1. Presentation of the problem
We live in a dynamic society that has strived to appreciate cultural and ethical diversity of countless communities living in various parts of the world. Following the introduction of computer era coupled with globalization, the world has turned into a global village where people from distant areas exchange ideas, information, opinions and share cultural experiences easily. Technological advancement has not only promoted coexistence, peace and economic prosperity in the region, but also enhanced international integration through embracement of diversity. Today, the concept of diversity dominates in almost facets of society, at workplaces and in government institutions.
Although diversity plays a pivotal role in national development, it has not been embraced effectively in institutions of higher learning. Over the years, learning institutions have strived to embrace diversity by admitting students from different ethnic background, religion and race (Weinland 1). Despite such efforts, lack of diversity in institutions of higher learning remains a challenge that underpins national prosperity and affects academic performance.
In the recent past, colleges and universities have experienced sporadic strikes and demonstrations; an idea that has affected the learning process. Numerous factors ranging from poor management, lack of adequate learning facilities and unfavourable leaning conditions have contributed to issue of strikes (Preece 1). However, it has been established that lack of diversity is one of the factors that cause strikes in colleges and universities. An excellent example is the recent protests and chaos that were experienced at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, where a group of student protested against the administration for being denied chance to participated in institution activities, on basis of discrimination (Patoskie 1). As a result of such cases, there is a need to implement a viable program that will promote diversity in institution of high learning.
C. Its causes
Various factors led to lack of diversity in institutions of higher learning. They include; lack of inclusiveness of minority students in school programs, discrimination, ineffective school policies that promote diversity, stereotype and negative perception among students (Hurtado 334).
II. Consequences of failing to solve the problem
- Affects Students’ academic performance
- Promote enmity among students
- Influence students to engage in strikes, demonstrations and other form of deviant behaviour
III. Description of the proposed solution
Diversity can be embraced in institutions of higher learning through the establishment of Intergroup Relation Program (IGP). Education policy makers and curriculum developers should introduce IGP program in learning institutions. This Program aims at embracing diversity by allowing students from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds to engage in dialogue and debates and in the process learn to appreciate culture of other students (Servig 15).
IV. List of steps for implementing the solution
- Enrolling/Registering first year students to this program
- Training co-facilitators
- Grouping students in groups of twelve and fifteen members
- Setting/organizing and coordinating discussion forums and dialogue for the students
- Assigning group coordinators
- Evaluating and assessing students’ progress
V. Reasons and support for the solution
- It is easy and cost effective to implement Intergroup Relation Program
- It promotes students’ satisfaction and coexistence
- It is sustainable in nature
- Acknowledgment of objections
It is anticipated that the program will face resistance from other policy makers and educationalists on the premises that it contravenes policies of the education curriculum. The program implementers will not refute objections brought forward by different parties, but rather integrate their objections in enhancing the program.
- Accommodation or refution of objections
Program implementers will have to accommodate certain objections and proposals brought forward by other parties so that to enhance effectiveness of the program. On the other hand, policy makers will have to refute objections that carry minimal weight pertaining to the implementation of the program.
VI. Consideration of alternative solutions and their disadvantages
- Establishment of mentoring and tutorial programs
- It is expensive to establish and maintain.
- It is effective for short-term goals
- Unsustainable in nature
- Organizing sports activity
- It does not change the negative perception of students towards diversity
- It is difficult to evaluate and assess its effectiveness
VII. Restatement of the proposed solution and its advantages
- Intergroup Relation Program IGP
- Easy to implement and maintain
- It is effective in promoting diversity among students’
- It is sustainable in nature.
Weinland, Joanna. “Defining Diversity | CollegeXpress." CollegeXpress: Scholarships, College Search, Rankings, and Lists. Version 1. CollegeXpress, 5 Feb. 2013. Web. 28 Mar. 2013.
Preece, Beatriz. "What Does Diversity Mean to You?." The Michigan Journal 3.1 (2012): 1. Print
Hurtado, Gurin. Diversity and Higher Education: Theory and Impact on Educational Outcomes. Harvard Educational Review, 71, 3, (2002): 332-366.
Patoskie, Megan. "Student Boycott Responds to Diversity Day and Community Meeting « The Llama Ledger." The Llama Ledger. Version 1. The LIama Ledger, 5 Mar. 2012. Web. 7 Apr. 2013.
Servig, Nagda. "Intergroup dialogues: An educational model for cultivating engagement across differences." Equity and Excellence in Education 35.1 (2002): 7-17. Print.