More Universities Are Preaching, Teaching about Cultural Diversity
Mask, Teresa, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Benedictine University freshmen are oriented to the Lisle campus with a seminar that explores diversity issues and discussions on tolerance.
Roosevelt University sophomores in Chicago and Schaumburg must take a course in cultural diversity that explores metropolitan issues.
DePaul University and the University of Illinois at Chicago have similar requirements for students.
Those schools are among a growing number requiring students to take a diversity course before graduation.
A recently released national study shows 62 percent of colleges and universities throughout the country are following this trend in education. The trend is attributed to increasingly diverse student populations on campus, a need to address issues of tolerance and an effort to prepare students for a global world, researchers said.
"This survey clearly demonstrates that colleges and universities across the country are taking seriously the challenge of educating students for life in a diverse democracy and increasingly interconnected world," said Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, who conducted the survey.
Even schools such as Northern Illinois University that don't require diversity classes offer a variety of courses in gender studies and ethnic issues. For the last seven years, professors at NIU, with campuses in Hoffman Estates, Naperville and DeKalb, have incorporated diversity into regular courses in the curriculum, rather than set aside specific courses.
Ethnic courses always have been offered on college campuses, said Debra Humphreys, a spokeswoman for the Association of American Colleges and Universities. …