On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, ACEI hosted a webinar on the topic of Diversity and Inclusion. We would like to offer you highlights of our webinar in this week’s blog.
What is diversity and inclusion?
Diversity is any aspect that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another, but it also means appreciation of and respect for differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion.
Some may define inclusion is a state of being valued, respected, endorsed, and supported. It’s also about focusing on the needs of everyone and ensuring the right conditions are in place for each person to achieve their greatest potential.
To look at this big picture, diversity is the mix; think of inclusion as getting the mix to work together harmoniously.
How to foster diversity and inclusion for admissions?
Here are 16 immediate steps you can take to help you develop a program that supports and encourages diversity and inclusion on your campus:
- Have your message be open to all groups
- Develop videos saying, “You are welcome and safe here”
- Mix up housing for international students so that students from different countries room together
- Make sure the international admissions staff has professional development in creating inclusive classrooms
- Do not exclude domestic students from diversity and inclusion
- Prepare host students on how to interact with international students
- Expand programs from international students (social and classroom activities)
- Share high impact positive stories, using alumni, parents, and staff.
- Recruit and retain staff with international education experience and training
- Allocate financial resources to create and implement programming for international students
- Provide more staff resources and training for creating diversity and inclusion
- Provide professional development for faculty and staff to create learning spaces that multicultural and inclusive
- Provide opportunities for domestic and international students to learn about themselves and others, have them realize we have more in common than not.
- “By understanding someone else, you better understand yourself”
- Create co-curricular programs that foster language and cultural proficiency
- Provide mentoring for international students by domestic students
Here are additional steps to keep in mind to ensure the programs you have set in motion continue to advance your institution’s mission of cultivating diversity and inclusion:
17. Alter your approach to allow for various learning styles. Evaluate what works and what doesn’t
18. Survey and reach out to international students, parents, and alumni to see what is working and what is not
19. Communicate to your international students that you are investing in them
20. Change how you instruct to various learning styles
21. Help students gain confidence
22. Foster online meaningful discussions and engagements
23. Move the focus from teach to student to community. Have shared narratives
24. Create pathways to help international students immerse into a host culture
25. Prepare your campus for a global student body (learn language phrases, have international clothing/food week)
In closing, when you say, “you are welcome here” also say, “You are to be who you are and we welcome you.”
The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.