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Evaluation in Promoting Diversity

MICUA institutions evaluate cultural diversity programs and practices using a range of outside sources and internal campus assessments. For example, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), which assesses student experiences with diverse populations, is frequently used to inform strategic plans and goals for the institution. Colleges and universities may also add a series of questions specific to the individual campus in conducting surveys to entering first-year students and graduating seniors

McDaniel College has partnered with the Higher Education Research Institute to assess student learning related to diversity.  The Diverse Learning Environments (DLE) Survey is based on research that shows that optimizing diversity in learning environments can facilitate achievement of key outcomes, including improving students’ habits of mind for lifelong learning, competencies and skills for living in a diverse society, and student retention and success.  The DLE captures student perceptions regarding the institutional climate; campus experiences with faculty, staff, and peers; and learning outcomes.  Diverse student populations are at the center of the survey, and the instrument is based on studies of diverse student bodies and the complexity of issues that range from student mobility to intergroup relations.   

Notre Dame of Maryland University conducts assessments on cultural diversity in a variety of ways, including course evaluations, program assessments, feedback surveys, and standardized instruments such as NSSE, Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) surveys, Collegiate Learning Assessment, Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction surveys, and the University’s own assessment rubrics and surveys.  The University’s Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Council administered a survey to all campus members during this past spring semester.  In addition, Residence Life participated in the EBI Resident Satisfaction Survey that assesses student residential culture surrounding diversity and respect in the residence halls.  The University is currently on year two of a three-year initial benchmarking timeline.  Between the first and second years of the EBI survey, the institution saw an increase in diverse interactions among students as measured by the survey.       

Johns Hopkins University tracks retention, graduation, and satisfaction rates among underrepresented students, as well as progress made in implementing the commitments made in the institution’s Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion.  This past spring, the University conducted a second LGBTQ needs assessment and will be developing recommendations out of that.  In addition, Student Affairs staff members regularly meet with key student groups to gather feedback to inform their cultural diversity programming efforts.  The newly established Homewood Council on Inclusive Excellence also plays a role in evaluating campus culture and disseminating diversity data to constituents and stakeholders to increase transparency and to provide accountability for diversity progress.  Further, the Diversity Leadership Council, an advisory group appointed by the President, conducts regular campus climate surveys with faculty and staff.         

Stevenson University participates in the NSSE, and three of the CIRP surveys are distributed to incoming students, freshmen in the spring of their first year, and graduating seniors. Each of these surveys includes several questions that address satisfaction with and participation in cultural activities on campus, as well as student perceptions of the cultural climate of the institution.  The findings from these surveys are shared with executive staff and all members of the campus community, and research briefs and reports are prepared by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.  Additionally, the University assesses its performance in promoting diversity by analyzing enrollment and other data about diverse students and the campus climate.

Maryland Institute College of Art is open to the critical voices of students, faculty, and staff around the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  During the 2014-2015 academic year, MICA students developed and led the Power and Equity Forum, which provided a vehicle for the entire campus community to voice their concerns about institutional needs.  At the end of the Forum’s first year, a set of recommendations were delivered to the President, which then led to the creation of the President’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Globalization.  The Task Force is a two-year effort that will conduct an assessment and internal audit of the institution’s strengths and weaknesses around diversity, equity, inclusion, and globalization.  The Task Force has five subcommittees that will focus more specifically on structure and support, policy and hiring, curriculum, training and awareness, and community engagement.  

Loyola University Maryland regularly administers institutional effectiveness assessments to measure recruitment, enrollment, and retention of undergraduate and graduate students by race, gender, religion, first-generation college-going status, and socioeconomic status.  In addition, Human Resources collaborates with Academic Affairs and the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness on a periodic campus climate survey of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators.  In 2015, Loyola once again partnered with the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education to survey tenure-track and tenured faculty about satisfaction across areas of faculty life: teaching, scholarship, service, academic leadership, governance, and work-life balance.  The survey provides a snapshot of how different groups experience the institution, and therefore how the institution can better support women, faculty of color, and tenure-track faculty.  As an outcome of this survey, Loyola instituted a faculty salary equity study for gender and race/ethnicity, an annual Chair Institute focusing on best practices around diversity and inclusion, and a plan to study implicit bias in student course evaluations.  

Washington College uses a combination of the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE) and the NSSE to understand students’ expectations and subsequent experiences of diversity with their social interactions and the curriculum.  The results from the NSSE have engaged the campus in further conversations about promoting and celebrating diversity in the areas of campus climate, curriculum, and student learning about diversity.  The College’s Diversity Committee is creating an assessment plan to examine the institution’s diversity initiatives, based on an expansion of the NSSE survey with additional questions that were used in a study funded by the Teagle Foundation in 2009-2011 to develop goals and action items for the institution.  In addition, the Director of the Office of Intercultural Affairs reports annually on the work of the office, including data on cultural events and attendance, and has developed four learning outcomes that provide the basis for measuring progress and guiding action items for the institution.      

Since February 2015, Goucher College has been working with Baltimore Racial Justice Action, an external consulting group, to conduct a series of focus groups with key stakeholders to identify the most significant racial issues facing the institution, and to prepare a plan for addressing these issues over a two-year period.  Initiatives have included racial equity focus groups with the Diversity Standing Committee, United Students of Color Coalition, Administrative Employees Association, President’s Leadership Team, faculty, academic affairs staff, student affairs staff, advancement staff, and white students.  Assessment surveys have also been conducted with various administrative offices on campus, including public safety, communications, and human resources. 

Mount St. Mary’s University, all events sponsored by the Center for Student Diversity are evaluated, and those results are collected and evaluated by the Center with the goal of improving attendance, awareness, knowledge, and satisfaction for upcoming events.  In spring 2015, the Mount Inclusive Excellence Committee (MIEC) administered a campus climate survey to students.  MIEC is examining the results of the survey to derive insights for the University’s goals and objectives. The Mount will be able to collect and track useful longitudinal information from this survey. 

Hood College is committed to ensuring that students are exposed to many different cultures, ideologies, and opportunities. The College uses a wide variety of instruments to assess its performance in promoting cultural diversity. Throughout the year, surveys such as the Student Satisfaction Inventory, NSSE, internal assessments/surveys, climate surveys, and club and organization evaluations are used to provide important feedback regarding the College’s commitment to and progress in promoting cultural diversity. Throughout the College, senior leadership and management teams are working on programs to assess student learning outcomes both inside and outside of the classroom. In March 2016, several administrators, faculty, and staff in student support services participated in a workshop to address assessment and student learning outcomes. Since that time, a Student Life Assessment Team has been appointed to help develop an assessment plan, which will contribute to the general assessment of campus programs and activities, including programs promoting cultural diversity.