Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion: Volume 17

Cover of Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion

Table of contents

(22 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xiv
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Part I Concepts and Principles

Abstract

The chapters in this book focus on student experiences in higher education (HE) and how these experiences shape their future as contributors to the knowledge economy, which is being gradually replaced by natural resources. The chapter authors in this volumes stress on the value of mentorship program with a focus toward mentoring those who are neglected and underprivileged. Programs that help students with visual or audio impairment has been discussed along with bridge programs, which might help in imparting an inclusive and equitable HE with accessibility to all. Case studies from Ghana to South Africa, Glasgow, and Australia are discussed to increase motivation and willingness among educators and students to apply new skills and foster new teaching experiences that can help shape effective learning outcomes for students.

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Part II Global Practices and Challenges

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This chapter aims to expose the reader to the notion that mandated diversity and inclusion changes intended to vary the composition of institutions of learning has not accomplished its goal. Rather, it has triggered a complex mix of reactions from the very people for whom the policy was designed to assist and from those who work under the policy. As society is molded to meet diversity targets, salient threats from dominant groups directed toward minority groups result in interpersonal conflict. This chapter explores the benefits that instructors receive from professional development activities centered on diversity. It examines the social identity conflict that is created when different minded people work together. It provides insight into the benefits of approaching social identity conflict with a conflict transformation perspective. This chapter exposes the reality that, while the words one speaks are respectful and inclusive, one’s actions may be totally different. Educators must exhibit an overarching commitment to the making of decisions on integrity and evidence rather than impressions. This chapter discusses the importance of the role of educators as moral leaders and the need for educators to create inclusive classrooms where diversity is celebrated.

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Abstract

This chapter engages Heidegger’s notion of caring-for-others to consider what it means to care authentically for young students who are struggling to engage in their professional education. While care is commonly understood as an emotive or cognitive state, from Heidegger’s perspective, caring for students is expressed in human action. In “Being and Time”, Heidegger examines how humans care for one another in variable ways in the course of everyday life and distinguishes between “inauthentic” and “authentic” modes of caring. The author critically builds upon Heidegger’s underdeveloped analysis, which articulates a binary between “leaping in” for others (inauthentic modes), and “leaping ahead” of others (authentic modes). From within this conceptual binary, the author argues that authentic care could be mistaken for the educator’s capacity to somehow always care for students in leaping ahead modes, and that such a view leaves little room for the possibility of pedagogic situations that sometimes call educators to leap in for students. Drawing on an Australian youth work lecturer’s story about her experience caring for a student, the author shows how any authentic caring on the educators’ part is predicated on students leaping ahead of themselves, toward their own futural selves as caring professionals in the world.

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Abstract

There is a wide consensus among higher education constituents that inclusive learning is essential for all students (Landorf, Doscher, & Jaffus, 2017). Despite this consensus, few theory-to-practice models exist demonstrating how to achieve this goal. Faculty and administrators from a public, land-grant university located in the Midwestern United States are addressing the challenges associated with implementing equity and inclusion at their institution through the development of a model that includes intentional use of theory for designing inclusive learning environments. A primary component of this model was to develop a campus-wide policy across all departments and disciplines. This policy was collectively created with stakeholders across divisions, departments, and disciplines to integrate universal inclusive learning throughout the institution to achieve the aim of inclusive excellence. The outcomes of this policy are in the preliminary stages, but the goal is that far-reaching educational gains will occur in helping students acquire the broad knowledge, higher-order thinking skills, and real-world experiences they need to thrive in a diverse global society. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a helpful way of examining how intentional application of theory might work in higher education institutions to achieve high quality, high-impact inclusive learning for all students.

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Abstract

Higher education (HE) systems in Europe have been identified as an essential element for promoting economic competitiveness since the Bologna Declaration in 1999. The aim of the Bologna Process was to expand access to educational opportunities, fostering participation in post-compulsory education by creating the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Inequalities in training because of geographic, ethnic or social origin, and inequalities in job opportunities, salaries, and incomes are critical dimensions of social development in HE. The development of policies, including those concerning education, that extend access to opportunities is essential to prevent such exclusion becoming permanent. The Access4All project aims to promote the educational and social inclusion of underrepresented groups as well as of non-traditional learners.

In this chapter, the project’s main results are reviewed, with: (1) a brief overview of inclusion policies and practices in European HE; (2) an operational definition of “good practice” and criteria for selecting examples of good practice for inclusion in HE; (3) a self-assessment tool enabling the characterization of institutional capacity for innovation and of inclusion policies and practices; and (4) a model for promoting strategic planning, focusing on inclusion in HE.

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Abstract

This chapter describes an undergraduate peer-to-peer mentoring program, UniMentor, at a regional Australian university, which aims to support students in equity groups. Key benefits identified are: enhanced retention rates; improved academic performance; and strengthened social networks. While the focus is on commencing students (mentees), significant positive outcomes for third-year mentors are also apparent. Internal and external challenges that may influence access to mentoring among students include shifting institutional support and roles and curriculum change. Enablers include training, clarity of purpose, strong support networks, and fostering student sense of ownership. The effect of disciplinary culture on uptake and effectiveness of mentoring is also important. Overall, the program compares well against published frameworks of successful student mentoring. Nevertheless, critical questions remain regarding the effectiveness of general versus targeted mentoring programs for students in equity groups.

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This chapter examines the use of virtual communities of practice to group coach and mentor educators and facilitate engaging critical consciousness. A Group Coaching and Mentoring framework became the platform in which the core elements of coaching, mentoring, metacognition, and self-regulated learning strategies were employed. These core elements were applied within virtual communities of practice to manifest self-awareness, reflective thinking, planning for action, and accountability, each of which is vital to the development of critical consciousness. Research shows that fostering critical consciousness creates spaces to address learning equity and gaps in educational achievement. Therefore, this chapter serves as a guide for educational leaders to effectively administer group coaching to raise an educator’s higher-order thinking, plan, problem solve, and co-create. The implementation of this design resulted in increased motivation and willingness among educators to apply new skills and foster new teaching experiences that shaped learning outcomes for their students.

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Abstract

Purpose of this chapter is to explore Afrocentric mentoring models of individuals in higher education. In this chapter, leadering will refer to mentoring and the influence upon followers and why and how activities and objectives are to be achieved. Issues of race, social class, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, and geographic location play a role in faculty and leader faculty leadering. Literature review was used in investigating the phenomenon of faculty leadering from the perspectives of cross-cultural faculty leadering relationships within the field of education and Afrocentric faculty leadering models. Afrocentric philosophy, Indigenous wisdoms, and also the cultural traditions and perspectives of peoples of African heritage are assumed to offer a helpful foundation toward a nuanced explanation of culturally relevant faculty leadering within the faculties of education. A faculty leader to demonstrate professional behaviors and actions that will assists staff in professional socialization in higher education. Racism and other forms of oppression experienced by Black and other marginalized youth in societies cause many to develop fatalistic attitudes about themselves, their education, and their future. African-centered faculty leadering models should be rooted within philosophies, cultures, and principles that apply theories to praxis, unique locally and globally.

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Abstract

As participation in higher education widens with concomitant increases in the number and diversity of commencing students, so does the need for programs that will support their transition and retention. In response to this need, a growing awareness of the value of mentorship in Australian universities has resulted in the introduction of peer mentoring programs for students in many institutions. Mentorship, however, can take many different forms. This chapter reports on a model of academic (faculty) mentorship for commencing science students belonging to a range of defined disadvantaged groups. The program was initially funded by an internal grant, with voluntary participation by eligible students. At the end of the first semester, participants overwhelmingly endorsed the program as having enhanced their transition experience and improved their prospects for academic progress and retention. Despite reduced funding, the program was retained over two subsequent years with slight modifications based on student feedback, together with consideration of its most effective elements. The success of this academic mentorship program demonstrates the potential value of such approaches in the university retention and success of disadvantaged students.

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This chapter reports on the findings from an Australian study exploring how best to facilitate the success of students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds who are studying at regional universities. Interviews with 69 successful students from low SES backgrounds and with 26 stakeholders experienced in supporting these students were carried out across six regional universities. The chapter focuses on one of the key findings to emerge from the study – the criticality of the technology use in facilitating the success of these particular equity group students. The ways in which the use of technology enables flexibility and facilitates connectedness for students are foregrounded as research-based strategies for improving practice within universities.

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The authors report on a study that examined how academics in two faculties (Business and Science) at a large, research-focused university use information about student diversity to inform their teaching. Ninety-nine Science academics completed an online survey regarding their knowledge of their student cohort’s demographic, cultural, language, and educational backgrounds at the beginning of semester. They then received a concise two-page, course-specific document, Knowing Your Students (KYS) report, summarizing aspects of their students’ diversity. At the end of the semester, 44 of the same staff completed a second survey with open-ended questions regarding how they used the report information in their teaching and curriculum design. The report was new to Science while Business academics had received the reports for three years. To compare Science with Business, Business academics also completed the second survey. Academics across both faculties had a very positive response to the reports and engaged with the information provided. Provision of the report to Science academics brought their self-assessed knowledge of their student cohort’s diversity to a level comparable with that of Business. This chapter shares how KYS reports improved academics’ knowledge of student diversity, and challenged them to respond with suitable curriculum and pedagogical changes.

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Through exploration of the Addressing Higher Education Access Disadvantage (AHEAD) Program, this chapter will outline how outreach programs contribute to national equity targets, university social responsibility practices, and university recruitment targets. The chapter explores innovations in tertiary outreach and its relationship to the student recruitment chain. Presenting insights and considerations to higher education (HE) leaders regarding approaches to equity outreach at an institutional level and the benefits of authentic university-based outreach initiatives. The chapter will draw on the experience of the AHEAD program since inception in 2014, and the data relating to student impact and university first preference scores from the Tertiary Institute Service Centre database, to demonstrate the Program’s effectiveness in developing student aspirations for HE. Additionally, the available data suggest that the creation of place-specific aspiration and learning experiences within the program has resulted in a recruitment advantage for the host institution, despite the program presenting information and pathways for all universities in Western Australia. The chapter presents the position that institution-specific affinity and natural transition pathways are cultivated through programs that seek to engage with low socioeconomic communities with a focus on co-solving-specific demographic challenges.

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This chapter reports on a study abroad course, where up to 15 registered students complete domestic (in a midwestern American state) and international (in Athens, Greece) service learning,1 while applying a social work perspective on the global refugee crisis. It highlights the importance of obtaining external funding to support students financially, the significance of university-wide collaborations, and ways to include larger numbers of culturally diverse (non-White) and fiscally underrepresented students. Feedback from survey participants suggests that further subsidies and scholarships would improve accessibility for fiscally underrepresented student groups. 2

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Bridge programs constitute institutionalized interventions to provide equitable educational opportunities for low-income, first-generation, and disadvantaged traditional undergraduate students (Gullatt & Jan, 2003). These are typically pre-college transition programs that serve to facilitate college access and readiness. This chapter discusses the role of bridge programs at American colleges and universities and the recommends integration of the Dynamic Student Development Metatheodel (DSDM) student success model (Frederick, Sasso, & Barratt, 2015). This chapter outlines the typology of bridge programs at the federal, state, and campus levels and highlights the target populations of these programs. Evaluation and outcomes regarding the efficacy of these programs are also highlighted. Implications and considerations for practice are provided integrating specific constructs from the DSDM to inform the further development of bridge programs to increase student development.

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Since 2011, Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in Scotland has delivered pre-entry study skills programs, specifically tailored to meet the needs of students with disabilities prior to commencing their studies at university. Following changes in the organizational structure, these programs ceased to exist. Two staff members then decided to collaborate on delivering a new customized program that would contextualize the type of support required by students with disabilities.

The study skills program aimed to increase confidence, engage with support services before the start of the program of study, encourage students to access support as early as possible, and provide useful advice on a range of topics specifically designed to meet their needs.

In this chapter, findings from a small-scale study will be presented that investigated whether a correlation could be drawn between pre-entry support and increased confidence. Although feedback from attendees at the study skills’ workshops has been positive, the impact of this type of support is difficult to quantify. This is partly due to the small numbers of participants and the plethora of student support initiatives at the institution. However, the qualitative outcomes indicate that students have integrated successfully into their degree studies.

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The origin of the learning community, in higher education in the US, began over a century ago. In contemporary higher education, living-learning communities (LLCs) have become a strategic way to foster student development, engagement, and success as well to advance key tenets of diversity and inclusion. Within this work, a historical narrative of the learning community is provided, in addition to a discussion of relative student development theory. Finally, this chapter positions diversity and inclusion as central to this educational intervention and frames the utility of this student engagement model within the Dynamic Student Development Metatheodel, a modern theory of student success and development.

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The current economic stage of the world is argued to be that of a knowledge economy. This refers to a shift from the dependence on natural resources to a new paradigm where the production and use of knowledge are paramount. Countries all over the world are striving to have full participation in the knowledge economy by providing opportunities for equitable access to higher education in order to provide advance knowledge to all citizens. Ghana is striving hard to achieve equitable higher education and use it as the agency for spearheading its full participation in the global knowledge economy, but so far, Ghana’s approach to equitable higher education, which is worth sharing, has not been synthesized and shared with the scholarly community. This chapter analyzes and synthesizes the various initiatives Ghana has undertaken to promote equitable higher education, draws attention to the gaps between rhetoric and realities, and makes recommendations for improvements in the initiatives.

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This chapter presents a case study of the University of South Africa (Unisa), an Open Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) institution, to highlight the innovative strategies the university adopts to create inclusive learning spaces for students with hearing and visual disabilities and impairments in an ODeL environment. In doing so, this chapter first highlights the obstacles that students with hearing and visual disabilities and impairments face in the higher education sector in South Africa in general, and then closely examines the challenges these students face within a distance-learning context, with particular reference to the post-apartheid era. Subsequently, the discussion steers towards the specific context of Unisa and the approaches embraced by its Advocacy and Resource Centre for Students with Disabilities (ARCSWiD) to create an inclusive learning environment for these students. A close examination of the various sound and audio formats, as well as support services for documents in Braille, for example, for students with visual impediments and a discussion of the support systems, such as sign language interpretation, among other support structures, for students with hearing difficulties are then put forward. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the ethical issues associated with the use of assistive devices and other support structures for these students, before putting forth recommendations, and making suggestions for possible future studies.

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About the Authors

Pages 269-284
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Name Index

Pages 285-296
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Subject Index

Pages 297-309
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Cover of Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
DOI
10.1108/S2055-3641201917
Publication date
2019-07-25
Book series
Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78756-065-9
eISBN
978-1-78756-064-2
Book series ISSN
2055-3641