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University Initiatives to Promote Excellence Through Inclusion

Friday, Dec. 4, 2009


The University has a number of programs and initiatives designed to promote excellence through inclusion. Summarized below are some examples in the area of  Programs designed to address the educational pipeline.
College of Arts and Sciences Inclusive Excellence Initiative
Recognizing the importance of diversifying the faculty and curriculum to enhance educational quality, the College implemented a program in the 2004-2005 academic year to bring persons of color to campus through two-year post doctoral and pre-doctoral teaching and research positions as well as one-year post-baccalaureate fellowship positions.
This Inclusive Excellence Initiative has enjoyed remarkable success to date.  As of the 2009-2010 academic year, three post doctoral fellows have graduated from the program.  One of these, from the Department of English, was successful in obtaining a tenure track faculty position at a research university in the West, and two stayed to take faculty positions at Santa Clara University in the Environmental Studies Institute and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.  Currently, there are two postdoctoral fellows in the program, one in Anthropology and one in Sociology.  Of the three post baccalaureate fellows, who spend a year at Santa Clara to prepare for graduate programs, one in Theatre and Dance has completed a prestigious MFA program in the Midwest and another in Political Science is completing a MPP (Master of Public Policy) degree at an elite research university.  The one pre-doctoral fellow who was in the Art and Art History Department now is in a tenure track faculty position at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.  Starting in the 2010-2011 academic year, one new post doctoral fellow will join the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Ethnic Studies program, and a search currently is underway to fill two other positions.  In summary, the program has successfully combined diversity with academic excellence to improve the teaching, learning, and research environment in the College of Arts and Sciences.
LEAD Scholars Program
The LEAD (Leadership Excellence and Academic Development) Scholars Program, initiated in fall 2007, is a four-year academic program within the portfolio of the University Honors Program.  To be invited into the LEAD Scholars Program, students must be first-generation, have submitted a FAFSA that shows need for financial aid, and be offered financial aid packages that include merit-based funds (i.e., scholarships, grants).  Of the students who meet these criteria, approximately 50 are selected to participate in the program each year.
The LEAD Scholars Program strives to enhance the academic success and retention of first-generation college students. This is accomplished through the academic components of the program and through its social and community building components.  The Program has a strong academic focus.  Each of the program’s courses, including Critical Thinking and Writing and Difficult Dialogues, is a rigorous seminar with fewer than 20 students to ensure that students are challenged in a supportive, attentive environment. The program promotes social support and social networking for students and provides opportunities for students to be involved in programs on study abroad and graduate school preparation, undergraduate research, and leadership and internship opportunities.
To gauge program success, we compared persistence of students in the LEAD Scholars Program to that of a cohort of matched first-time freshmen who entered SCU in the same years as LEAD Scholars.  The matched cohort met all the selection criteria but were not LEAD Scholars.  Our analyses indicated that the two groups entered the University equally prepared academically, as evidenced by SAT scores and both high school GPAs and SCU GPAs, but students in the LEAD Scholars Program have higher rates of first- and second-year persistence, with the difference in rates being statistically significant (first year, 96% vs. 90%; second year, 93% vs. 79%, respectively.)  The mean family income in the year students applied to the university was $42,845.
School of Engineering Initiatives and Programs
The School has developed a range of outreach efforts to attract women and students from underrepresented groups to engineering.  Examples include: SEEDs (Spring Engineering Education DayS) Saturdays in April introducing high school students to engineering – preference is given to underrepresented groups in engineering; SES (Summer Engineering Seminar) summer program aimed at underrepresented groups in engineering – more than half of the participants are women and more than half of them are minority participants; GetSET, a collaboration with the Society of Women Engineering to provide a summer residential camp for 60 to 80 local African American and Hispanic high school girls; and the Sally Ride Festival, a day-long Spring event that includes workshops for middle-school girls to support their interests in science and mathematics.
In addition, the School regularly sends its students to the national conferences of the Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
School of Law
For the past nine years, Santa Clara University School of Law has run an intense one-month summer program called PLUS (Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars), which is funded by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for under-represented students as a pipeline for those wishing to attend law school. Santa Clara has witnessed a number of its former PLUS students attend and graduate from SCU's law school as well as other law schools. In addition, SCU's law school has developed plans for a pre-law summer program, as well as a long-term mentoring program, that will address the need for more diversity in the law school student body.
University Council on Inclusive Excellence Programs and Initiatives
Please visit the Council Web site for a summary of its goals, accomplishments, and continuing projects.  The Council’s activities in its first three years centered around: (1) developing the theme of “identity” to guide its efforts over a three-year period, (2) developing programs for engaged dialogue in a broad array of campus settings, and (3) developing mechanisms for weaving inclusive excellence into the fabric of the University at all levels. Appreciation is expressed to the advisory councils and working committees collaborating with the Council. Highlights include:
·          Implemented the three-year campus-wide theme on Identity: Individuality, Community, Humanity. Exploring our identity to understand ourselves, others, and how we relate in the world for diversity initiatives, which took place each winter quarter from 2008 to 2010.  Major guest speakers included Sean Theriault, Sylvia Hurtado and Troy Duster, who addressed topics such as  “Growing up Gay in the Catholic Church” and “Whitewashing Diversity in Academia: What’s Behind the Strong Resistance to Multiculturalism?”  
·          Established programs for Engaged Dialogue to provide students, faculty, and staff with opportunities for acquiring the knowledge and capacity to engage in civil discourse on topics related to identity, religion, sexuality, and cultural diversity.  Examples include Kip Fulbeck’s The Hapa Project, which was in exhibition at the de Saisset Museum throughout 2008-09, and the Difficult Dialogue Project being piloted by the Office of Multicultural Learning in collaboration with various academic programs.
·          Implemented Perspectives.  In consultation with staff and students, Perspectives, a three-part peer-educator program, was designed for student leaders to assist them in fostering an inclusive community at Santa Clara University.  The program’s three parts are (1) Exploring Perspectives, which focuses on exploring one’s own social identity and multiple identities; (2) Understanding Perspectives, which focuses on developing an understanding of intergroup communication; and (3) Challenging Perspectives, which focuses on obtaining skills to engage in and challenge intergroup dialogue.  A competitive grant awarded by the Access & Equity Grants program of the Jesuit Network for Equitable Excellence in Higher Education supported the program’s implementation and the evaluation of its effectiveness.
·          Developed SCU’s new Diversity Web site to provide information, in a single place, on all of SCU’s Inclusive Excellence initiatives. 
·          Established the Multicultural Reading Area in Learning Commons to feature print and other materials associated with diversity course in the new Core Curriculum.  Quarterly exhibits enliven the area!
·          Instituted Inclusive Excellence Awards to honor students, faculty, and staff who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to enhancing SCU’s multicultural community.
·          Established the Inclusive Excellence Roundtable to identify best practices for faculty recruitment.  Professor Allen Hammond, a faculty member from the law school who is a member of the Council, chairs the Roundtable.  Important goals of the Roundtable include identifying shared norms and best practices to guide the campus and enhancing the University’s efforts to further diversify its recruitment and candidate pools and ultimately its faculty.
·          Established an Inclusive Excellence Student Advisory Council to serve in an advisory capacity to the Council on Inclusive Excellence.  In addition, one of its members serves on the Council.