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Diversity and Inclusion - Overview

Page history last edited by Robert Hackett 3 years, 1 month ago

 Front Page / Campus-Wide Integration / Diversity and Inclusion / Overview

 

 

Diversity and Inclusion 


Overview  |  Guides  |  Campus Examples  |  Documents to Download


 

Building and implementing a program  and campus-wide engagement that includes diverse individuals and offers an inclusive, equitable environment is critical to the intent and success of the Bonner Program.  At its core, the Bonner Program aims to support class diversity within the American higher-education landscape by supporting the admission, enrollment, and success of low-income students, who are often first generation college bound as well as members of a variety of family and ethnic backgrounds. In addition, gender is a key issue about which we think, with the service field often being traditionally more represented by female students; this often means that programs work hard to recruit and involve male students, but that we also seek to be a place in which both female and male students can flourish as recognized leaders. This commitment to diversity and inclusion is represented in several policies and practices including:

 

  • A focus on increasing access for low-income, first generation, and historically underrepresented students, which is built into the Bonner Scholar Program recruitment guidelines (which specify that 85%+ of students must be Pell eligible) and also practiced throughout the Bonner Leader Program;

 

  • At the same time, programs also welcome and involve some students of higher socioeconomic backgrounds. We acknowledge that service and civic engagement can be a common ground to build communities and break down social, economic, political, racial, ethnic, religious and other barriers;

 

  • Additionally, each Bonner Program thoughtfully recruits a diverse class and Bonner Program overall, and the gender balance of any class should be no more than 60/40 in any direction (for the Bonner Scholar Program, this is part of the Rules);

 

  • Diversity is one of six of the Bonner Common Commitments, which are intentionally woven into all programs through education, training, reflection, and other strategies;

 

  • The degree of diversity of the Bonner Program and broader campus climate was found to be a positive contributing factor in the impact of the four-year program on students' learning and post-graduate outcomes. Learn more under Bonner Student Impact Survey 

 

  • In fact, "dialogue across difference" -- which signifies ways that a program builds in and provides opportunities for students to engage with and learn from a variety of individuals, including peers, community residents and partners, staff and faculty -- is a key dimension of program impact.

 

Indeed, diversity and engaging with diverse others has been found, through the evaluation of the Bonner Program, to be one of the greatest contributors to the program's effectiveness. You can learn more about that here: The Relationship of Diversity to Program Impact.

 

We also acknowledge the intersectionality and interrelationships between community service work and diversity. The catalyst paper "Full Participation: Building the Architecture for Diversity and Public Engagement in Higher Education" by Susan Sturm, Tim Eatman, John Saltmarsh, and Adam Bush provides a useful framework for understanding these connections. The concept of "Full Participation":

 

offers a holistic set of goals that focus attention on (1) the institutional conditions that enable people in different roles to flourish, and (2) the questions designed to mobilize change at the multiple levels and leverage points where change is needed. It covers the continuum of decisions and practices affecting who joins institutions, how people receive support for their activities, whether they feel respected and valued, how work is conducted, and what kinds of activities count as important work (Sturm, Eatman, Saltmarsh, and Bush, 2011, p. 4).

 

Full participation is also a way of "conceptualizing the intersections of student and faculty diversity, community engagement, and academic success as a nexus for the transformation of communities on and off campus" (Sturm, Eatman, Saltmarsh, and Bush, 2011). The authors articulate that campuses can do several things to help build these more inclusive climates:

 

  1. Increasing student access and success, particularly for underrepresented, first-generation, and low-income students; 

  2. Diversifying higher education faculties, often with separate projects for hiring, retention, and climate; 

  3. Promoting community, civic, or public engagement for students; and, 

  4. Increasing support for faculty's public or engaged scholarship. 

 

On campuses, the Bonner Program and its broader efforts to build a sustained infrastructure and culture for community engagement promote all four of these activities. This section provides some additional resource material and examples. 

 

Source: Sturm, Eatman, Saltmarsh, & Bush (2011). Full participation: Building the architecture for diversity and public engagement in higher education. Published by the Center for Institutional & Social Change, Imagining America, and the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE). Available at: Documents to Download.