The Center for Multicultural Services at the University of La Verne has taken a proactive approach to ensure that student learning is occurring within the Division of Student Affairs. Over the last 10 years, there are have been two administrative reviews undertaken that have had a significant impact on the structure of the Center for Multicultural Services.
The administrative review undertaken in 2010 was the impetus for the growth and expansion of the Center for Multicultural Services. Not only did stakeholders, at the time, identify the critical need for additional staff, but also identified/echoed the need for expanded space and services which were eventually implemented.
- 2010 Multicultural Services Administrative Review
- 2018 Administrative Program Review
The 2018 Administrative Review took into account the CAS Standards and used them as a benchmark for evaluating scope of needs being met or not. There were four areas specifically assessed. As detailed in the Executive Summary of the Administrative Review they are:
- scope and effectiveness of use of the Center for Multicultural Services in supporting students;
- effectiveness of residential Diversity Retreats/Human Relations Trainings;
- effectiveness of the Peer Facilitation Training program; and
- cultural graduation celebration assessments.
Suffice to say that, after comparing outcomes of these four program areas with the CAS Standards, results from the NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement), and the CSS (College Student Survey) there were nine Action Recommendations put forth to better meet the CAS Standards as outlined in the relevant areas for Multicultural Centers.
As indicated in the Executive Summary, It was important to integrate the CAS framework in 2018 because “prior to the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education or CAS, there was no clear direction or standard to abide by in structuring and implementing of programs and services related to Center for Multicultural Services. This CAS Contextual Statement helps to frame our work in the Center for Multicultural Services or as they refer to as the Multicultural Student Programs and Services—MSPS:”
The Action Recommendations listed in the administrative review are a work-in-progress, but they point to in a direction that builds capacity to better meet the needs of a diverse student constituency. Some of the Action Recommendation have been fulfilled, but many still require much attention. The following Action Recommendations are outlined in the document.
Although the CMS depends on collaborative supports for the initiatives that are planned, executed, and assessed, there is much more programming and planning that could be done with additional funding and resources to support the mission of the CMS.
- Action Recommendation 1: Many of the concerns raised by stakeholders that use the Center for Multicultural Services spoke about the limited and “hidden” space we currently possess. While it is true that in fall 2019 we will be moving the Center to the new Ludwick Center for Spirituality, Cultural Understanding, and Community Engagement there is a need to better publicize our current location.
- Action Recommendation 2: Diversity retreats/human relations trainings: there is a need to raise the level of consciousness surrounding the role that issues of diversity have on individuals and the community. This includes individual and systemic issues of bias, bigotry, and oppression. These trainings have been beneficial to those participating. There is a challenge to strategically recruit representatives from various stakeholder group and student leaders who hold both formal and informal leadership on campus.
- Action Recommendation 3: Diversity Retreat 2.0: Activism and Organizing for Social Justice provides an excellent opportunity to continue developing leadership training for student facilitators/leaders and to engage both formal and informal leaders in collaborative social justice initiatives.
- Action Recommendation 4: Cultural Graduation Celebration Assessments: currently the Middle Eastern/Arabic, Rainbow, and Pacific Islander cultural graduation celebrations have relatively low number of participating students, this may be due to the lack of information of the existence of these celebrations. Generally a student does not find out about these cultural celebrations until it’s time for them to graduate. Data shows the need to advertise/publicize the cultural celebrations earlier and more widely.
- Action Recommendation 5: Given that there are now two full time staff working to oversee the myriad of initiatives coming from the CMS, there is the need for additional funding to support expansion of programming. Simply indicating that services rendered must be increased incrementally to meet the needs of students.
- Action Recommendation 6: There is a need to mentor and support the advisors in their role with the clubs. For the last couple of years, clubs have had difficulty in identifying an advisor because there are not sufficient role models and advisors the clubs feel comfortable having as advisors—this is a problem that needs to be addressed.
- Action Recommendation 7: There is a need to expand the Peer Facilitation Training to allow more students to develop facilitation and leadership skills around addressing issues of diversity and inclusion. This training would be synonymous with the much needed Multicultural Student Leadership training.
- Action Recommendation 8: There is a need for a Cultural Resource Library that will allow students ready access to learning tools about various cultures. Due to limited space, the idea of a “cultural resources library” can also be created as a virtual resource library.
- Action Recommendation 9: The Center for Multicultural Services needs to visit the Regional Campus Sites (satellite campuses) to acquaint them with support services provided by the CMS. Regional campus sites participate in the Diversity Retreats, cultural graduation celebrations, and are invited to other diversity and inclusivity programming.