Implementation Committee Shares Updates on the 11 Recommendations from the Black Student Experience Task Force

Chaired by Institute Diversity Vice President Archie Ervin, the implementation committee of students and leaders from Institute Diversity, Student Life, and Undergraduate Education shared updates on its progress to address the 11 recommendations from the Black Student Experience Task Force that will help ensure a welcoming, inclusive campus. Quarterly updates will continue to be released until the end of the 2018-19 academic year. 

As part of a three-year implementation process, the recommendations are grouped into four impact areas: programs, trainings, physical spaces, and planning and assessments.

“As we enter the second year of implementation, our priorities are to identify ways to substantively impact bias education within the campus community,” said Ervin. “The implementation committee is also looking more expansively at the recommendations and connecting them to broader campus issues.”

These implementation updates (not ranked by priority) encompass:

Programs

1. Academics – Expanded focus of the recommendation to identify broader academic issue areas beyond the Challenge program. Issues such as academic performance, retention, and graduation require a deeper understanding of the impact of campus experiences, both in-class and out-of-class, and other factors on academic outcomes.

  • Challenge – Expanding OMED’s Challenge enrollment from 75 underrepresented minority and women students in 2016 to a goal of 175 underrepresented minority and women students by 2019. This summer, the Challenge program welcomed one of its largest cohorts to Georgia Tech. Fifty-four percent were women — the highest percentage since the program’s inception — and 68 percent were black.
  • Campus Climate Assessment – Including questions in the campus climate assessment to survey students’ study habits based on their perceptions of “belonging” at Tech.

2. Orientation – Expanded focus of the recommendation to identify broader orientation processes beyond the FASET program.

  • FASET – Recorded a video message from Ervin to share Tech’s diversity and inclusion core values, which played at each FASET session this summer, and revisiting New Student and Sophomore Programs’ FASET to infuse these core values into student leaders’ conversations.
  • GT 1000 – Conducted a workshop on diversity and inclusion for GT 1000 instructors this summer, created a pilot section of GT 1000 focusing on diversity and inclusion, and working with the Center for Academic Enrichment’s GT 1000 student ambassadors and student organizations to encourage more diverse representation of team leaders.
  • Orientation Processes – Reviewed all orientation processes beyond FASET within Admissions, Institute Diversity, and Student Life, exploring ways for faculty orientations to incorporate diversity and inclusion values and share campus resources that support Tech’s commitment to diversity.

3. Intercultural Student Programs – Established the Student Advisory Committee on Black Student Experiences and Campus Environment, co-led by Institute Diversity and Student Life. In the coming months, the committee is offering feedback on community and climate issues and providing recommendations on changes to Institute policies that may directly impact students.  

4. Reporting System – Launching an updated EthicsPoint portal this fall for campus community members to anonymously report discrimination and harassment experienced on campus.

Trainings

5. Community Orientation and Training – Exploring additional diversity and inclusion online training for faculty, staff, and students, and continuing to offer the following trainings:

  • Implicit Bias Workshops – Offered more than 20 workshops to more than 350 faculty members to date. Institute Diversity and the ADVANCE Program, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Development, are providing additional workshops this fall.
  • Inclusive Leaders Academy – More than 120 staff leaders joined the inaugural class last spring, and Institute Diversity’s Staff Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement is opening the application period for the second class this fall.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Councils – Formed a network of councils in each of Tech’s six colleges. Each council, comprising faculty, staff, and students, will work on self-selected diversity-related topics in the year ahead.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program – Selected 21 faculty, staff, and students as Diversity and Inclusion Fellows who are individually and collectively advancing their action, research, or teaching objectives while improving inclusivity on campus.

6. Cultural Inclusivity Leadership Training – Hired a coordinator in Greek Affairs to advise the Multicultural and National Pan-Hellenic Councils and Greeks United for Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity (GUIDE), conducting an inventory of diversity and inclusion content in all current course offerings at Tech through Undergraduate Education, and offering the following course:  

  • Exploring Multicultural Identities – Launching the Exploring Multicultural Identities psychology course as an elective during spring semester 2018.

7. Greek Education – Conducted focus groups with 175 individuals on the state of Greek life at Tech through Greek Affairs, and continuing to offer the following training:

  • Greek Allies – Offered Tech’s LGBTQIA ally training program to more than 30 fraternity and sorority members through the LGBTQIA Resource Center last year.
Physical Spaces

8. Multicultural Center – Identifying the space and programmatic support for the Multicultural Center as part of the Student Center expansion.

Planning and Assessments

9. Strategic Plan – Continuing to offer three diversity and inclusion initiatives through a proposal to the Institute’s Strategic Plan Advisory Group, two of which — the Diversity and Inclusion Councils and the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program — are noted above. The third initiative is:

  • Transformative Narratives – Debuted the first installation of 24 artistically embellished photographic portraits of faculty, staff, and students last year. At the Ninth Annual Diversity Symposium on September 6, Institute Diversity’s Staff Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement will launch the next installation, which consists of 20 audio stories.

10. Campus Climate Assessment – Administering the campus climate assessment to faculty, staff, and students this fall from Institute Diversity and the Office of Institutional Research and Planning.

11. Institutional Climate Change and Growth – Established the Student Advisory Committee on Black Student Experiences and Campus Environment, co-led by Institute Diversity and Student Life. In the coming months, the committee will offer feedback on community and climate issues and provide recommendations on changes to Institute policies that may directly impact students.  

“The continued effort of the implementation committee over the last year has allowed us to spotlight the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion as a Tech value,” remarked John M. Stein, vice president for Student Life and dean of students.

To inquire about the Black Student Experience Task Force and/or its recommendations, email institutediversity@gatech.edu. For more information, visit www.diversity.gatech.edu/blackstudentexperiencetaskforce.

Related Media

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  • Challenge Program

  • Inclusive Leaders Academy

  • Transformative Narratives

  • Black Student Experience Task Force Recommendations Progress Report, Summer 2017

For More Information Contact

Annette Filliat

Communications Manager

Institute Diversity

annette.filliat@gatech.edu