Special Issue "Diversity and Equity in Higher Education"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Higher Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Tabitha Grier-Reed
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Family Social Science, University of Minnesota Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 55104, USA
Interests: diversity in Higher Education; black college students

Special Issue Information

In this time of upheaval and increasing diversity in society, higher education can lead the way. This Special Issue seeks to advance diversity and equity in higher education inside and outside of the classroom through research, commentary, theory, and practice. Engaged scholarship that draws from lived experience, praxis, and/or diversity science is encouraged. A relatively recent development in the literature, diversity science seeks to understand how disparities are culturally mediated and reproduced in the daily lives of individuals and throughout institutions. Articles that extend a diversity science approach to antiracism work in education are strongly encouraged. Through this Special Issue, I aim not only to advance diversity and equity in higher education but also to generate lessons for society at large.

Potential areas of focus may include but are not limited to:

  • Increasing diversity on campus or in the classroom
  • Activism on campus
  • Diversity and pedagogy
  • Supporting diverse students
  • Diversity science in education
  • Diversity, equity, and citizenship
  • Diversity and equity across the disciplines
  • Lessons from the front lines
  • Addressing whiteness in education 

Dr. Tabitha Grier-Reed
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Higher Education

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Person–Environment Fit and Retention of Racially Minoritized College Students: Recommendations for Faculty, Support Staff, and Administrators
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060271 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Although colleges in the United States have become increasingly racially and ethnically diverse, degree attainment remains disproportionately low among students from underrepresented and minoritized racial backgrounds. In this paper, we discuss the interactive influence of both person and environment factors in shaping academic [...] Read more.
Although colleges in the United States have become increasingly racially and ethnically diverse, degree attainment remains disproportionately low among students from underrepresented and minoritized racial backgrounds. In this paper, we discuss the interactive influence of both person and environment factors in shaping academic persistence and argue that college administrators, faculty, and student support staff can intervene and take specific steps to improve the academic experience of racially minoritized college students. To this end, we offer specific evidence-based recommendations for campus leaders and stakeholders on how to adapt their campus community to facilitate the requisite person–environment fit to maximize academic persistence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Equity in Higher Education)
Article
Tipping Point: Perceptions of Diversity in Black and White
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11050241 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 434
Abstract
By 2044, the USA is projected to be a majority-minority nation. Research suggests that when people of color reach 40–60% of the population, a tipping point occurs in which white individuals experience a collective existential threat and threat to their status and resources, [...] Read more.
By 2044, the USA is projected to be a majority-minority nation. Research suggests that when people of color reach 40–60% of the population, a tipping point occurs in which white individuals experience a collective existential threat and threat to their status and resources, resulting in more negative attitudes toward diversity. Institutions of higher education are microcosms of society. We were interested in how perceptions of diversity might differ across two universities—one that had reached the tipping point of only 50% white Americans; 543 black and white undergraduates completed items from the Diverse Learning Environment Core Survey measuring perceptions of belonging, diversity, and discrimination. We found that white students in the more diverse context were less satisfied with diversity on campus than their white counterparts (at the less diverse university); moreover, these students reported the highest level of discrimination in the study—even higher than that of black students in the less diverse context. These findings highlight the ways in which increasing representation and enfranchisement of racially and culturally different others may result in feelings of disenfranchisement for white Americans. With implications for the larger society, we argue that centering and deconstructing whiteness and white racial socialization is essential for the next era of equity and diversity aimed at redressing structural inequality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Equity in Higher Education)
Article
Rethinking Race, Ethnicity, and the Assessment of Intercultural Competence in Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030110 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 698
Abstract
This qualitative study aims to explore the limitations of using a cultural assessment tool in higher education with the goal of preparing students to thrive in a highly demanding, diverse, and global community. Colleges and universities are potentially important sites of cross-cultural and [...] Read more.
This qualitative study aims to explore the limitations of using a cultural assessment tool in higher education with the goal of preparing students to thrive in a highly demanding, diverse, and global community. Colleges and universities are potentially important sites of cross-cultural and cross-racial engagement and socialization, and cultural competence is arguably one of the critical skills that many higher education institutions are embracing to prepare students for our diverse, but increasingly polarized, global society. In particular, this study discusses the use of the intercultural development inventory (IDI), a cultural assessment tool that has not been validated in the U.S. for racial, ethnic, or social class differences, and which leaves out the role of structural inequalities in intercultural relationships. Findings reveal that interview data from black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) did not align with their IDI results and that the tool dismisses the complex experiences of BIPOC students. These findings jeopardize the tool’s purpose and validity. Finally, this study reveals the importance of educating students about structural competence to improve empathy and understanding of a diverse student body. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Equity in Higher Education)
Article
From Antiblackness to Cultural Health in Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11020057 - 02 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 617
Abstract
Antiblackness has a long and storied history in higher education in the United States, and unfortunately, antiblack attitudes and practices continue in the 21st century. With implications for countering antiblackness in higher education and institutionalizing support for cultural health and wellness, we documented [...] Read more.
Antiblackness has a long and storied history in higher education in the United States, and unfortunately, antiblack attitudes and practices continue in the 21st century. With implications for countering antiblackness in higher education and institutionalizing support for cultural health and wellness, we documented experiences of antiblackness in the African American Student Network (AFAM). AFAM was a weekly networking group, co-facilitated by Black faculty and graduate students, where Black undergraduates could come together and share their experiences. Participation in AFAM was associated with Black holistic wellness, and AFAM was a source of cultural health, where we conceptualized cultural health as having a sense of pride and resilience in one’s cultural background. We analyzed notes of 277 AFAM discussions from 2005–2006 to 2017–2018 using an adaptation of consensual qualitative research methods to identify four domains of antiblackness: racial trauma (n = 51), racial microaggressions (n = 34), racial rejection (n = 33), and systemic racism (n = 25). In moving from antiblackness to cultural health, we advocate for institutional resources in higher education, such as an institute for cultural health on campus, that values the cultures of Black students and students of color, and that focuses on building communities in which students can generate a wellspring of pride and resilience in their cultural backgrounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Equity in Higher Education)

Review

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Review
First-Generation College Students and Family Support: A Critical Review of Empirical Research Literature
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060294 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 522
Abstract
The majority of empirical literature on first generation college students (FGCSs) in the U.S. asserts that because their parents did not attend college, FGCSs are lacking important resources to be successful in college. However, this results in a deficit-based approach to the study [...] Read more.
The majority of empirical literature on first generation college students (FGCSs) in the U.S. asserts that because their parents did not attend college, FGCSs are lacking important resources to be successful in college. However, this results in a deficit-based approach to the study of FGCSs that tends to highlight the differences between first-generation and continuing-education students. However, FGCSs possess a wealth of resources from parents and families that make them successful, and that are often ignored in research. Asset-based approaches to the study of FGCSs are becoming more frequent in the form of books, book chapters, and white papers; however, published empirical research has yet to adopt this approach. As a result, a deeper understanding of FGCSs’ experiences is essential to advancing diversity and equity in higher education. To begin to address this gap, a systematic literature review of empirical studies following the PRISMA framework was conducted on first generation college students and family support; the literature was critically reviewed and future directions for the field were identified. Applying a critical, cultural, and familial lens to the study of first-generation college students will contribute to reframing the research narrative towards an asset-based narrative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Equity in Higher Education)
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Review
Review of Racially Equitable Admissions Practices in STEM Doctoral Programs
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060270 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 769
Abstract
This study reviews literature on racially equitable admissions practices relevant to graduate programs in STEM. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores correlate more strongly with race, gender, and socioeconomic status than performance metrics for research during or after graduate school. Structural changes to admissions [...] Read more.
This study reviews literature on racially equitable admissions practices relevant to graduate programs in STEM. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores correlate more strongly with race, gender, and socioeconomic status than performance metrics for research during or after graduate school. Structural changes to admissions processes that can improve equity of admissions decisions and reduce correlations between admissions decisions and demographic data include using holistic review or composite scores that quantize more components of an application, removing hard limits on course requirements, admitting students as a cohort instead of to individual faculty sponsors, and diversifying admissions committees. Some alternative scoring methods attempt to measure personality traits, but performing these measurements during admissions may present difficulties. Bridge programs—whether they are implemented as collaborations with a minority-serving institution, a personalized educational program for each student admitted to a program, or a stand-alone program before the doctoral degree program—may be able to improve both recruitment and retention of students with underrepresented racial and ethnic identities in their field of study. Finally, financial barriers to applications can disproportionately affect underrepresented applicants due to systemic racism. We end with recommendations for graduate programs to improve equity in admissions processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Equity in Higher Education)
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