Is diversity important when choosing a college?
This is the second in a series of blog posts on "Factors to Consider When Choosing a College." The last article was on considering the SIZE of a school. Please check out the previous post if you are interested, and click on the list below if you would like to be notified of upcoming posts. Use these factors as discussion-starters, or even as reasons to add or remove a college from the college list.
Is diversity an important factor when choosing a college?
Latino, Indian, Asian and African-American students may benefit in many ways from attending a college with a high number of students who belong to the same ethnic group. For example, for the African-American student, consideration of attending Historically Black Colleges (HBC) could allow him or her to develop a network of contacts that would be helpful in getting jobs, and to learn in a comfortable environment. Many respected leaders in government, education and other professions are graduates from these institutions. Similarly, students who might feel isolated on predominantly “white” campuses often benefit from the camaraderie and closeness that comes from being with others who share their heritage.
But what about caucasian students? What do they want or need, as far as diversity, on a college campus?
Working mostly with students from rural, Midwestern areas, most of my students do not come from very diverse cities. Some students, when seeking a college-town, have a the desire to be among students from many ethnic backgrounds. Sometimes students seek a college that provides opportunities for students of all races and cultures to mix easily because the environment celebrates diversity. Others see diversity as a non-issue when selecting a school.
Here are a few reasons why diversity is an important aspect in choosing a school:
Diverse college campuses are a reflection of our growing national diversity. Students should willingly embrace the opportunity to work with people of all nationalities, ethnicities and genders.
Diversity contributes to expanding the knowledge base and promotes creative thinking.
Building diverse relationships increases awareness and skill-building for careers in a global economy.