Preparing Students for a Diverse World: Why DEI Matters on Campus

Oct 31, 2023

In today’s ever-diversifying world, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are no longer just buzzwords; they are essential components of campus community, equipping students with the skills and awareness needed to thrive in an increasingly diverse world. DEI addresses educational disparities, preparing students for a future where fairness and inclusion in the workplace are vital. By prioritizing DEI, WPU strives to empower the next generation to lead with empathy and understanding in a world characterized by diversity.

So why is DEI on campus important?

DEI Promotes Social Mobility

  • The U.S. Department of Education indicates that “college opportunity diminishes for students of color at multiple points in the pipeline.” Although high school attainment for people of color has grown, “the gap in bachelor’s degree attainment has steadily widened between Hispanic and whites as well as black and white U.S. residents.” This results in intergenerational disparities by race and socioeconomic status.
  • As the U.S. population becomes more diverse, it is crucial to address these disparities since “gaps in college opportunity present a barrier to social mobility.” It is imperative to bridge these gaps, as educational attainment is closely linked to income and social mobility. The U.S. Department of Education states that “having a college degree makes a person more than three times as likely to rise from the bottom of the family income ladder all the way to the top.” DEI initiatives on campus can help level the playing field.

Diverse Campus Fosters Educational Benefits

    • Diversity on campus brings a multitude of educational benefits, as argued by the American Association of Universities. These benefits include improved racial and cultural awareness, enhanced critical thinking, and higher levels of service to the community.
    • Students learn from peers with backgrounds different from their own, enhancing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Extracurricular activities offer opportunities for teamwork and leadership development, which are essential skills for the workplace. As students encounter diverse perspectives, they become better equipped to thrive in a multicultural world.

    Prepares Students for the Workforce

    • DEI initiatives on campus play a pivotal role in preparing students for the workforce. Companies have witnessed higher turnover rates when there is unfairness in the workplace. Kapor Center for Social Impact found that “the single largest driver of turnover” in the tech industry is unfair treatment. This underscores the urgency of teaching students about equity and inclusion during their college years. When students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to promote equity and inclusivity, they not only contribute to a more welcoming campus environment but also become better-prepared individuals for the future workforce. By addressing these issues on campus, WPU encourages students to build a more equitable and inclusive society post-degree.

    WPU’s Commitment to DEI

    The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion supports students by hosting culturally affirming celebratory events, facilitating educational workshops for students, faculty, and staff, and through our service and advocacy efforts for the WPU and local communities.

    DEI Office Mission Statement

    WPU Office of Diversity & Inclusion provides support, advocacy, training & education and community-building events and programs for the WPU students, faculty and staff.

    The office has a programmatic focus on the needs and topics of minority students including students who identify as members of marginalized groups or identities such as LGBTQIA+, first-generation college students, women, international students, African American, Latinx/Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander, etc.

    We provide opportunities and initiatives for those who seek multicultural awareness, cultural competency, inclusive leadership training, greater capacity for equity and celebration of diversity.

    Learn more here.

    Connect the DEI Office

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