Creating Diversity

Hi Kelli:

     I agree with your post discussion and the statement to make an effort to be aware of the diversity around me. The community college I work with is very diverse. Diversity is more than just about race , it’s about culture , language and I think someone even mentioned that food plays a big part in the diverse environment. Support groups are important in assisting students to focus on their  identity development and their social development. Support groups like the Baptist Student Union  at my community college plays a role in students developing their spirituality and sharing that with people from all cultures is a way to build on diversity . One of the things I think that we all share is spirituality and the development of that helps us to create meaning and purpose in our lives as students Kuh Kinzie, Whitt & Associates(2005) 

     When we think of developing whole students we are reminded that increasingly college students are compassionate and caring individuals often immersed in service and community activities. In a survey of 100,00 first year undergraduate students at 236 universities 80% responded they were interested in spirituality , 76% said they were searching for meaning in life: 69% reported using their beliefs for guidance. 74% said that they discuss their philosophies with friends 81% said they attend religious services . More than half said they believe it is essential that colleges encourage students personal expression of spirituality (HERI).This would certainly help with Evans assertion that students have no awareness or knowledge of the otherEvans(2010)

     This kind of support group would  possibly be a help to Cassie. I grew up in a small farm community and the two things that were important at that time were school and church related activities and music .Now it does not mean this is what Cassie would like but it is an example of a type of support group that would help her with her own identity and social development.

   Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., Guido, F. M., Patton, L. D., & Renn, K. A. (2010). Student Development in College: Theory, Research, and Practice (2nd Ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass. 

     Higher Education Research Institute (2005) Spirituality in Higher Education ; A National Study of college Students search for meaning and Purpose : LA. California : University of California_ Los Angelas 

      Kuh , G.D. Kinzie, J. Schuh J.H. Whitt, E.J. & Associates (2005): Student Success in College : Creating Conditions that Matter: San Francisco  CA Jossey Bass

Hi Sheron:

     I understand how difficult it was coming to a new place to start college. College can be a lonely place because everyone is trying to  adjust , make friends and keep up their academic performance and trying to adjust  to college life. This is why the advisor, counselor or faculty involvement is so important. Students having a well trained counselor or advisor can help lead them to some of the resources they need or connect them with organizations that can help them to integrate into the community.  The advisor can give you tips,  advice or information or lead you to someone who can really help. 

     One of the things that can definitely set us up for failure is allowing ourselves to become isolated. Cassie will not succeed in the college if she isolates herself because  she feels that she can not adjust to college life or she is being judged because she is a female or a certain race etc. But what I think would be a good scenario is to find that one student she can make friends with and this can be the beginning of her making other friends as she continues in higher education. This can be the beginning of her validation and integration as she becomes accustomed to the diverse community and can see the differences of the community she grew up in Evans(2010).

     Cassie may find her strength in learning communities. Students who participate in learning communities have several benefits, most notably improved retention rates  and academic performance. By bringing small groups of students together with one or two faculty members learning communities also offer new students social supports that help them make a successful transition to college. For example Crissman(2001) found that first year students participating in clustered courses experienced greater peer support , had more contact with faculty outside of class and were more satisfied with their faculty contacts than students in nonclustered courses . participation in learning communities may also help students develop skills essential to academic success .Walker’s (2003 research on first year learning communities suggests that participation in clustered courses has a significant and positive impact on four cognitive outcomes: critical thinking, problem solving , reading skills and writing skills.

Crissman, J.L. (2001) Clustered and Nonclustered First Year Seminars : New Students First Semester Experiences : Journal of the First Year Experience and Students in Transition 13 (1) , 69-88

 Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., Guido, F. M., Patton, L. D., & Renn, K. A. (2010). Student Development in College: Theory, Research, and Practice (2nd Ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass. 

Venney, Carmen(2015) “Creating Diversity: Walden University

Walker A.A. (2003) Learning Communities and their Effect on Students Cognitive Abilities: Journal of The First Year Experience and Students in Transition, 14(1) 23-40

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