Diversity Inclusion One of the Greatest Challenges Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Diversity Inclusion

One of the greatest challenges in education today is the fact that the basic demographic of the average student body has changed significantly over the last decades. This poses challenges not only in terms of cultural programs and inclusion, but also in terms of intellectual abilities and background. This is particularly the case in tertiary education. In most cases today, students come from many different backgrounds in terms of schooling and level of education. This poses challenges in terms of preparing students for the rigors of tertiary academic work. In addition to this and the great variety of cultural backgrounds represented on United States campuses today, there is also the challenge of preparing students for the world of work. Most workplaces today require some level of tertiary education. It is simply impossible to handle the rapid developments in terms of technology today without some sort of post-secondary qualification. In terms of the right to education and gainful employment, the government and tertiary institutions are therefore obliged to meet as much of the educational demand as possible.

The same is the case for a relatively small liberal arts tertiary education establishment. Like many American institutions today, the institution has seen great increases in diversity in terms of educational background and culture on the campus. While this is a good thing, at face value, a recent survey has revealed that many of the cultures represented on our campus have felt unsupported and excluded from the support enjoyed by the more traditional demographic.

This phenomenon is supported by researchers such as Prescott (2012), who notes that the racial and ethnic composition of classes graduating high school has rapidly diversified. Indeed, it has been projected that the next decade will see an increase of diversity to the extent that nearly half of public high school graduates across the nation will be students of color. Of these, the fastest growing segment includes racial and ethnic groups that have been underrepresented. Especially, Prescott (2012) notes that these students tend to be Hispanic.

The challenge in this regard for tertiary institutions, as mentioned, is two-fold. On the one hand, having been underrepresented in terms of language and schooling, many college age students from non-traditional demographics find themselves at an educational disadvantage, not having received the privileges of their white counterparts. This presents a challenge in terms of preparing students to enter college education at a level that provides a sound basis to prepare them for the world of work.

According to Prescott (2012), one of the major barriers to helping all students achieve similar levels of success at tertiary education is preparation at the secondary level. AT the same time, there is an increasing amount of academic on higher education institutions to deliver the tools students need to prepare for gainful employment. Indeed, there is also pressure on employers to provide equal opportunities to all demographics to enter the workplace. Prescott (2012) therefore suggests that better remediation and alignment occur on the level of post-secondary instruction and tertiary instruction. In other words, adult learners need to be accommodated within today's education system.

At the same time, as seen on our campus as well, there is a level of cultural exclusion that occurs on campuses that have traditionally tended to represent the intellectual and cultural needs of the white demographic and to some extent the black demographic. The situation today is that many different students from diversified cultures enter universities and colleges. Hence, leaders at tertiary institutions need to be sensitive to the various cultural needs of these students. Indeed, it is often this factor that determines the success or failure of students at the academic as well; students who are unhappy in terms of their social and cultural environments will tend to be less likely to achieve success in other areas as well, or at least find it difficult to do so.

Hence, the challenge facing our institution will be to address the basic educational needs of…

Sources Used in Document:

References

ACPA and NASPA (2010, Jul. 24). Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Practitioners. Retrieved from: http://www.naspa.org/images/uploads/main/Professional_Competencies.pdf

Prescott, B.T. (2012, Oct. 4). What Demographic Changes Mean for Colleges and Counselors. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from: http://chronicle.com/blogs/headcount/what-demographic-changes-mean-for-colleges-and-counselors/31958

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