Students of Color Deserve an Inclusive College Experience
By Tariq LeFever
Universities are meant to be places of learning and discovery where students of all backgrounds can gain the skills they need to succeed in their chosen fields. However, they are often not inclusive environments for students of color, which can harm their educational experience. To create this for students of color, universities must work to prioritize diversity and inclusion initiatives: these can include creating a supportive environment that celebrates diversity and providing resources and support for these students. Universities must also strive to create a curriculum that reflects the varied perspectives of their student body and retain faculty members who represent different backgrounds. These steps are just the beginning to building a university that is inclusive to all students.
Inclusion and diversity are critical issues in higher education today; colleges nationwide have been striving to create a more equitable learning environment that is relevant to every student. The goal is to ensure that they all have the same opportunities to succeed regardless of their background, race, gender or sexual orientation, etc. This is a mandatory part of the higher education curriculum.
All universities may aim to create welcoming environments for their students and staff, but it is important that everyone be made aware of the importance of diversity and allowed to share their experiences, regardless of their background. While the inclusion of diverse populations should be taught from an early age, it is obvious today that this does not always happen, so the importance of this should be instilled in the curriculum at a higher level of education. Diversity in the classroom enriches the educational experience of all students, and every institution needs to ensure that its students are exposed to a variety of viewpoints.
Faculty play a vital role in the success of any educational institution, and without a level of effectiveness, students would not be able to receive the quality education they need to meet their academic goals. They also play an essential role in creating a positive student learning environment by providing resources that are essential for student success; furthermore, faculty are responsible for delivering quality instruction, creating a safe learning space and providing support services such as career counseling, financial aid and academic advising. The role of faculty and staff is to help students succeed. Making sure there are places on campus where learners can get away from distractions and focus on studying is essential for student productivity.
Students are the future of any organization, and it is important that they all develop in a healthy and positive environment that fosters constructive products. This is only possible if the school has a well-defined plan to realize this goal, starting with a student development committee. This group can be responsible for defining student goals, setting objectives and creating a plan to meet them. Students are the future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who will shape the future of our world; they have the power to influence others and positively impact society. Their knowledge has the potential to help their communities and create a better future.
As future industry leaders, we as students must be equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, achieved through a wide-ranging curriculum covering various business management aspects. It all starts in the classroom, and we need environments that allow students to ask pertinent questions and receive answers directly from the expert faculty.
It is also necessary to give ample time to research, explore ideas and opinions and work collaboratively with peers. An MBA curriculum will cover more advanced topics, such as leadership and management to be used in the workplace. As the business world evolves, the role of the student must follow. They need to be more proactive and aware of the changes that will take place in the future in order to be prepared for the challenges that will arise. Students must be able to adapt to new technologies and to foresee how these technologies can be used for a business. This will require them to be open to new ideas and learn to keep up with the latest developments. In order to achieve this, programs should focus on building strong relationships, creating a positive attitude and good communication skills.
This comes from the efforts made by universities to be truly inclusive and diverse in their student population through a collective effort among faculty and students. Faculty must create an environment where all students — especially those of color — feel comfortable and supported. Students must actively make a more inclusive campus culture by being accepting and willing to listen to all perspectives of their peers. Through education, dialogue and understanding, universities can strive to become a place where all students feel respected. With commitment from the entire university community, they can continue on their path toward financial aid reform and creating a truly inclusive environment that serves all students.