How Diversity and Inclusion Can Promote a Better, Safer College Experience for All
Inclusive schools lead to greater overall acceptance and tolerance, which in turn makes campuses and greater communities safer.
Over the last several decades, the college experience has changed drastically. What was once a collection of institutions characterized by exclusion has now become more open to a wider variety of individuals from a variety of backgrounds.
Increased levels of diversity in college institutions benefit both institutions and the students who attend them in a number of striking ways. Understanding the positive effects of promoting diversity in universities can provide one with a deeper and more nuanced perspective on how colleges are advancing in today’s modern age.
Here is how diversity and inclusion can promote a better college experience for everyone.
More Diversity Makes College More Accessible for More People
For some people, college is a destination that they’ve always planned on attending. For others, however, college can seem like an unwelcoming and inaccessible place if they don’t see themselves represented there. Promoting diversity in higher education can make these institutions feel more accessible for those from minority backgrounds who haven’t traditionally felt represented in universities.
When colleges strive to cultivate a culture of diversity and inclusion, the idea of going to university becomes more welcoming to a wider array of individuals from various backgrounds. This being the case, colleges will have a larger pool of applicants to choose from while also aiding individuals from various backgrounds to feel comfortable attending an institution of higher education and furthering their career prospects.
Crafting environments where all students are comfortable will make it easier for students to both learn and engage in social interactions with others. This means that the simple act of promoting diversity in colleges can make college more accessible to a wider array of students and, as a result, enrich the college experience for all individuals.
Diversity Makes College Institutions More Robust
Many of the most exciting and notable places in the country, such as New York City and Houston, are characterized as being “melting pots” of culture. This confluence of cultures is a key aspect of making these places robust and culturally compelling. The same concept applies to colleges and the more diversity there is, the more robust the college experience will be for students.
If a college institution is made up of individuals from similar backgrounds, the culture on campus may be both bland and uninviting to those from alternate backgrounds. Accordingly, colleges can make their institutions more popular and enjoyable to a wider array of individuals by investing in initiatives and projects that promote both diversity and inclusion.
The more cultures that are represented on college campuses, the more opportunities each student will have to learn about others and engage in new experiences and ways of thinking. This being the case, colleges can ensure that their institution is providing students with a robust and culturally enriching college experience by making efforts to diversify the student population and encourage the inclusion of all students.
Inclusion and Diversity Improve Culture At Large
Universities are places where many people develop habits, views, and characteristics that they will carry over into the workplace and eventually pass on to their children. When individuals attend institutions that promote diversity and inclusion, they’ll likely carry these views beyond their educational careers and act in ways that promote these concepts for the rest of their lives.
This means that the more diverse and inclusive college institutions are, the more developed people’s attitudes toward inclusion and diversity will become as a whole. As such, colleges can help improve the attitudes of people across the country by bolstering initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion.
One example of a way in which colleges can help students engage in inclusive thinking is by celebrating various cultures and having events where students can interact to learn about the cultures of their peers. The more of these types of initiatives and events institutions engage in, the more they will be able to positively impact the culture at large and cultivate an accepting and inclusive student body.
Diverse Colleges Improve Students’ Ability to Collaborate and Communicate
One of the most important skills to have in the workforce — in virtually any industry — is the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with others. When students have the opportunity to learn and collaborate with a range of individuals from various backgrounds, they become more competent collaborators who are able to connect with all types of individuals.
By putting effort into creating more diverse and inclusive campuses, colleges have the opportunity to instill in their students’ greater skills to help them thrive in their careers.
Consequently, colleges truly intent on educating their students effectively and imparting them with useful skills have the opportunity to do so through the promotion of diversity and inclusion on campuses.
While collaboration may happen in the classroom, institutions can promote the development of collaborative skills in their students by promoting extracurricular events of this nature. As more students are able to regularly engage in collaboration with a variety of individuals from different backgrounds, they will have more opportunities to hone their skills and become exemplary collaborators and communicators.
Diversity in Education Enriches the Workforce
As one would expect, the workforce is mostly comprised of individuals who studied specific fields in university to become qualified to step into certain roles. This means that when colleges have a higher level of diversity amongst their student body, it promotes diversity in the workplace across many industries.
Colleges intent on making a positive impact on work culture and the demographics of the workforce can do their part by diversifying their own student body. The more universities and other higher education institutions are able to cultivate a vibrant and diverse student body, the more they’ll be able to positively impact the nation’s workforce and work culture across various industries.
Another way college institutions can do this is by promoting diversity among student workers on campus. The more diverse individuals from different backgrounds are able to have experiences working in jobs together, the more impactful the college experience will be for students.
Diversity and Inclusion Make College More Enjoyable and Effective
The reasons people go to college are often to learn new skills and have enriching social experiences. Diversity and inclusion on college campuses have the ability to contribute to both of these causes, making college both more effective and enjoyable.
Given the many benefits of having a diverse and inclusive student body, every college has the power to enhance the college experience of its students by investing in initiatives of this nature.
As college campuses become even more diverse and inclusive in the coming years, higher education institutions, students, and culture at large will experience tremendous, profound, and lasting benefits that will inform people’s attitudes toward each other and toward the college experience as a whole.
Sarah Daren has been a consultant for startups in multiple industries including health and wellness, wearable technology, nursing, and education.
Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety.
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