Theory in Practice: Rutgers University-Newark Is a Testing Ground for Demonstrating Specific Educational Advantages of Diversity

By Forde, Dana | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, December 9, 2010 | Go to article overview

Theory in Practice: Rutgers University-Newark Is a Testing Ground for Demonstrating Specific Educational Advantages of Diversity


Forde, Dana, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

He researched the history of Newark, N.J. He heard about Mayor Cory Booker's efforts to lead a revitalization of the city. But it wasn't until he arrived for an interview at Rutgers University's Newark campus did professor Brandon Paradise grasp what all the enthusiasm had been about.

"When I walked on campus, I felt immediately at home. I felt that this was a place where I could make meaningful relationships," says Paradise, who practiced law before landing an assistant professorship at the Rutgers-Newark School of Law three years ago. "(The Rutgers campus) is like you're walking through the United Nations. It really has a global quality to it in one of America's most historically rich cities."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Paradise is not the only one to be inspired by the international appeal and uniqueness of the 38-acre urban campus. For more than a decade, Rutgers-Newark has been ranked the nation's most diverse university by U.S. News and World Report. Officials say the institution's diversity is fueled, in part, by the area's growing immigrant population. In fact, 37 percent of undergraduate students report that English is not their first language.

Now, the university's unique composition is allowing it to test a theory that diversity advocates have long argued but have lacked rigorous scholarship to support: students of all backgrounds benefit from learning in a multicultural and multi-ethnic environment. University officials are refining existing policies and implementing new practices to measure the precise academic benefits of maintaining a diverse student population.

"Rutgers University-Newark, because of its incredibly high level of diversity, is one of the few places in the country where you can actually do research on the impact of high diversity on the learning of college students," says Dr. Sharon McDade, director of the American Council on Education Fellows Program.

The idea to investigate measurable benefits of diversity in student learning or outcomes came from Rutgers-Newark's experience with the ACE Fellows Program. In the past, fellows used hypothetical universities to examine a wide range of issues related to, among other things, leadership and decision making in higher education. However, the 2009-2010 fellowship class was the first group to conduct a full-scale live institution study.

Rutgers-Newark was the organization's pick for its first analysis.

"The fellows are learning about how leadership happens from the viewpoint of the senior level, and what better way to immerse them in that than a live institution study," says McDade.

According to ACE officials, 18 fellowship teams worked with various units throughout Rutgers-Newark to "identify ways to advance the institution's diversity and increase community engagement to further the mission of the college."

University officials have implemented several of the fellows' proposals, which include refining the development of the institution's Diversity Research Center. Housed in the John Cotton Dana Library, two of the core missions of the Diversity Center are to conduct research related to diversity and organizational performance and to advance faculty research on diversity.

As a result of the success of the Rutgers study, ACE fellows now analyze a different institution every year. McDade says the Rutgers-Newark case helped provide a framework that fellows use in the program's second institution study: Chicago's Roosevelt University.

ACE Fellows also suggested that Rutgers-Newark create a systematic method of tracking outcomes related to diversity, which university officials are in the process of developing.

For example, the university is developing assessment tools to measure students' "cultural awareness" when they enter and graduate from the institution. This approach, says Assistant Chancellor Mark Winston, will foster a more comprehensive method of assessing students' feedback related to how diversity impacts their experiences. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Theory in Practice: Rutgers University-Newark Is a Testing Ground for Demonstrating Specific Educational Advantages of Diversity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.