Participants in “Creating an Inclusive Campus” discussed the importance of language: inclusive excellence is not the same as cultural awareness. Often, presenters noted, institutions spend so much time developing an inclusive environment for students that the mentoring and support that faculty needs can be overlooked and a central aspect of true inclusion is neglected.
During “Effective Practices in Supporting Diverse Student Populations” and “Organizational Models to Build Equitable Campuses,” presenters stressed that a sense of belonging promotes student retention and persistence. In order to achieve a sense of belonging and inclusivity, mentoring across all campus roles (students, faculty, and staff) is essential and requires training. Discussion centered around the need to redevelop core courses with competencies related to diversity and to integrate inclusive competencies in all courses. Creating accountability requires that data be collected and analyzed, faculty and staff be trained, and that there be a commitment to inclusivity initiatives at all levels.
CIC’s new Belong initiative was launched at the 2022 Institute for Chief Academic Officers with Chief Financial and Chief Enrollment Officers. Belong allows institutions to bring research-backed practices and resources to faculty and staff to promote student inclusion and support campus diversity goals. Members will have access to resources, videos, guides, webinars, and nationally recognized credentialing opportunities, and join a new network dedicated to making campuses more welcoming and inclusive.