Critical Success Factors

Specifically in higher education, research found that several standards emerged as indicators of successful diversity programs on other campuses.

1. Access and representation of underrepresented students, staff, and faculty

  • Active recruiting of students and faculty of color
  • Having minority admission counselors on staff
  • Availability and tracking of racial/ethnic data on students, faculty, and staff
  • Engaging in strategic faculty hires
  • Monitoring staff and faculty searches and modifying process as needed
  • Using alternative recruiting venues for faculty and staff to increase the diversity of the pool
  • Educating and training search committees
  • Partnering with community colleges and high schools to reach more diverse students

2. Opportunities for cross-racial interaction

  • Incorporating diversity-theme-based living and learning communities into campus housing options
  • Taking diversity issues under special consideration when making housing assignments
  • Cultivating a dialog among faculty, staff, and students on diversity issues
  • Engaging in and examining conversation about challenging and significant social issues as a campus community

3. Academic and social successes of underrepresented students

  • Creating and implementing summer bridge programs that introduce underserved middle and high school students to college life
  • Establishing special honors programs to support and encourage college application and attendance among at-risk students

4. Diverse perspectives in classes

  • Requiring all students to take diversity courses with content addressing both domestic and international issues
  • Applying pedagogical approaches that are race and culture aware
  • Increasing race/ethnic/multicultural studies courses

5. Support academic/social needs of underrepresented students

  • Creating and making accessible support groups for underrepresented students
  • Planning and executing varied social programs and activities
  • Organizing academic support programs for underrepresented students
  • Instituting peer mentoring programs

6. Support for underrepresented faculty and staff

  • Establishing mentoring programs
  • Providing increased access to grants and research sabbatical leaves for faculty of color

7. Link the work of student affairs and academic affairs

  • Collaboration between the offices of student affairs and academic affairs to produce joint programming on diversity
  • Integrating student learning in curricular and cocurricular activities
  • Creating shared accountability, recognition, and reward programs

8. Connect campus with ethnic communities

  • Sharing the university's broad knowledge base and pool of experts with the community
  • Establishing successful communication contacts and networks within minority communities
  • Increasing collaboration with community-based organizations on diversity-related activities
  • Growing the involvement of individuals from the communities in university programs, activities, committees, etc.

9. Assess progress

  • Ongoing assessment of the campus climate for diversity
  • Measuring learning outcomes by a set of goal areas
  • Tracking changes in the university demographic profile, specifically in representation, retention, graduation, and promotion