Diversity and Inclusive Excellence
The Division of Academic Affairs is committed to inclusive excellence including the success of diverse students and faculty. The Division supports academic programs, curriculum, professional development initiatives, and other efforts related to diversity and inclusive excellence. The following summarizes some of these efforts and activities within the Division.
Commitment to Local Access
Southeastern Los Angeles County, including the City of Long Beach, is one of the most diverse regions of the U.S. and we are committed to maintaining pathways for diverse local students. CSULB has long maintained a commitment to fostering local access to higher education. The College Promise offers ways for students from Long Beach and several surrounding, diverse school districts to prepare for, enter, and complete a high quality college degree at an affordable cost.
Improving Graduation Rates
The Division of Academic Affairs has provided major campus leadership as CSULB has become among the most successful four-year public institutions at improving graduation rates and reducing opportunity gaps – the difference in graduation rates between underrepresented students and others.
CSULB’s six-year graduation rate has reached historic highs, far above national averages for public comprehensive universities and above CSU system averages. The campus has had steady improvement every year since 2005. The first-time freshmen opportunity gap for underrepresented students was reduced by nearly one-half and gaps for low-income students by a similar amount. The transfer graduation rate is at a historic high with no gap at all for both low income and underrepresented students. A March 2016 report by the Education Trust commended Long Beach for reducing the opportunity gap, and this work continues to be a university priority.
Recruiting Faculty for Student Success
The University strives to recruit faculty members who will be effective teachers for the diverse students on campus. Fundamental to that endeavor is finding faculty members who will embrace the University’s strong commitment to the academic success of all of our students, including students of color, students with disabilities, students who are first generation to college, veterans, students with diverse socio-economic backgrounds, and students of diverse sexual orientations and gender expressions.
Each candidate applying for a tenure-track faculty position is required to submit a Student Success Statement in which they explain their teaching or other experiences, successes, and challenges in working with a diverse student population. These statements are read by search committees, the College Dean, and the Provost.
Faculty Affairs, in coordination with the Office of Equity and Diversity, also provides recruitment workshops for search committees that specifically focus on creating diverse applicant pools through advertising, networking, and other forms of outreach.
Diversity in STEM and Health-Related Fields
The Academic Division currently hosts several important federally sponsored programs that promote student diversity, including:
- The BUILD (Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity) program, sponsored by the NIH, provides the opportunity for our diverse students to engage in research in health-related fields where diversity is currently underrepresented.
- HSI-STEM provides a vehicle for Hispanic students from underserved communities in the STEM fields to persist and ultimately graduate.
Human Diversity Curriculum
The study of human diversity in the U.S. has been a required component of the General Education program at CSULB since 1993. Currently there are 75 active Human Diversity courses scheduled across a range of departments, programs and colleges. In addition, hundreds of courses include skills and knowledge related the history and cultures of diverse peoples, including those offered through Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian and Asian American Studies, Chicano and Latino Studies, Jewish Studies, Latin American Studies, Religious Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Many graduate programs also offer curriculum on race, gender, and class. Examples include the MA in Social and Cultural Analysis of Education (SCAE 500, History of Social and Educational (In)Equality) and the MS in Health Science (HSC 507, Health Equity and Health Disparities Research in the US).
Diversity Training for Faculty
There are many opportunities for faculty to further develop teaching approaches that address the needs of students from a variety of backgrounds, learning styles, and abilities. Many of these resources were developed over time with the assistance of numerous campus experts, including faculty, Hispanic-Serving Institution grant activities and groups, and many others.
Inclusive teaching training opportunities for faculty include:
- Workshops led each semester by CSULB’s Faculty Center on inclusive teaching topics for ALL CSULB faculty
- New tenure-track faculty training specific to cultural competence and inclusive teaching
- Grant-specific cultural competence and inclusive teaching programming for discipline-based faculty/student activities.
- Certificate and training programs offered by various constituent groups, including – but not limited to – the following:
- Accessibility Training
- Autism Ally
- Safe-Zone, LGTBQ Training (Faculty and Staff)