Student Affairs Campus
A previous article
already discussed how college diversity can fits in with the ideas
presented in Learning Reconsidered, a document released jointly by
NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) and
ACPA (American College Personnel Association) in 2004.
affairs staff are now taking into consideration the ideas of this
landmark document when planning various campus activities for students.
That article gave a brief description of what Learning Reconsidered
was all about as well as how campus diversity programs can address one
of the outcomes, namely Humanitarianism. Humanitarianism
the understanding and appreciation of other people and their
differences. This would be the most obvious outcome that
diversity can address. It was also suggested that at least
other outcomes can also be achieved if a diversity event was structured
right. These other three will be identified here.
outcome Cognitive Complexity involves reflective thinking about
important issues of today’s society. Given that North America
become so diverse with people of many different ethnicities, cultures,
religions and languages, diversity is certainly an important
issue. But we must also include differences in sexual
and whether an individual is handicapped or not as part of overall
diversity since everyone has the potential to be a positive contributor
to society. Everyone regardless of differences should be
and student affairs professionals should ensure that programs benefit
as many students as possible.
A diversity program that makes
students think about multiculturalism and other differences between
people in ways they have never thought of before will contribute to
Cognitive Complexity. For example, a session that highlights
certain benefits of a diverse society can be a real eye opener to many
Another Learning Reconsidered outcome is
Knowledge Acquisition, Integration and Application. This
involves students learning specific skills that they can apply to their
daily lives on campus as well as in their future careers. A
diversity program that includes some practical skills on how students
can use diversity to enrich their lives and possibly give them an edge
in their careers will most definitely achieve this particular
outcome. Skills that teach students to interact successfully
others who are different from them would be extremely worthwhile.
fourth learning outcome can be Inter and Intrapersonal
Competence. This outcome involves how well people can
with others. One of the most important skills that
student can ever learn is dealing effectively with other people, i.e.,
people skills. It has been suggested that the most successful
people in any field are very good with people skills. These
social skills will often determine who become the true leaders in
society and careers across all professions. Unfortunately,
types of skills are not often taught in classrooms or courses so
student affairs staff can help students develop them through other
Since our world is becoming a global economy and there is
so much diversity in North America, the development of people skills
and diversity skills actually go hand in hand now. Dealing
effectively with people in general will mean that one can be effective
with lots of different types of individuals in a diverse environment.
A diversity program or event must include some type of
interaction between students who are different from each other in order
for it to address the outcome of Inter and Intrapersonal
Competence. It could involve group activities during such
workshops or having ethnic minorities interact with students during a
cultural festival. As long as there is interaction, this
will be addressed.
So in summary, no less than four possible outcomes of Learning
Reconsidered can be achieved with the right campus diversity program.
Student affairs staff should aim to program events that address
Learning Reconsidered outcomes whenever possible.
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