The oldest and largest publication in higher education that focuses on diversity, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, has recognized the efforts and achievements towards the diversity of schools on an annual basis. This year, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) was one of the universities that won an award, specifically the 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award.
UNCG won the award due to the University’s programs in the areas of recruitment and retention, campus climate and innovative diversity education, each of which are recognized as being models for other schools throughout the country.
In 2018, the HEED award was given to six schools in the University of North Carolina system, including East Carolina University, NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNCG, UNC-Wilmington and Winston-Salem State University. The total number of recipients of the award this year was 101, as 95 other universities also received the ward including William & Mary, Northeastern and Clemson.
“We serve a vast array of students and are tenaciously committed to their success. This award reflects the collective commitment and work of our campus community to create an inclusive and vibrant learning environment for all,” said UNCG Chancellor, Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. after hearing the news.
When it comes to recruitment and retention, special recognition must be paid to Hispanic and Latinx organizations on campus for the student body whose works have helped attract many students and helped keep students at the University. These groups include the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Spanish and Latin American Student Association (SALSA).
Another such group is ALIANZA, which is UNCG’s faculty and staff organization by Hispanic and Latinx faculty and staff and for issues relevant to that community. These organizations helped spearhead various initiatives and offer services to the Hispanic and Latinx community of UNCG, as well as being hard at work motivating high school students who might not otherwise come to college.
One such way they’ve been instrumental in boasting UNCG’s recruitment and retention is by creating the CHANCE program. The CHANCE program, also known as the Campamento Hispano Abriendo Nuestro Camino a la Educacion or Hispanic Camp Opening the Path to Education, is a week-long residential summer camp pre-college program for Hispanic and Latinx students.
Another of the University’s innovate programs is the Spartans-In-Dialogue program, which is a dialogue program that encourages the exploration of the intersections of identities surrounding race between various student groups and individual students.
Its format includes groups of eight to 12 undergraduate students and a handful of graduate students who meet for 2 hours a week for 5 weeks each semester. During these sessions, participants will practice dialogue skills, increase awareness and understanding of personal perspectives and work to understand the challenges related to local, national, and global issues and events.
The program is designed to help encourage relationship building and a safe exploration of difficult and often controversial topics in a safeplace with staff members and trained facilitators to help keep the dialogues productive, educational and focused. So far, over 100 students have participated in the dialogues since 2017. Additionally, this semester’s meetings have met capacity.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s commitment to diversity and to helping students become global participants continues to be one of their priorities.