Learning institutions around the world are currently facing a rapid change. Community college students, faculty and staff members are aware and embracing the new concept of diversity, diversity is an aspect which has become a common aspect since the beginning of the millennium. Diversity means the significant differences among people in terms of roles, education, age, gender experiences, abilities, ethnicity, race, language sexual orientation and literacy skills. The dictionary indicates that the term diversity means a representation of a number of people in a given environment and also defines the differences seen among various cultural groups.
The modern-day society of America is considered to be among the top leading societies considered to be the most diverse. Many people in America live in neighborhoods which are highly diverse. This means that even the community colleges and all the learning institutions comprise of students and staff members from diverse backgrounds. The new phenomena of diversity are as a result of the high rate of immigration into America. This is still a continuing process and according to the national data of immigrants, it is believed that the modern-day neighborhoods will be twice more diverse in the next 20 years to come.
Diversity created through the aspect of immigration is the coming together of people from different nationalities, races, and ethnicity. Apart from immigration diversity is also as a result of the different aspects which determine our abilities and experiences. People with disabilities live among us and this requires that we have to acknowledge their presence and provide them with the emotional, material, employment and education opportunities with no discrimination. Diversity among us is also as a result of age. There is a very high population of baby boomers who are the older adults in the society.
The young and the old have to live in harmony through support and care for the older adults. The older adults also have a role to play in guiding the young generations on various social educational and even on professional matters. Learning institutions like the community colleges and universities are now considering diversity to be one of their crucial assets (University of Miami, Florida). The community colleges and even in the professional world have stressed on diversity and its importance. This has seen the implementation of programs which students and those already in the working fields to study and successfully implement diversity.
The term diversity has been considered in a very sensational among learning institutions and in the professional world (Lumadi, 2008).Major events around the world are taking place which depict collaboration among different countries and among people from diverse backgrounds. The globalization we see today is characterized by the exchange of ideas in sectors like technological advances, business ideas, and medical ideas and also on legal issues. Globalization has a los enable people to work in different foreign countries.
All these aspects of globalization indicate that there is need for people from different diverse backgrounds to work together in order to achieve a common goal and people have to accept and learn the cultural differences they face. In the business sector, people from different countries and diverse backgrounds have to collaborate and work together in harmony for the general befit of the business attaining its success. Diversity according to Dr. John Hall of Drexel University is an aspect which ha no cons but only advantages. This is because the society in all aspects such as the business and educational fields call for the need of working in teams and the current increase in globalization.
This therefore means that for us to achieve success, diversity becomes imperative (Lumadi 2008).Community colleges have been transformed by the highly diverse community comprising of teachers staff members and students. This calls for the community colleges to develop programs which can equip students and staff members on the issue of diversity. This means that programs should be implemented touching on this area. Community colleges also have a responsibility of initiating projects to educate the community around them on issues pertaining to diversity. These projects and efforts imply that there is need to expand the curriculum, improve the climate, and ensure there is faculty diversification offered at the community college.
The community college is also faced with the responsibility of increasing the number of international students. The community projects from these colleges have to educate the locals and the students on the need to understand other orientations and cultures so that they understand and appreciate the local culture. This is a process which should happen in tow ways. Those international students new to the country should also be given the opportunity to educate others on their cultural background, customs and values. Such steps ensures that a heterogeneous environment is created Multiculturalism in many learning institutions is becoming a major issue of debate among the faculties, staff members and the student’s body.
Many community colleges have made steps to address the issue of diversity through the creation of a link between the community they are based in and reimplementing the mission statement of the learning institution. These changes are as a result of doing away with the old notion that the community is monocultural or share a common culture. In the past, no disagreements aroused in the basic values taught in school which include teaching methods, the main curriculum and the expected role of the education system faculty and those carried out by the students. All, the people in the community colleges became socialized into the core aspects valued in the education system.
This includes the learning institution’s common beliefs and values based on the institution’s narrow racial, class and gender background. These aspects have however changed. The community colleges are currently held responsible to ensure that they are able to fulfill the needs of the diverse student’s body and to offer a curriculum which suits their diverse needs. Substantial reforms have to be undertaken by the community colleges to attain this goal this involves a change of strategies, reforming the curriculum and changing the various non-academic issues in the college environment. These community colleges are therefore faced with a crucial aspect which will determine their survival in the generations to come.
This means that the way they respond to the current changes determine how they will thrive in the few years to come. This involves colleges to change their mission statement as seen in Lenoir-Rhyme college which also went ahead to link the community with its activities. The college also had to change its religious affiliation to embracing the current secularization it faced. The population of female students was also increased as well as admitting students from ethnic and racial minorities. These efforts show how community colleges respond to the continuously increasing cultural diversity in the United States.
Adopting reforms in these community colleges also calls for the need to inculcate leadership among students as a way of preparing them for a work setting which is more divers than before. This shows that the goal of the community college is to provide education to students which reflect the real life outside the schools. Community colleges therefore have to ensure, that the campus is increasingly diverse by admitting international students, increasing the diversity among staff members and the faculty as well as admitting students of color who are Americans.
This gives an opportunity to students and staff members t interact with other foreign students and also enables students to study in colleges and universities located far from their home countries. Diversity goes beyond race and ethnic aspects to include the issue of disability. Schools systems in America have today been changed in to incorporating inclusion programs whereby those students with special needs are able to use the same classrooms and facilities similar to those of there peer. This education method has had any advantages compared to the traditional mode where students with disabilities were only placed in special schools.
Diversity therefore is a concept which calls for the need of community colleges and all the learning institutions to improve on interaction and socialization among the students and staff members as an important part of the process of learning for all. Community colleges should emphasize on the need to understand population of different backgrounds through implementing community projects and programs for educating the students and the locals in the community. Curriculum should be changed to incorporate the study of world cultures and their histories.
Lumadi M (2008) Managing diversity in higher education PDF. Retrieved from
On March 18, 2011