Diversity and Global Perspectives: Progress 2010-2012
Goal 1: Identify ways to better blend internationalism and multiculturalism, and increase understanding of these commitments as central university curricular and co-curricular priorities.
The Division of Student Affairs conducted a Division-wide assessment project entitled Learning Across the University: Capturing the Student Voice. Themes from this assessment included the desire for public and private reflection, allowing students to learn about other campus individuals in safe and guided conversations, and increasing understanding of students' spiritual, cognitive, social, sensory, and emotional experiences throughout the learning experience. The message is clear — students’ inner life is intensely connected to their outer life and there is a need to connect various populations across campus.
This study helped to identify various UW-Whitewater departmental efforts that address these issues, including the Children’s Center, University Center, Recreation Sports and Facilities, Office of Residence Life, The University Bookstore, Center for Students with Disabilities, and the Dean of Students Office.
Some examples of valuable programs offered on campus include:
- The program Boxes and Walls, which depicts real-life scenarios encountered by different diversity groups.
- The Office of Residence Life sponsors 115 diversity-related programs.
- The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) provides support services to assist researchers with acquiring Extramural or Intramural Grants that Support Multiculturalism and/or Diversity.
- The Future Teacher Program in the COEPS assists multicultural/minority students who are interested in becoming Future Teachers and students interested in teaching in high need areas. The goal of the program is to increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates of undergraduate students majoring in education at UW-W.
- The Minority Business Program serves students from Asian, Black, Hispanic, and American Indian backgrounds and is specifically designed to provide advising assistance and academic support to undergraduate students with declared majors in business.
- The CoBE Summer Business Institute is designed to help ~20-25 students of color successfully transition from high school to the university via a weeklong summer program.
- McNair and King/Chavez Scholars and The Pathways to Success Program assist 35-50 new students each year to successfully transition to the university.
Diversity in Enrollment
Over the past three years, the number of new undergraduates from Wisconsin enrolling at UW-Whitewater has remained steady, with much of the campus growth attributed to an increase of students from Illinois. The number of underrepresented minority students has also remained steady, with approximately 260 new students each year. The number of new, first year international students is small during this time period, while first year adult students and students with military experience together account for just one percent of all first year students, decreasing slightly over the past two years.
There has been some growth of transfer students, particularly between Fall 2009 and Fall 2010. There has been significant growth in the number of transfer students from Illinois, but the size of that group is approximately 10 percent of the Wisconsin transfer population. Adult students and students with military experience account for over 15 percent and 3 percent of all transfer students respectively. Nearly all adult students and students with military experience come in as transfer students, only 25 new first-year students compared to 126 transfer students between the two groups for Fall 2011.
The James R. Connor University Center highlights some of the international cultures present on campus.