Submitted by the Inclusive Excellence Committee
 
Adopted from the Diversity Action Committee Diversity Plan Proposal

Guiding Statement

Lebanon Valley College seeks to sustain a campus community that is aware, understanding, and enhanced by the rich cultures, races, genders, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, ages, and physical abilities represented. Encountering these differences across curricular and co-curricular experiences will provide an education that prepares students for successful lives in a diverse and changing world. Inclusive Excellence must be woven into the fabric of the LVC student’s experience; it should no longer be treated as merely a special topic or isolated event.

 

Making excellence inclusive as stated by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is “an active process through which colleges and universities achieve excellence in learning, teaching, student development, institutional functioning, and engagement in local and global communities and requires that we uncover inequities in student success, identify effective educational practices, and build such practices organically for sustained institutional change.” The following core principles will facilitate the College’s pursuit, intentional and ongoing engagement with inclusive excellence.

 

  1. Diversity: Individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations). (AAC&U)
  2. Inclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. (AAC&U)
  3. Equity: the creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion. (AAC&U)
  4. Civility: Civility is claiming and caring for one’s identity, needs, and beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process.” – Tomas Spath and Cassandra Dahnke, Founders of the Institute for Civility in Government. From their opening paragraph: “Civility is about more than just politeness, although politeness is a necessary first step. It is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements. It is political in the sense that it is a necessary prerequisite for civic action. But it is political, too, in the sense that it is about negotiating interpersonal power such that everyone’s voice is heard, and nobody’s is ignored.”
  5. Affirmative Action Definition: “a set of specific and result-oriented procedures to which a contractor commits itself to apply every good faith effort. The objective of those procedures plus such efforts is equal employment opportunity. Procedures without effort to make them work are meaningless; and effort, undirected by specific and meaningful procedures, is inadequate...” 41 (From E.O. 11246, CFR 60-2.10.)

a. An affirmative action plan should be a narrowly tailored program that considers race, gender, etc. as a factor in recruitment, hiring and promotion policies and practices to remedy the present effects of past discrimination and to diversify the workforce. (See Affirmative Action in Higher Education: A Report by the Council Committee on Discrimination, AAUP Policy Documents & Reports 193, 194 (9th ed. 2001); Affirmative Action Plans: Recommended Procedures for Increasing the Number of Minority Persons and Women on College and University Faculties, AAUP Policy Documents & Reports 201 (9th ed., 2001)).


The following broad goals frame the strategic direction for inclusive excellence at LVC:

  1. Develop a culture based on the core values of Inclusive Excellence
  2. Intentionally integrate intercultural competence throughout the curriculum and co-curriculum that supports the mission of the College in preparing students for a “changing, diverse, and fragile world”
  3. Increase the percentage of underrepresented students on campus and initiatives to improve retention of those students
  4. Increase percentage of underrepresented faculty and staff to equal that of underrepresented students
  5. Increase percentage of underrepresented faculty and staff to at least equal to that of underrepresented students and improve retention initiatives for these individuals


For each of the four goals, a list of objectives and action steps has been created to facilitate the successful implementation and progress on the goals.

Goal #1: Develop a culture based on the core values of Inclusive Excellence

 

Objective #1: Inclusion of deliberate Inclusive Excellence language and goals in the new strategic plan, Envision 2020, where all are included, affirmed, valued, and supported.

 

Objective #2: Develop a college-wide Inclusive Excellence communication plan

Action Steps

  • Review and edit publications to include commitment to Inclusive Excellence.
  • Review and edit website to include commitment to Inclusive Excellence (i.e., general messaging, employment web pages).
  • Develop marketing strategies to nurture a community of Inclusive Excellence that encompasses the multiple touch points in student and staff recruitment.
  • Develop a PSA series to run on video monitors & YouTube.

 

Objective #3: Develop the infrastructure to carry out the goals of Inclusive Excellence

Action Steps

  • Define roles of offices, committees, and individuals for Inclusive Excellence initiatives.
  • Expand services, offerings, and personnel in the areas of multicultural affairs, global education, and disabilities services to ensure the offices serves as the main resource, advocate, and vehicle of support for all students. Department enhancement and expansion include such programs as the Women’s Services & Gender Resource Center, Women’s Leadership Symposium, the Summer Enrichment Program, International Student Orientation Program, mentoring program for students with disabilities, etc.
  • Review and edit campus-wide policies and procedures (i.e., residential, classroom, community).
  • Develop and administer surveys and assessment mechanisms to monitor Inclusive Excellence climate on campus.

 

Objective #4: Ensure equal access to curricular and co-curricular opportunities

Action Steps

  • Provide an adequate number of high impact learning opportunities, sufficient in scope, so that all students have the opportunity to engage in these transformative experiences.
  • Assess student outcomes to determine potential inequities in opportunities or engagement.
  • Ensure that college-wide programs (e.g. Colloquium events, College ceremonies) are held in accessible locations.
  • Identify equity gaps, adopting methodology described in Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices (Finley & McNair, 2013).
  • Honor societies

 

Objective #5: Ensure adequacy of services, including instructional, to maximize the academic and social success of students from underrepresented groups

Action Steps

  • Implement mentoring programs for underrepresented students (students mentoring students, faculty/staff mentoring students).
  • Assess incoming students’ academic competencies and plan appropriate interventions.
  • Provide adequate funding to Center for Writing & Tutoring Resources, Center for Disability Services, and Office of Intercultural Affairs and Inclusive Programs.
  • Use institutional data to inform where inadequacies exist and what improvements are needed.

 
Objective #6: Working with human resources, develop information sessions (i.e., face-to-face and online workshops) to assure an understanding of Inclusive Excellence principles and training sessions to prepare all campus citizens on how to respond to incidences of bias.

Action Steps

  • Request funding for professional development - $5,000


Objective #7: Identify resources and staff to support the initiatives of Inclusive Excellence

Action Steps

  • Request new staff position - $60,000
  • Request funding for programming - $10,000


Objective #8: Identify and engage a consultant that can guide the process in its early stages

Action Steps

  • Request funding for a consultant - $20,000

 
Goal #2: Intentionally integrate intercultural competence throughout the curriculum and co-curriculum that supports the mission of the College in preparing students for a “changing, diverse, and fragile world.”

 

Objective #1: Develop curricular and co-curricular programs that focus on personal, social, and global responsibility.

Action Steps

  • Inventory and assess current curricular and co-curricular initiatives on campus.
  • Develop and implement specific goals/outcomes within the Constellation LVC curriculum that appreciate cultural, social, moral, economic, and political ideas different from their own. Essential steps include establishing a global education in inter-cultural diversity and the intra-cultural examination of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and religion that define the U.S. Americans.
  • Develop and implement specific goals/outcomes within experiential learning opportunities. (“High-impact experiences” across the curricular and co-curricular experience that will develop students’ global and intercultural competency.)
  • Develop an expanded program on Inclusive Excellence in residential education. (Create living-learning environments [e.g. residence halls) that bridge the curricular and co-curricular, such as with first-year seminars, common intellectual experiences, tutoring.)
  • Implement a common intellectual experience for first year students – possibly changing year to year according to colloquium, special exhibits, etc. Incorporate readings, including a summer reading assignment related to inclusivity and/or diverse perspectives.
  • Promote the value of study abroad/study away through increased institutional support and recruitment of international students and other underrepresented groups.
  • Adopt multi-disciplinary programs in areas such as gender and/or ethnic studies.


Objective #2: Develop assessment mechanisms to evaluate the effectiveness of curricular and co-curricular courses and programming

 

Goal #3 Increase the percentage of underrepresented students on campus and initiatives to improve retention of those students

 

Objective #1: Design and implement intentional recruitment strategies for underrepresented students

Action Steps

  • Seek innovative ways to attract and include students who will contribute to diversity through race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, physical ability, religious beliefs, etc. and explore new and aggressive scholarship opportunities for said students.
  • Evaluate LVC’s presence in local urban school areas where recruitment has had smaller yield and determine feasibility of building mutually beneficial opportunities for community engagement.
  • Evaluate LVC’s presence outside of regional school areas where recruitment has had smaller yield but would add to geographic diversity on campus and determine feasibility of building mutual beneficial opportunities for community engagement.
  • Engage alumni from underrepresented groups in the recruitment process first by building relationships with underrepresented alumni who are no longer engaged with the college.
  • Implement strategies for recruiting international students.
  • Seek opportunities for recruitment of ALANA athletes across the program.
  • Submit grants that will help attract underrepresented students (NSF – Noyce, S-STEM).


Objective #2: Design and implement intentional retention strategies for underrepresented students

Action Steps

  • Review existing and develop new orientation/bridge programs.
  • Develop and implement first-year common experiences (i.e., common readings, programs) and high impact experiences.
  • Engage alumni mentors to assist with the recruitment of underrepresented students.

 


Goal #4: Increase percentage of underrepresented faculty and staff to at least equal to that of underrepresented students and improve retention initiatives for these individuals

 

Objective #1: Working with human resources, implement a plan for the intentional recruitment of underrepresented faculty and staff (1) Full-time, continuing employment hires of faculty, staff, coaches and (2) Teaching fellows, graduate assistants, and interns

Action Steps

  • Circulate job announcements to non-traditional places.
  • Improve website messaging for prospective employees.
  • Implement training for search committees.
  • Identify and implement “pipeline initiatives” – programs that nurture the development of underrepresented faculty years before the job market.
  • Implement graduate assistant models to support employment of recent grads to support athletic programs.


Objective #2: Design and implement intentional retention strategies for underrepresented faculty and staff

Action Steps

  • Identify and engage mentors with cross-cultural communication expertise.
  • Develop and implement programming to enhance work experiences.