Leading in Diversity

'Leading in Diversity' floating over large ground of graphic representations of people

Enrollment data for Eastern Iowa Community Colleges reflects EICC is the most diverse community college in the state of Iowa.

“It is important to all students to feel they belong and are welcome at our colleges” – John DaBeet, EICC Diversity Council Co-Chair

Diversity on campus is like opening a door – creating a wider view while enriching
what’s inside. Just as important, it makes students and staff from all backgrounds feel like they belong at our colleges. Stretched along the banks of the Mississippi River, with a geographic area reaching more than 120 miles from north to south and multiple learning sites, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges features a vibrant combination of urban and rural environments.

This creates an incredible diversity of ages, ethnic backgrounds, experiences and cultures among our students and the communities we serve – enriching our learning environments and the opportunities we can offer our students. Our enrollment data reflects we are the most diverse community college in the state of Iowa and we acknowledge diversity to be both a strength and a defining characteristic in
providing a quality education.

Members of the EICC Diversity Council are charged with reviewing and making recommendations concerning college processes, programs, policies and activities in light of a commitment to create and sustain an academic environment that supports diversity in its many forms – including the diversity of perspective formed by diverse backgrounds, age, ethnicity, socio-economic class, race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, education and culture.

Made up of members from throughout the colleges, the council continually explores ways to develop learning facilities and activities that create inclusive spaces and relationships. “It is important to all students to feel they belong and are welcome at our colleges,” explains John DaBeet, EICC Diversity Council Co-Chair, and Business Department Coordinator and faculty member at Muscatine Community College. “The long-term success of our colleges calls for a diverse body of talent that
can bring fresh ideas, perspectives, and views to their work. We want to provide a venue where all cultures and values are appreciated and celebrated.”

Activities have included the launch of a Diversity Academy for professional development, integration of diversity awareness and education in college curriculum, dialogues and sessions on students with disabilities, implicit bias, immigration, social stratification, religion in America, generational differences, and LGBTQA issues, and on-campus activities to celebrate Diversity Week.

The efforts are working. Results of a recent survey conducted among all members of the EICC faculty and staff shows a strong belief EICC places emphasis on having a diverse faculty, administration, and staff, and the people at the colleges are supporting of their colleagues and students regardless of their heritage or background. DaBeet summarizes it neatly, “Comfortable, welcoming campuses lead to a better student community and a better teaching and working environment for everyone.”




Author: alaneastern

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