THE MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY passed legislation in 2008 that requires each independent institution that receives State Sellinger funds to report annually to MICUA on programs and practices that promote and enhance cultural diversity. As defined in statute, “cultural diversity” means the inclusion of those racial and ethnic groups that traditionally have been underrepresented in higher education. In consultation with its member institutions, MICUA developed a survey instrument for independent colleges and universities to report annually on its cultural diversity programs and practices. MICUA is charged with compiling the information received from its member institutions and submitting a report to the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).
FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS, MICUA has surveyed Maryland’s independent colleges and universities to identify new and on-going programs and activities that promote cultural understanding, build on impactful policies, and create a blueprint for success in creating inclusive campus communities. With information collected from these surveys, MICUA publishes its annual Cultural Diversity Report.
MICUA’s 2018 Cultural Diversity Report is a compilation of the results of its most recent survey. The Report does not list every initiative or effort on each campus, but provides a general overview of common activities, unique programs, and best practices to enhance the campus climate and support cultural competency. Many of the examples provided in the Report are ongoing, multi-year practices and programs that have proven effective. Other examples reflect new initiatives and emerging trends. The Report also highlights meetings, lectures, discussions, ad hoc events, and other activities held to promote learning about and continued discussions of race, gender, and equity.
In addition, the 2018 Report includes a special section on “empowering women.” Several MICUA member institutions were established in the 1800s to provide college access to women who were underrepresented in higher education and not admitted to many public and private institutions at that time. This historical commitment to empowering women continues today in the programs and services offered by MICUA member institutions.
ALL INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION are required to report enrollment and graduation rates through the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The figures for students are disaggregated by race and ethnicity. Based on 2017 IPEDS enrollment data, 37 percent of undergraduate students enrolled at MICUA member institutions are students of color.
The fastest growing population at MICUA institutions is Hispanic students. Between 2008 and 2017, Hispanic undergraduate student enrollment increased by 145 percent, while African American undergraduate student enrollment grew by 35 percent. In comparison, total undergraduate student enrollment grew by 2 percent at MICUA institutions.
Based on IPEDS graduation rates, half of the MICUA State-aided colleges and universities have eliminated the graduation gap between students of color and the general student population. Institutions also report race and ethnicity of full-time faculty. Based on the most recent IPEDS data available, 25 percent of full-time faculty members at MICUA institutions are minority.
All MICUA member institutions are actively engaged in efforts to create a welcoming and inclusive campus community, serve culturally diverse students, and hire culturally diverse faculty and administrators. As required by law, the MICUA 2018 Cultural Diversity Report is a summary of the many programs implemented by Maryland’s independent colleges and universities to promote and enhance cultural diversity during the 2017-2018 academic year. The report does not list every initiative or effort on each campus, but provides a general overview of common activities, unique programs, and best practices. Many of the examples provided in this document are ongoing, multi-year practices and programs that have proven effective. Other examples reflect new initiatives and emerging trends. A new development over the past year has been the number of ad hoc events, meetings, lectures, discussions, and other activities related to the unrest in Baltimore City.
In consultation with its member institutions, MICUA developed a survey instrument for independent colleges and universities to report on programs that promote and enhance cultural diversity. All MICUA member institutions that receive State Sellinger funds completed the following survey questions:
- 1. Does the mission statement of the institution demonstrate a commitment to providing an inclusive learning environment for underrepresented ethnic groups? (Include relevant statements.)
2. Does the institution include diversity goals in its long-range strategic plans? If so, list those goals.
3. Has your institution established an office of diversity and multicultural affairs and/or assigned staff to coordinate programming and oversee the range of issues related to diversity? Describe these efforts.
4. Is cultural literacy a component of the institution’s general education requirements or elective programs? (Please describe.)
5. Describe how the institution’s print and electronic promotional materials reflect populations with varied ethnicity, race, national origin, age, and gender groups.
6. Describe campus activities and organizations that recognize and celebrate diverse populations, such as clubs, lectures, exhibits, workshops, food tastings, fashion shows, dance performances, films, etc.
7. Provide examples of campus efforts to recruit and support a diverse student population, such as community outreach, college preparation, tutoring, mentoring, financial assistance, intervention services for at-risk students, and college and career advising. Include student support services, orientation programs, first-year seminars, and academic support designed to assist culturally diverse students.
8. Describe financial aid programs or scholarships designed to promote cultural diversity.
9. How involved are students of color in campus leadership? What is the institution doing to encourage students to become involved in leadership?
10. Describe efforts the institution has made in the past year to recruit diverse faculty, as well as mentoring and professional development programs designed to support culturally diverse faculty members at the institution.
11. How is cultural diversity reflected in the institution’s leadership? Describe efforts the institution has made to recruit diverse administrators. Include current mentoring and professional development programs to support culturally diverse administrators, as well as leadership development programs to encourage and promote persons of color to leadership positions.
12. Describe how the institution assesses its performance in promoting cultural diversity.
13. What additional program(s) would you like to implement to enhance cultural diversity if resources were available?