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Diversity Efforts Inventory

This overview of actions and strategies has been developed to provide the Augustana community a sense of our efforts, seen and unseen, to become a more diverse and inclusive institution. For the purposes of this inventory, “diversity” is defined primarily as racial diversity, and specifically applies to people who identify as African American, American Indian, Asian American or Chicano/Latino. Exceptions or overlap apply in listed efforts involving other underrepresented groups. In general, Augustana College recognizes the broader term “diversity” to include age, sex, gender identification, race, ethnicity, faith, socioeconomic and geographic background.

The inventory represents recent and pending actions undertaken by Augustana’s senior administration, and is divided into four sections: Recruitment, Student Life, Academic Affairs, and Board and Senior Leadership.


Cultural Diversity Award – The college offers the Cultural Diversity Award, $1,000–$5,000 annually, as a financial aid award to students from diverse backgrounds who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity while in high school and who we believe will contribute to the campus community.

Filling the MAP gap – In summer of 2016, the college shifted fundraising emphases to raise funds for student scholarships to address the failure of Illinois to provide funding for the Illinois MAP.

National Hispanic Institute (NHI) – Each July since 2004 we have partnered with NHI to host “The Great Debate,” an invitation-only event that brings approximately 150 Latino sophomores to our campus. In 2012, Augustana was recognized by NHI for this partnership. We help underwrite the cost with an investment of $25,000-$30,000 annually. During this event the Office of Admissions hosts an ice cream social and provides an information session. We track students who submit an inquiry card, apply and ultimately enroll. We are one of only four colleges with a similar partnership.

NHI student intern – Periodically, the Office of Admissions has employed a current student who is a graduate of the NHI to assist with Latino student outreach. These students have attended college fairs, called prospective students and in other ways actively recruited Latino students.  

NHI College Fairs – Under Liz Nino’s leadership, we’ve started attending NHI College Fairs throughout the nation. This is an opportunity to connect with high-achieving Latino students and an international population from Latin America, as NHI hosts international students at some of these events.  

Test-optional admissions option – Since 2009 Augustana has offered a test-optional admissions option for students dissatisfied with their standardized test performance. Augustana was among the earlier adopters of such a policy. Much of the case made for the policy, which was approved in a full faculty meeting, was to be more welcoming to non-native English speakers, first-generation college students, those traditionally impacted by test bias, and those who might have strong classroom performance but lower scores.  

Bilingual admissions counselor – A full-time Spanish-speaking member of our admissions staff communicates with family members who do not speak English, and translates admissions materials and messages.

Spanish-speaking campus tours – For several years we’ve employed a cadre of current students who are able to provide Spanish-speaking campus tours upon request.

Customized admissions recommendations for students from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) – We have customized our recruitment program for students from CPS and Cook County to provide specific recommendation about next steps in the application process. This level of customization allows us to make clear recommendations about interviewing or applying test-optionally, and is focused on maximizing a student’s admission chances.

African-American male student outreach – We have begun coordinated and customized outreach to African-American males in our admitted pool. Eric Rowell and two African-American male Admissions Ambassadors are working with accepted students throughout the entire applicant pool to make connections and discuss the value of attending Augustana. In the past, all counselors were responsible for their territories exclusively; this cross-boundary outreach is new and provides an additional connection.

Partnership with The Guadalupe Center in Immokalee, Florida – For the past three admissions cycles we have provided a full-tuition award (four years) to a high-achieving student from Immokalee, Florida, who works with The Guadalupe Center there. This partnership was established with the assistance of a trustee who contributed generously to the full-tuition scholarship for our first students from Immokalee. We are one of about a dozen colleges in the country with a similar partnership with The Guadalupe Center.

Partnering with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) – We enjoy very strong partnerships with several Chicago CBOs that work with high-achieving students from diverse backgrounds. We host 250+ students for college tours and programming on an annual basis.   

Accepted students’ bus trip for first-time visitors from Chicago Public Schools – In recent recruitment cycles we’ve sponsored bus transport to campus for events that we host. These special events have been focused on students who otherwise may not be able to visit. These trips have enabled the college to host a large number of prospective students who can establish relationships and discover common interests. In the past several recruitment cycles, we have made special arrangements to reimburse the cost of a bus ticket for students who may not be able to visit otherwise. This modest investment has enabled more qualified students to visit campus.

Fast-application strategy – Since 2006 we’ve used a marketed application that has helped us build an increasingly large and diverse pool of students. This application, which populates known information, has enabled us to more than double our applicant pool of students of color from 1,411 for the fall of 2011 to nearly 3,100 for the fall of 2016. This is a very important tool in creating awareness of Augustana among traditionally underserved communities.

Off-campus interviews – With the addition of Chicago-based staff, we’ve greatly expanded our off-campus admissions interviews to engage more actively in recruitment and counseling while meeting more students where they are.

Off-campus financial aid meetings with accepted students and families – Our efforts to choose locations to meet for financial aid appointments revolve around convenience for students and their parents. Locations near train stations are a priority for reaching many families.

Quad Cities Diversity Recruitment Outreach – The Office of Admissions works with many QC Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). We are in contact with these organizations throughout the year to host groups of students, conferences and other events on Augustana’s campus. We invite students from all of these organizations to admissions recruitment programs and other events on campus (speakers, concerts, athletic events). We provide speakers and attend events that they sponsor. We donate money, facilities, refreshments, scholarships, ad sponsorships and raffle items to groups on this list. We stay in touch with the organizations identified below on a regular basis to reach students of all ages, parents and influencers:  

United Way/Achieve Quad Cities
QC Scholars – Board Member
Viva Quad Cities
Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
MLK Center
Quad City Minority Partnership / Eric Rowell, Committee Member (Augustana hosted conference Nov. 2014)
National Hispanic Institute (Augustana has worked to start a Quad-Cities team)
RI Metro Youth (performs on campus several times a year)
Hola America
Casa Guanajuato
Apostolic Truth Temple
Rotary International
Community Foundation of the Great River Bend
RI Pacers
Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Boys and Girls Club
LULAC council #10
ISAC – Illinois Student Assistance Commission
MLK Celebration on Augustana’s campus
United Neighbors Juneteenth Celebration (program ad)
Rock Island County NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet and Image Awards (program ad)

Outreach in Quad Cities – In addition to working with CBOs, we regularly reach out to Quad-Cities students in a number of ways beyond our regular recruitment events such as high school visits and college fairs. Given the increasing diversity of the Quad Cities, many of these outreach efforts translate into diversity outreach:
— We give classroom and whole school presentations at schools all over the Quad Cities on college preparation, career planning, college access, financial assistance, college application process, foreign languages. We do these not only in all of the Quad-Cities high schools (Illinois and Iowa), but also in many of the junior highs and grade schools.
— We offer junior high and high schools the resources of NACAC and IACAC through the Step by Step program to benefit their students (specifically first-generation students), sponsor counselors to attend the regional district seminar on campus, and provide NACAC/IACAC information to counselors.
— Augustana is one of the sponsors/site locations for Camp College and provides committee members for the regional weeklong college awareness and preparation program for rising seniors. Local students are recruited and encouraged to attend this free program.
— We provide scholarships to some local students to attend the Augustana Summer Academy.
— Liz Nino, our international recruiter, partners with ELL teachers in the area to recruit QC international students to campus for specific events.
— We also work with local high schools to host information sessions and visits to campus.

Admissions staff members participate in conferences, fairs and events all over the Quad Cities, including:
— College Changes Everything
— Youth Empowerment Conference, “I’m Worth It”
— Quad Cities Youth Conference
— Unity Fest
— Multicultural Speaker Series
— LULAC Bilingual College Fair
— Quad Cities College Application Week
— Viva Quad Cities

Admissions partners with other campus departments and offices to reach out into the community, including:  
— Athletic camps and visit events
— Communication Sciences and Disorders seeks out first gen/multicultural students in the local schools to educate about careers in CSD. We are in the process of planning an education event at RIHS.
— Student United Way partners with admissions to work with local first generation and multicultural parents/students to campus to learn more about preparing their students for college.  
— Work with the music department to reach out to students all over the Quad Cities through programs such as the Second Baptist RI Outreach Arts and Music Academy.

Epic Academy – Epic Academy is a relatively new charter high school serving economically disadvantaged Latino and African-American students on Chicago’s south side. Augustana’s education department has forged a productive partnership with Epic faculty over the past six years. Augustana students visit Epic Academy as they investigate issues and challenges associated with teaching in urban schools. Each spring, a group of 40-50 Epic juniors visit Augustana on a two-day trip to experience a liberal arts college. The visitors from Epic have opportunities to attend Augustana classes, meet with faculty and students, and attend special sessions sponsored by CORE, the Black Student Union and Latinos Unidos. As a result of this visit and the partnership, a number of Epic students have been accepted to Augustana over the past three years; many have ultimately enrolled at the college.

The following groups also have brought students to campus for a tour, meal, information session and/or event:
— Bethany for Children and Families
— City of Davenport Youth Corps
— Gear up Iowa
— Glenview Middle Schools
— JB Young/AVID
— QC Leadership Conference
— Two Rivers YMCA
— Youth Corps/Davenport
— 100 Black Men of the QC
— RI Metro Youth
— Thurgood Marshall
Love Girls Magazine Editors
— Davenport North, West, Central, Moline, Rock Island, United Township
— Washington Jr. High School science classes /LEAD program
— Eugene Field Grade school

Student Life

Hiring practices

To effectively serve an increasingly diverse student body, the Student Life Division is engaged in a deliberate and focused effort to diversify the student and professional workforce. This includes:

  • Hiring students from diverse backgrounds in all departments and offices
  • Hiring new employees of color. In the past year, the Student Life Division hired six new employees of color to position in athletics, residential life and the Office of Multicultural Services.

Staff training

The Student Life Division sponsors diversity training for student life staff and student employees. Two specific efforts are:

  •   Diversity discussions and training for student life staff, including a six-hour workshop on white privilege and inclusion for all full-time staff
  •   Diversity training for more than 200 student leaders/employees (CAs, Peer Mentors, etc.)


The Student Life Division, in coordination with the Office of Academic Affairs, has developed and conducted required diversity and inclusion programming that is embedded in the First-Year Orientation Program. Key aspects of this effort are:

  • Diversity Presentation during First -Year Student Orientation
  • Statement of Community Principles and opportunity to commit to these principles
  • Residence Hall conversations regarding inclusion

Student programming

The Student Life Division sponsors a number of on-going programming efforts aimed at developing and strengthening a diverse and inclusive community, including:

  •   Peer Mentoring through ACI
  •   Multicultural Student Orientation
  •   Cultural educational, social and leadership programming
  •   Opportunity to engage in diversity training offered to all students
  •   Awards and end-of-year recognitions for students of color
  •   Leadership workshops and retreats focused on students of color
  •   Subsidized attendance at regional and national conferences on topics related to diversity, as well as more general topics
  •   Multicultural Programming Board programs designed to engage students of color

The Office of Multicultural Student Life

The Office of Multicultural Student Life provides specific support students and advocates for a diverse and inclusive community. Services include:

  •   One-on-one advising/counseling
  •   Retention efforts through Starfish, etc.
  •   Advocacy for students
  •   Admissions support during visit days
  •   Translation services for Spanish-speaking families

Greek Life

A 2014/15 Study on Underrepresented Students in Greek Life showed participation rates similar to the general population. Half of Augustana’s Greek chapters have a Diversity Chair to encourage participation in multicultural activities.

Student organizations

The Student Life Division sponsors several student organizations related to diverse groups, including:

  •   Multicultural Women’s empowerment group – SOUL
  •   Multicultural Men’s Association – MMA
  •   Black Student Union
  •   Latinx Unidos
  •   Asian Student Organization
  •   Multicultural Club Council
  •   Multicultural  Social group – The Order of the Phoenix
  •   Multicultural  Social group –  Ladies of Vital Essence

Cultural houses

The Student Life Division has dedicated spaces for students from traditionally underrepresented populations. Currently, three culture houses are used for programming and meetings:

  • Black Culture House
  • Casa Latina
  • The Asian Pagoda House

Academic Affairs

Faculty recruitment and hiring

The Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of the President have made diversifying the faculty a priority when recruiting and hiring new faculty. Specific actions include:
a.     Half-day department chair training:  Strategies for Diversifying our Faculty
                        i.         recruiting/outreach strategies
                       ii.         job position descriptions
                      iii.         identifying unintended bias
b.     Daylong workshop: attended Strategies in Recruiting Minority Faculty and Staff sponsored by Academic Network
c.    New recruitment brochures targeting underrepresented faculty developed with the Office of Communication and Marketing
d.     New prospective faculty website to emphasize diversity and inclusion at Augustana in progress with communication and marketing.
e.     Position postings on minority faculty applicant database
f.      Recruiting opportunities
                        i.         Institute on Teaching and Mentoring
                       ii.         University of Minnesota Minority PhD Student Support Group
                      iii.         HBCU National Conference
g.     Search process guidelines and provost review to ensure no implicit bias in search criteria and interview questions and their interpretation.
i.       Interview process asks faculty applicants about inclusive pedagogy practices

Sustained Dialogues – Together with the student life division we are engaging in building a campus community that is inclusive and engages in dialogues to improve relationships among its diverse constituents. We are exploring the possibilities of leading and participating in Sustained Dialogues as a co-curricular credit-bearing opportunity.

Learning Commons
Established Learning Commons to more effectively support and mentor traditionally underrepresented populations and improve persistence. As part of the Learning Commons, we have:
a.     Hired a full-time English Language Learner specialist
b.     Hired a full-time Coordinator of Student Success Services
c.     Developed strong collaborative relationships among the Learning Commons, the Office of Multicultural Student Life and the Office of International Student Life

Among the priorities of CORE is preparing our students to work in a diverse and changing world. The following activities and efforts have particular focus on exposing all of our students to greater diversity:
a.     Partner with the Offices of International and Multicultural Student Life
                        i.         Sponsored a dinner along with the offices, attended by more than 20 students
                       ii.         Developed and participate in programming for International and Multicultural Student Orientation
b.     Recruit organizations to visit campus (e.g., National Association of Black Accountants)
c.     CORE Ambassadors reflect the growing diversity of our student population
d.     EDGE maintains a diverse group of more than 80 students who work together in small teams to address client needs and/or who complete special projects
e.     Research
                        i.         Move LSAMP-IINSPIRE grant for underrepresented minority STEM students under CORE to increase visibility and outreach (part of IINSPIRE consortium that has applied for a second 5-year NSF grant).
1.     Fund provides research support and is now additionally being used to bring underrepresented minority STEM students to research conferences.
2.     Associate dean and faculty member were on organizing committee for 2016 LSAMP-IINSPIRE conference, bringing two Augustana students and setting up a recruiting table for potential community college transfer students.
                       ii.         Addition of the Supplemental Research and Opportunities Fund, through the Evelyn E. Nicholson Academic Venture Fund, to cover expenses related to research, internships and similar opportunities where the costs would otherwise prohibit the student’s participation.
f.      National scholarships (e.g., work with Office of Multicultural Student Life to identify eligible students for Ford Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for Minorities and the Davies-Jackson Award for first-generation college students)

Symposium Days
These alternative days of learning consistently include programming, workshops and content aimed at fostering a more diverse and inclusive campus community. Below are specific examples of how diverse perspectives are embedded in our Symposium Day schedule and programming:
a.     Fall Symposium: Connects to Augie Reads text, which has emphasized ethnic diversity and inclusion in 2014 (The Round House), 2015 and again in 2016 (The Fire Next Time), and intentionally includes diversity in featured speakers and sessions.
b.     Winter Symposium: 2017 Theme of Social Justice intentionally connects to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Issues related to ethnic diversity are always included. Winter 2015 included a series of sessions on race in the classroom presented by students, the Center for Faculty Enrichment and an invited facilitator. Beginning in 2017, the college’s signature annual event in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. will occur on the actual holiday.

STEM grants for underrepresented students – In the fall of 2016 the college was awarded a $150,000 NSF grant to support students underrepresented in STEM fields. We also have submitted a pre-proposal for $1 million HHMI Inclusive Excellence grant to support building our capacity to effectively engage all students in science, especially those who come to college via nontraditional pathways.

First-generation programming – The Office of Academic Affairs has led the effort to develop specific support and mentoring efforts for first-generation Rising Scholars. Currently we are developing programming for throughout the 2016-17 academic year

Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI) Peer Mentoring Program – Augustana is a recipient of a grant aimed at developing programming for first-generation college students from Chicago Public Schools. Peer mentors, who also frequently are from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, work with new students to serve as guides and mentors through the transition and first year of college. The ratio of student to peer mentor is five to one.

Faculty Development
We have included heavy emphasis on diversity and inclusion as we seek to strengthen and further improve our community. Examples include:
a.      All-Campus Retreat:  “Building for Inclusive Excellence: Helping All Students Succeed” jump-started a much broader campus conversation about the importance of embracing and welcoming diversity throughout the entire community—both student body and employment workforce.
                        i.         Shared relevant demographics at the retreat
                       ii.         Sessions were led by Dr. Alma Clayton-Pedersen, a leading expert on building diverse and inclusive communities within higher education (session titles: “Building an inclusive college: Bringing quality, equity, access and opportunity together” and “Making a real difference with diversity: Guiding institutional change”)            
b.     Faculty Retreat:  “Building for Inclusive Excellence; Helping All Students Succeed” featured a concurrent session, “Inclusion in the Classroom”.
c.     Center for Faculty Enrichment Programming has a yearlong focus on building an inclusive classroom
                        i.         September 17 – International student experiences at Augustana
                       ii.         October 2 – First-generation students and advising
                      iii.         October 6 – Students of color discuss the Augie classroom experience
                     iv.         December 14 – Where are our students coming from?
                      v.         February 2 – Creating a supportive and safe classroom environment
                     vi.         March 8 – Addressing microaggressions
d.     Guest speaker Noro Andriamanalina, “Race, Writing, and Identity” (April 28-29)
                        i.         Meeting with tutor training class
                       ii.         Class visit to “Writing, Grammar and Language Theory” learning community
                      iii.         Friday Conversation
e.   Diversity Fellows Program provides support for a PhD candidate or recent PhD graduate from an underrepresented group (African-American, American Indian, Asian-American, and Chicano/Latino) to experience teaching and research in a liberal arts college environment.

Center for Inclusive Leadership and Equity – A new center focused on inclusive leadership and equity was developed in the summer and operationalized in the fall of 2016. Dr. Chris Whitt of the political science department heads the center; part of his responsibilities include advising the president and the cabinet about equity and inclusion issues. Plans are being made for hosting a Quad-Cities Diversity Summit.

Diversity statements – In spring of 2016, the President of the College developed a diversity statement, which subsequently received unanimous endorsement by the Board of Trustees and the faculty. A Diversity Initiative Committee is working towards creation and adoption of College-Wide Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

Student workers – Using the full benefits and resources in CORE, our offices advertise all open student worker positions through Augie Hub to reach all students who seek campus employment. Along with these efforts, our respective offices attempt to reach out specifically to campus resources within the Offices of Multicultural Student Life, and International Student Services, as well as organizations and groups on campus that may reach underrepresented populations (Gender Sexuality Alliance, Black Student Union, Multicultural Programming Board, Asian Student Organization, Latinos Unidos, etc.)

1-credit advising course – This pilot project is designed to provide time to develop a stronger advisor/advisee relationship during the first year, which is important for success and connection to the college. This strategy is aimed at improving persistence, which historically has been a greater problem among students from populations who are underrepresented at the college.

Starfish – Our early alert and student advising information system, Starfish, helps identify struggling students early so that we can intervene. Starfish improves communication among each student’s support network to provide multi-pronged support.

Institutional Research and Assessment Office (IR&A)
This office emphasizes dissemination of college data related to experience of non-majority students on campus, and shows the relationships between different demographic groups of students and their experiences and outcomes. The director writes about these findings in the Delicious Ambiguity blog and presents it at numerous public presentations.

In addition, IR&A has conducted multiple in-depth studies of students through interviews and focus groups to highlight how the Augustana experience can create barriers and marginalize students of color, and then presented those findings to faculty, staff and administrators.

IR&A also disaggregates survey data to help us understand how students from various backgrounds experience Augustana, which helps us prioritize programming and support to meet student needs.

Community Principles – The Office of Academic Affairs worked with campus stakeholders to Establish college-wide community principles as a building block to assert our values and build a sense of community centered on purpose, openness and respect, accountability, responsibility, and care. These principles emphasize the importance of respect and diversity.

Curriculum – Currently we are exploring ways to reimagine the D (Diversity) and G (Global) suffix as part of the core curriculum, and to focus on achieving intercultural competency as a learning outcome via curricular and co-curricular means.

Board and senior leadership

Trustees – As a follow-up to the 2016 board retreat, during which the trustees and senior leadership discussed diversity and inclusion in the context of first-person student testimonials, the president and the board began recruiting new trustees, with an eye toward greater diversity.
• In summer of 2016, the college welcomed eight new trustees, the most diverse group of new trustees in Augustana history, including three women, three persons of color and one LGBT trustee.
• The 2017 board retreat theme will be Campus Climate: Inclusion, Equity and Civility. An outside facilitator from Howard University has been invited.
• The board will receive reports on metrics to track success of inclusion efforts at Augustana.

Strategic planning – Augustana College will amend its Augustana 2020 Strategic Plan to add a fourth strategic direction focused on diversity, inclusion and equity. As is true of the first three, Strategic Direction IV will include specific strategies and measures for success.
• The Augustana 2020 fundraising campaign will include a Diversity and Inclusion Fund.
• In winter of 2016, senior leadership will develop implementation plans/tactics for the newly added diversity, inclusion and equity strategic direction in Augustana 2020.
• The president has announced, as a chair of the region’s strategic plan, diversity and inclusion as key elements of the Quad-Cities community strategic plan (including the goal of providing jobs and opportunities for area college students and graduates).