The success of Clark College students is central to the mission of the college and this plan. Clark College must prepare students for life and work in a multicultural, diverse and international society. Exposure to a variety of beliefs, cultures, and differences is a catalyst for intellectual growth. It is the responsibility of Clark College to provide a respectful, effective learning environment for all of its students.
The Clark College Cultural Pluralism Committee was charged to develop a diversity plan for Clark College. Based upon the college's Strategic Plan and the best practices of the open access learning institution, the implementation of this plan is a priority for Clark College. At the core of the plan is the focus on student success and intellectual growth. As a learning institution this growth is imperative not only for Clark College students, but for those who serve them in all capacities.
The college desires and serves a diverse student body. In order to maintain and foster a more diverse college community we must explicitly recognize, facilitate awareness and address patterns of social inequality. This desire of equity is reflected in the definition of and vision for diversity at Clark College as set forth in this plan, as well as several assumptions held which ultimately drive the development of the plan. Those assumptions are:
1. Clark College approaches diversity from the standpoint of differences among social groups, not among individuals. For example, while the presence of a variety of psychologically diverse attributes such as personality or individually based values are critical to our institutional development, these are not the areas in which groups of people experience inequitable treatment and institutional barriers to success.
2. Social groups are marked by socially created differences in power, privilege, and access.
3. Fostering diversity requires systematic, institutional-level change. Individual-level strategies by themselves cannot create and sustain a diverse college community
The Cultural Pluralism Committee was reconvened in 2006 and charged with the task of developing a diversity plan for Clark College. The focus of that charge was to frame a plan with goals and strategies that support, enhance and ensure student success. The process by which the Cultural Pluralism Committee developed the Clark College Diversity Plan was long, arduous at times, yet ultimately rewarding. It was important to the committee that it worked in a manner consistent with the desired outcome of the process, meaning in a civil, respectful and equitable manner which fostered a community of care and trust among its members. Committee membership included faculty, students, staff and administrators, each of whom had the opportunity to contribute to the development process.
In winter of 2007, the committee administered a college-wide survey which was exploratory in nature attempting to capture some basic themes in terms of how Clark College experiences, supports and in some cases potentially undermines the healthy development of a diverse college community. A report was issued in winter 2008. That report is available on the Clark College intranet under College Committees and Report, Cultural Pluralism Diversity Evaluation (2007). The committee also tested the feasibility of student focus groups to gain first hand qualitative data regarding student experiences at Clark College by holding two focus groups in the spring of 2008. In summer of 2008, the Cultural Pluralism Committee convened a broader work group that consisted of the Executive Cabinet, the Instructional Council, Student Affairs' Deans, and Disability Support Services, Multicultural Student Affairs and International Programs staff. Diversity Consultant, Steve Hanamura, facilitated this session as well as a follow-up session with the Cultural Pluralism Committee to begin to shape Clark College's vision and definition for diversity.
Vision and Definition
While the Cultural Pluralism Committee discussed at great length the meaning of diversity and recognized that diversity is ultimately an inclusive term, the committee arrived at the conclusion that it could not, in a civil and respectful learning environment, be an ALL inclusive term. The taxonomy of diversity includes psychological diversity and demographic diversity. Psychological diversity refers to personal attributes such as skills, talents, beliefs, values, personality and attitude while demographic diversity includes differences such as age, gender, race, and ethnicity (Landy & Conte, 2007). This diversity plan focuses more on the demographic and less on psychological diversity. Additionally, the concept of social group diversity overlaps that formal taxonomy.
The greater focus on demographic and social diversity addresses issues of bigotry and bias more likely to be suffered by these diverse groups due to societal structures of power and privilege which remain today. Quantitative and qualitative data and a review of literature support this claim. This focus is not intended to exclude other communities of people, but focus where institutional development is most needed. The success of socially disadvantaged communities serves as a critical indicator to assess whether Clark College is fostering a respectful, effective learning environment for all students.
Additionally, International Students are not considered by definition a socially disadvantaged group, yet International Students and the internationalization of our college community and curriculum foster exposure to a variety of beliefs, cultures and differences for all students. Internationalization helps prepare students for life and work in a multicultural, diverse and international society. Therefore the continued focus on internationalization is an asset to Clark College and facilitates the implementation of the mission, goals and strategies of this plan.
Respect, equity and civility provide a context for the interaction among diverse constituents of the college. As a result of this recognized context, speech and actions which perpetuate hate, oppression, group supremacy or exclusion are not recognized as productive and constructive forms of diversity at Clark College.
Prior to developing goals and strategies of the plan, the committee arrived at a vision statement for the college as well as a definition of diversity. The vision, definition, goals and strategies were all derived from a review of best practices in higher education, a comprehensive survey administered to the college community in winter 2007, student focus groups, consultation with content experts within and outside of the institution and two years of discussion and deliberation among the members of the Cultural Pluralism Committee. Update and input sessions were held at Fall Orientation 2007 and 2008.
Clark College recognizes, understands, confronts and challenges the institutional systems of privilege, power and inequality so that all members of the Clark College community can support student success.
Diversity at Clark College is defined as the participation of a rich variety of social groups in the college community with particular emphasis on including historically disadvantaged groups in the college. A diverse college community enhances learning through individuals working collaboratively with people from other social groups and backgrounds. Social groups that perpetuate personal or institutional systems of privilege, power and inequality are inconsistent with the intent of this plan.
The Diversity Plan is a plan for Clark College. It is the responsibility of college leadership and the college as a whole to implement the plan. In the development of this plan the Cultural Pluralism Committee embarked upon a collaborative process of discovery conducting research and contributing personal and professional experience in respectful deliberation to arrive at a framework. The plan will be further developed through broader civil deliberation and a process of discovery among members of the college community determining how the expressed goals manifest as departmental goals and actions, contributing to the value of institutional diversity.
One of the Clark College Institutional Goals for the 2009/2010 is to "Implement the diversity plan throughout the college." This goal is based in part on the section Foster a Diverse College Community in the Clark College 2008 Accreditation Self-Study; Standard 9, pg. 9-8. Based upon this self study as well as the Strategic Plan, each area of the college is responsible for developing goals to support these institutional priorities. The Diversity Plan provides both broad goals to be accomplished in five years, along with specific strategies that can be adopted by areas of the college in the 2009/2010 development of operational goals and unit plans. The goals are intertwined in that there are strategies identified that may fit into more than one goal. Ultimately all goals and strategies relate to the original charge of the committee: to develop a diversity plan which supports, enhances and ensures student success.
The Cultural Pluralism Committee and the Director for Equity and Diversity will be responsible for the assessment of the plan based upon the operational goals set forth and will serve as a resource to the college community and a partner in the continued process of discovery.
Goals and Strategies
The goals of the Diversity Plan are intentionally broad and provide the opportunity for individual units and departments to develop and implement annual planning objectives that will integrate these goals throughout the institution. Additionally strategies are suggested. These strategies are not all inclusive nor are they intended to determine unit and department activities.
Goal: Student Recruitment and Retention
Clark College will intentionally recruit and retain students from historically disadvantaged
Recruit, hire and retain a more diverse workforce which increases the percentage of faculty and staff from underrepresented and historically disadvantaged groups in order to attract, retain and serve students from diverse cultural groups.
Develop, implement and sustain a reciprocal student development pipeline through projects and program examples such as:TRIO Programs
I Have a Dream
Rites of Passage
Scholarships for non-traditional students
College is Possible (CIP)
Town Plaza Pathways programs
Note: Some of these programs are locally organized, others can be found on the Department of Education website.
Create a culture of care through the investment in the social infrastructure of Clark College:
Develop multiple communication conduits, relationships, and trust with members and groups in the community which represent diverse social populations.
Develop, implement and sustain a peer mentoring program for faculty, staff and administrators to develop relationships, both inter and intra cultural, and build interpersonal self-efficacy.
Develop, implement and sustain a peer mentoring program for students to develop skills in networking, self advocacy, etc.
Develop and sustain an ongoing feedback system, such as focus groups, for historically disadvantaged social groups in the college community.
*A reciprocal pipeline is two-way and mutually beneficial to the college and the community.
Goal: Diversity Education and Training
Clark College will provide comprehensive and continuing training and educational resources to help college employees work effectively in a diverse college community.
Create avenues for structured professional development that enables all college personnel to learn in depth about diversity and to adapt their thinking and approaches in interactions with people from social groups other than their own.
Use Fall Orientation to launch diversity as an awareness and educational theme for Clark College.
Hold monthly forums/panels/presentations on diversity relating to historically disadvantaged groups.
Research educational and training models which focus on the personal work and systemic issues related to diversity.
Develop a web-based forum for sharing best practices and ideas.
Goal: Curricular Transformation
Clark College will facilitate a collaborative process of discovery regarding the dynamics and implications of power, privilege and inequality in course offerings and in the learning environment.
Develop and implement plan to restructure existing course content to incorporate diverse perspectives inclusive of teachings on power, privilege and inequality.
Establish learning communities for the sharing of best practices.
Acquire a speaker for Fall Orientation, who can address issues of power, privilege and inequality in the classroom, including curricular implications.
Implement a Multicultural/Diversity AA degree requirement.
Develop and implement plan to Internationalize curriculum.
Goal: Employee Recruitment and Retention
Clark College will recruit, hire, and retain a more diverse workforce with emphasis on underrepresented and historically disadvantaged groups.
Create career pathways to prepare and encourage advancement.
Develop broad and intentional recruitment practices such as:
Facilitate participation of Clark College employees as ambassadors of the college in candidate recruitment.
Human Resources assess and provide guidance on tactics and strategies, including placement of announcements in publications which produce diverse candidates from underrepresented groups.
Provide consistent training for screening committees, utilizing a web based platform in addition to group training.
Responsibility and Compliance
In addition to the goals and strategies of this plan, compliance remains a necessity from the standpoint of college policy and state and federal laws and regulations.
The responsibility for and the protection of this commitment extends to students, faculty administrators, staff, contractors and those who develop or participate in Clark College programs. Clark College affirms a commitment to freedom from discrimination and harassment for all members of the college community. The college expressly prohibits discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, creed, disabled veteran status, marital status, honorably discharged veteran or Vietnam-era veteran status.
Office for Equity and Diversity: The college president delegates investigation of grievances on the basis of race, sex, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation and marital status to the Director for Equity and Diversity.
Disability Support Services: The college president delegates investigation of grievances on the basis of any physical, sensory or mental disability or status as a disabled, honorably discharged or Vietnam-era veteran to the ADA Compliance Officer (ADACO).
Cultural Pluralism Committee and the Director for Equity and Diversity: The committee will, in conjunction with the Office for Equity and Diversity, serve as a resource to the college on matters which relate to the implementation of this plan. The committee will develop goals in the annual planning process under the Office for Equity and Diversity. The committee and the director will also serve as evaluators of the plan and strategies which are implemented, in addition to continuing to monitor the diversity related climate and health of Clark College.
Timeline and Evaluation
This plan has been developed as a five-year plan, as the identified goals will take time to implement. Specific one-year strategies should be implemented each year. Both the strategies and progress toward the goals will be evaluated each year by the committee. Additional goals may be added to the plan as continued assessment of the diversity at Clark College indicates the need.
2009 Cultural Pluralism Committee Members*
The Clark College Diversity Plan was developed through the efforts of many people here at Clark College:
Leann Johnson - Director for Equity and Diversity, Committee Chair
Carlos Castro–Professor, Sociology
Tyler Chen–Secretary Senior, Office of Instruction
Sara Gallow– Professor, English as a Second Language
Miles Jackson - Interim Dean, Social Sciences and Fine Arts
Tami Jacobs–Director of Disability Support Services, Student Affairs
Debi Jenkins–Professor, Psychology and Early Childhood Education
Susan Maxwell–Research Analyst, Planning and Effectiveness
Lynne Nolan–Faculty, English
Felisciana Peralta–Multicultural Retention Manager, Student Affairs
Thao Schmidt–Consultant Assistant, Human Resources
Jenny Schrock–Program Supervisor, Admissions
Alejandra Silva–Student, ASCC Representative
Nancy Thompson–Professor, English
Dian Ulner–Professor, Women's Studies
Carrie Weikel-Delaplane - Director of Student Life and Multicultural Student Affairs
Recent Past Members:
Megan Brooker–Consultant Assistant, Human Resources
Blaine Hashimoto–Student, ASCC Representative
Honey Knight - Faculty, Dental Hygiene
Pachia Thao–Student, ASCC Representative
Community of Care: A community where the organizational culture begins the process to shift from one of control to one of connecting (Bailey, Mrock & Davis, n.d.).
Demographic Diversity: Differences in observable attributes or demographic characteristics such as age, gender and, ethnicity (Landy & Conte, 2007, p. 555).
Historically Disadvantaged Group: A group in U.S. society that has been systematically discriminated against over a significant period of time (e.g. Native American/First People's, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered communities).
Institutional (as in institutional barriers): Refers to both the institution such as Clark College and systemic societal dynamics.
Power and Privilege: Rights, entitlement, advantage, or immunity granted or enjoyed by certain people or groups of people beyond the common advantages of others.
Psychological Diversity: DDifferences in underlying attributes such as skills, talents, personality characteristics, attitudes, beliefs, and values; may also include functional, occupational, and educational background (Landy & Conte, 2007, p. 555).
Reciprocal Student Development Pipeline: A two-way, mutually beneficial relationship between the college and the community.
Socially Disadvantaged Groups which are measurable: The college is allowed to gather certain demographic data from employees and students such as race and ethnicity. Prior to employment or admission, certain demographic information is optional and cannot be collected by the college on a mandatory basis. The reporting of information regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression cannot be mandated by the college prior to or post employment/admission.
Social Group: People sharing a social relation sometimes based on demographic or cultural similarity.
Bailey, K.A., Mrock, G., & Davis, F. (n.d.) Changing the Culture of Care. Retrieved January 30, 2009, from www.aacrc-dc.org/public/pdfs.
Landy & Conte (2007). Work in the 21st Century: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
*Date added to committee name on 2/2015