Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness
The Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness believes difference is a vital part of how we live and learn. Our charge is to help build capacity around, and embed practices in, understandings of diversity, inclusion, and equity within academic affairs. This is accomplished through:
- Re-envisioning of pedagogy and recognition of the validity and importance of student lived experiences, with the goal of creating inclusive classrooms through an equity asset-based framework.
- Challenging dominant understandings of what is considered “academic” as a means to create more equitable institutional opportunities.
- Reimagining how diversity and inclusion operates at Beloit College using an equity asset-based framework.
Academic diversity is the recognition that individual and group/social differences are central to the production and dissemination of academic knowledge. Inclusion demonstrates equity and social justice through awareness, understanding, and respect for differences in identity, culture, background, experience, and socialization, and the ways in which these forms of difference impact how we live and learn. Equity (as stated by the AAC&U) is the creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to, and participate in, educational programs that are capable of closing achievement gaps in student success and completion. Asset-based approaches recognize the importance, value, and strength of the lived experiences students bring to the classroom and use these experiences, skills and knowledge to create equitable engagement within the classroom.
We will realize these core values through three key actions:
- Provide targeted, asset-based programming to ensure all students have an equitable inclusive space and place to live and learn at Beloit College.
- Awareness and capacity building for faculty and staff centered on the importance of diversity and inclusivity in curricular and co-curricular activities.
- Establishing benchmarks and measure progress through purposeful and ongoing research and assessment of campus activities around diversity, inclusiveness, and equity.
The Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness sits within Academic Affairs and houses a number of different programs and initiatives focused directly on providing equitable access to higher education. The Student Excellence and Leadership (SEL) and the McNair Scholars Programs, both US Department of Education TRIO funded programs, use an asset-based model approach to work with students who are first-generation college, from low-income backgrounds, have a documented disability, and/or are domestic minorities. The Wisconsin Alliance for Minority Participation (WiscAMP) program works with minority students interested in science, technology, engineering and/or math (STEM). The Mellon Graduate School Exploratory Fellowship (GSEF) Program works with first-generation, low-income, underrepresented students in the humanities and social sciences that wish to attend graduate school. Finally, our Inclusive Success Initiative focuses more broadly on retention and institution-wide work around diversity, inclusion and equity.
The Senior Director of Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness oversees all programs housed under this office.