Diversity

Mission: “To diversify the sustainability conversation at Penn State in order to better address social justice issues. Furthermore, we seek to boost multicultural awareness and enhance education around diversity issues at the university.”

The diversity subcommittee has established a Diversity Chair on the SSAC that will, among other things, improve the SSAC application process to ensure that the application reaches a wide audience by getting sent out to as many relevant listservs as possible, such as Latino Caucus, Black Caucus, etc.  Getting the word out about the SSAC need not be limited to only those with a straightforward association to sustainability!

Penn State’s definition of sustainability directly aligns with the principles of diversity and inclusion: “Sustainability is the simultaneous pursuit of human health and happiness, environmental quality, and economic well-being for current and future generations”.

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United States (US)/International Cultures (IL) Course Content

The faculty senate has recently identified the need for review of Penn State’s United States (US) and International Cultures (IL) courses, citing the fact that many courses do not properly address issues of social justice and equality.  The SSAC has also recognized the need for a review of the US/IL course content.  The SSAC is recommending:

  • The following criterion should be added to the list of criteria that are used to designate a course as US or IL
    • For US and IL: Increase student understanding of the nature of social justice, and equity in the United States at the societal, institutional, and individual levels.
  • Establish assessment subcommittee to design an ongoing assessment plan
  • Future courses should include 50% of the content that fall under US or IL criteria

Summer Bridge Program Support

The SSAC has recommended for continued support from the University for programs like PREF, ASE, Millennium Scholars, and Underground to help students of color adjust to Penn State.  These programs are proven to better help disadvantaged students succeed.

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