The College of Human Ecology has a long history as a leader in diversity and inclusion through our academic, research, and outreach programs. To align the college's ongoing efforts with the objectives outlined in Cornell's Toward New Destinations program, the college Diversity Committee develops annual initiatives to assess and evaluate the impact of current programs, and develops new programming and initiatives. By doing so, we aim to better engage our community around long-running programs and introduce emerging initiatives. Additionally, we are exploring how we can better track and evaluate all of our efforts to embrace diversity and foster inclusion.
2013-14 College of Human Ecology Diversity Initiatives
Initiative 1: Enhance college standard course evaluation to address diversity/inclusion issues in the classroom
The climate created in the classroom has a tremendous impact on students, playing an integral role in shaping their experience. Faculty and instructors work hard to create a positive learning environment, and we want to provide them with data on how students are experiencing the learning environment the instructors have created. To provide this data, the college will develop new questions for online course evaluations to gauge diversity and inclusion issues for undergraduates. We will develop and vet sample questions with faculty and other groups, after which we will work with the department to include the questions in course evaluations.
Initiative 2: Develop transfer student pipeline pilot program
It is key that the college develops strategic relationships with geographically diverse community colleges to ensure a diverse transfer student applicant pool. To ensure that we have a strong transfer pool and that we provide opportunities for community college graduates to continue their education at Cornell, we have chosen Santa Monica Community College as a pilot partner in an undergraduate underrepresented minority and/or first-generation student pipeline program. While still in the design phase, we intend for the initiative to build a model that can be replicated at community colleges with a significant enrollment of traditionally underrepresented populations.
Initiative 3: Develop and conduct a College of Human Ecology Diversity and Inclusion survey and analyze results and determine action plans
Given the importance of a climate of inclusion and diversity on recruitment, retention, and creation of a positive learning environment, the college seeks to periodically ask its students, faculty, and staff to assess its climate. In 2012, the Human Ecology Diversity Committee conducted a survey of these groups, and will this year begin to analyze the results of the survey and develop actions to address areas of concern.
Initiative 4: Develop and implement an awareness program for faculty on the processes to provide accommodation to students with disabilities
Faculty have expressed that they are left with insufficient knowledge on how to accommodate requests they receive from students with disabilities. We hope that, by providing administrative support and increasing awareness of support services, we can enable faculty to work proactively with students in need of accommodation. We plan to develop a guide for faculty within the college, and to additionally develop support services for faculty to help them meet students' requests.
Initiative 5: Respect at Cornell Title IX program
The college intends to improve multicultural competency and increase the effectiveness of communication around diversity by promoting the completion of a web-based Title IX program with faculty and staff. We will host a discussion group on the program content and will strive to have a significant percent of our employees complete the web-based program in this year.