Understanding and Appreciating Differences Within The Human Family.
Diversity, in a broad sense, refers to “the variety created in any society and within any individual, by the presence of different points of view and ways of making meaning which generally flow from the influences of different cultural and religious heritages. This includes the differences in how we socialize women and men and the differences that emerge from social economic status, age and developmental and/or physical ability” (American Association of College & Universities, 1995).
By defining diversity broadly the focus becomes one of inclusiveness and respect for the variety of characteristics that make one individual different from another. This “all-inclusive” environment recognizes that value of individual characteristics and the contribution such differences make to the whole.
Diversity is important from an educational perspective because it enhances the educational experience of all students regardless of their race or ethnicity. Because of its mission, values, and dedication to learning, higher education is uniquely positioned to foster and nurture the behaviors to make diversity work. Students learn about the world around them, about society and its nature, and about values and differences. Students also learn how to work with others, learn from others, and teach others. Differences, quality, and content can be explored through various areas of the curricula. This learning is then transferred outside the classroom into the community and workplace.
Student Support Services at Black Hawk College encourages cultural exploration, intercultural communication, understanding and respect. Its mission is to two-fold, providing and environment by which cultural differences are recognized, appreciated and utilized and one that welcomes and promotes the success of all students, faculty and staff.