a positive environment is central to the retention of a diverse population. Our goal is to create and maintain an inclusive, positive environment for all those currently in our community, as well as one which is welcoming to those in the future.

Intercultural Affairs:
First steps have already been taken to improve that environment.  The College has created and filled the fulltime position of Director of Intercultural Affairs and Assistant Dean of Students.  While we do not presume that one appointment will change the campus climate, it is a step in the proper direction and one that has already begun to make a difference. 

The Intercultural Affairs Center has been renovated and expanded to make it a more inviting and purposeful venue. The newly air-conditioned facility now includes a multi-cultural library with a link to the Beloit College library, increased computer ports and increased computer access, expanded hours, a conference/ study area, and a lounge area.  A new webpage has been created for Intercultural Affairs.

New Conscience, New Campus, New Community Conference (NC3):
The initial NC3 Conference opened the doors to a number of issues that need to be addressed and elaborated on, particularly regarding campus climate.  The Director of Intercultural Affairs and Assistant Dean of Students and his office have collected and compiled all the information and will distribute an outline of general themes that emerged from the conference.  The next step will be for the Diversity Council to meet and create a focused list of issues they want to address, prioritize, and begin to solve.

Co-curricular Education:
Efforts have begun to introduce and educate the campus on cultural competency. Through a series of short workshops with designated groups, such as students, Admissions staff, faculty, and administrators, the Diversity Council is looking at what diversity means to departments and individuals at Beloit College.  It will then expand on the skills and training in cultural competencies that we all will require to deal more effectively with campus diversity. In addition it will help to create a better environment for our domestic students of color, and the other cultures and differences represented on the Beloit College campus.

We will continue on a regular basis to hold campus town hall meetings and discussions to get feedback or questions on situations that have come up regarding the campus climate as it relates to diversity and differences.   It is imperative that we continue to learn and then act on our understanding. 

The College will more fully utilize the existing skilled individuals on campus to create a better informed and more understanding campus population.  To complement these individuals’ expertise, specialty organizations, groups and programs on diversity, cultural competency, understanding privilege and other related topics will be brought to campus.

We will take a comprehensive, all-campus look at diversity, our initiatives, practices and outcomes. We will strive to make this a comfortable place for all.  In this ongoing effort we will develop and include assessment methods that measure our successes and failures.

Minority Student and Alumni Conference:
We are planning a conference for our minority–student alumni to return to campus for a weekend meeting centered on their ideas on how we create and maintain a better environment to recruit and retain students, faculty and staff of color.  This serves three purposes. First, it will be a constructive and purposeful way to re-engage the interest of these alumni.  Second, it will enable us to build outside shareholders who see our strong commitment to diversity and will help us with our recruiting. Third, it will help create a positive atmosphere for our current students. Our invitation will include all past members of BSU and Voces Latinas. It will be vital that Senior Staff have a prominent presence in the conference.

Concluding Comments:
Beloit College is an educational institution, and what we do best is educate.  The central importance of diversity to our campus and the world must be emphasized in our classes, and in co-curricular activities.  Conferences such as NC3 are a good start.  The many discussions among students, the administration, and the faculty and staff also help. To aid in the process of creating a welcoming campus climate we must also undergo ongoing training and discussions to develop the skills required to achieve intercultural competency and awareness.  This goal, constantly reinforced at all levels of the institution, will lead us to an environment in which individuals work with and regard one another with mutual respect and understanding.

We must be committed to communication of ideas and activities.  Often poor communication results in misunderstandings and missed opportunities.  A central source of information will be created.  As part of the Strategic Plan, an external consultant will be hired to advise us on how to create an integrated communications plan that will make information accessible to all

We have proposed a number of steps to make our campus a diverse and welcoming place.  Although no single action will instantly transform Beloit, the commitment of everyone to improve the campus environment through these multiple, ongoing, and evolving events, will enable all of us to participate in the diverse experiences and perspectives that are central to a liberal arts education.

January 28,2008

*Domestic minorities include individuals who are Black, non-Hispanic; American Indian/Alaskan Native; Asian/ Pacific Islander; Hispanic.