The University of Delaware Center for the Study of Diversity invited members of the campus community to a public forum to discuss the findings of the Diverse Learning Environments (DLE) climate survey of undergraduate students’ diversity experiences at UD.
The public forum was held May 9 in the Trabant Theater. A PDF of the presentation can be viewed here.
“What this report does is highlight areas where experiences have consequences for our students,” said James M. Jones, professor of psychology and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity. “By elevating a sense of belonging, you elevate a sense of success.”
The DLE survey, developed by the Higher Education Research Institute, was distributed to all 17,575 undergraduate students registered on the Newark campus of UD in spring 2016. Of those, 3,696 students responded. About 70 percent of those who responded were white, 20 percent were underrepresented minorities and 10 percent were Asian. The survey report is also recapped in a five-page executive summary. The mid-length report is available
hereand the final report will be uploaded soon.
Vice Provost for Diversity Carol Henderson said the report “allows us to think more purposefully about how to create a more inclusive campus environment.”
She said the recommendations in the report will “add depth to the University’s ongoing, holistic efforts related to inclusive excellence and help to make educated, intentional interventions for student success.”
Among the survey’s main findings:
• Underrepresented minority and Asian-American students have more negative experiences of the campus climate than white students. They also feel more excluded and less welcome on campus than do white students.
• Positive cross-racial interactions and conversations across differences are related to sense of belonging for all students.
• Students who feel academically validated are more likely to succeed academically.
• Diversity experiences and curriculum strengthen all students’ desire to work with diverse people and engage in civic-oriented activities.
• Students who perceive that the institution is committed to diversity also feel a sense of belonging.
A few of UD’s accomplishments in improving campus diversity include: hiring a director of Student Diversity and Inclusion in the Division of Student Life and a senior associate director in the Office of Equity and Inclusion who is responsible for strengthening the implementing non-discrimination practices and protocols; recertification of the multicultural requirement; and the Blue Hen Success Collaborative, which is focused on student success.