Increasing Diversity Benefits: How Campus Climate and Teaching Methods Affect Student Outcomes
diverse campus environment, campus climate
This study explored the relationship between student diversity, campus climate, faculty composition, and research and teaching content. Data came from three primary sources: a 1992-93 survey of college and university faculty, which provided information on full-time faculty from 344 institutions; the Higher Education Governance Institutional Survey database, which provided data on student body racial composition at 244 institutions; and the Carnegie Foundation, which provided data from their classification system for colleges and universities. Four outcomes related to maximizing the benefits of racial diversity in teaching and learning were considered: (1) teaching practices associated with active learning; (2) curricular inclusion of readings on diverse racial and ethnic groups; (3) faculty participation in research on race, ethnicity, or gender; and (4) faculty attendance at workshops on racial awareness or curriculum inclusion. Minority faculty were dramatically under-represented at all levels of higher education. Research and doctoral institutions were the most diverse. However, their faculty were the least likely to use active learning techniques or curriculum inclusion or to have attended racial awareness workshops. Simply admitting more minority students did not produce substantial changes in teaching approaches or content. Women and minority faculty were most likely to participate in teaching and learning activities supporting diversity.