Faculty Diversity in Higher Education

One prevalent issue within higher education is the rate in which faculty are hired and retained within the academy. Predominately white institutions (PWI’s) especially have lower percentages of faculty from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. In addition, the rate in which all genders outside of males is disproportion to the rate in which male faculty members are hired. Higher education was founded for wealthy white males to gain access to education to ensure their own upward mobility and retaining their wealth. However, as higher education aims to address its own oppressive structures, the access to higher education must be addressed.

The article that I chose to discuss for this blog post was an article shared on Inside Higher Education. The article focused on  federal data on the rate of diversity within tenure track faculty within varying institutions. What their data analysis uncovered was that research and doctoral status institutions were especially lacking in racial and gender diversity within the hiring of faculty members. The number of Black and Hispanic faculty only accounted for less than 6%. This is with Black faculty representation only increasing by 0.1% and Hispanic faculty increasing by only 0.65%. These rates were marginally larger at master status institutions, but again the rate in which tenure track faculty is not increasing. In addition, the rate in which women from the years 2013-2017  increased by only 1.7%. The majority of tenure track faculty hires are held by white males.

This article is critical for the conversation of faculty within higher education. The federal data was calculated during the years 2013-2017, a time in higher education where conscious efforts were made to make critical examinations into hiring practices. It comes back into a theme of higher education that I have seen where institutions state they value one thing, but the data shows otherwise. In this case, institutions claimed that their espoused values were having diversity within teaching faculty, though the theories in use within the academy were the exact opposite. Values are not concrete unless they are actually manifesting what they are saying that they value. In addition to hiring faculty, the retention of faculty remains to be critical part of addressing the structural issues in higher education. Faculty can be recruited and hired to an institutions that still oppress the people they are hiring. Thus, the rate in which faculty are retained is going to be significantly lower. These data points only further illustrate the lack of diversity and equity within higher education. Without intentional and critical changes made to hiring practices, campus climates, and overall structures within higher education, these studies on diversity within higher education will continue to reveal the same trend in education.

References:

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/07/02/little-progress-diversifying-faculty-ranks-study-finds-particularly-research

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Issues Happening in Higher Ed

When it comes to issues surrounding higher education on a global scale, there seems to be a constant “abuse of power” between the faculty and their students. There are examples of professors who believe that because they are higher on the educational food chain that their research, classes, and personal lives are more important than …
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Sexual Misconduct in Higher Education

Sexual Misconduct in the Academy

With the emergence of the #MeToo movement, women have felt increasingly empowered to report instances of sexual misconduct. This movement has brought to light a number of sexual harassment cases in academia, where women (particularly at the graduate student and early career levels) have been taken advantage of by their male colleagues and superiors.

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a lengthy report on the issue of sexual harassment in higher education. This report outlines the definition of sexual harassment as:

“…sexual coercion and unwanted sexual attention, which fall under the category of “come-on” behavior. It also includes the more common but usually dismissed behavior of gender harassment or “put down” behavior, defined by the report as ‘‘a broad range of verbal and nonverbal behaviors not aimed at sexual cooperation but that convey insulting, hostile, and degrading attitudes.”[1]

The report goes on to synthesize evidence from academic research that illustrates the damaging effects of sexual harassment, both psychologically and physically. Notably, only 25% of women report instances of sexual harassment in their organization [2]. Tying back to our conversations on intersectionality, it is also worth noting that these statistics do not apply equally to all women– women of color are less likely to report sexual harassment compared to white women [2].

Examples from Psychological Science

Some of the most high-profile cases of sexual misconduct in academia have occurred within psychology and cognitive science departments, making this a particularly salient issue for female trainees in these areas.

Recently, Dartmouth College has been under fire for its handling of sexual harassment allegations brought forward by female graduate students in the Psychological and Brain Sciences department. Nine women came forward to report the rape, groping, coercion, and sexual degradation that was perpetuated by three male faculty in the department. The women sued Dartmouth for Title IX violations and recently were awarded a settlement of $14 million from the university [3].

A similar case is ongoing at the University of Rochester in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department, where a number of faculty came forward with reports of sexual harassment by fellow faculty member T. Florian Jaeger. The University has been widely criticized for its mishandling of the case, and even resulted in the resignation of the president of the university. The university has actively fought to have the case dismissed, but it continues more than a year after the initial reports were filed. [4]

Moving Forward

How can we better protect female trainees from sexual misconduct by their colleagues and superiors? I don’t have an easy answer, but I hope that these recent examples where harassers are being held accountable for their actions will bring more awareness to the issue and the ways in which the environment of academia might be contributing to these problems.

[1] https://500womenscientists.org/nas-summary#what-is-sexual-harassment

[2] Cortina, L. M., & Berdahl, J. L. (2008). Sexual Harassment in Organizations: A Decade of Research in Review. In The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Behavior: Volume I – Micro Approaches (pp. 469–497). London: SAGE Publications Ltd. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781849200448

[3] https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/06/us/dartmouth-settles-harassment-lawsuit/index.html

[4] https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2019/08/30/case-against-rochester-survives-legal-challenge

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Fit as a Euphemism for Whiteness in Higher Education Hiring Practices

Introduction to the Issue

Hiring practices in higher education are long overdue for a critical evaluation and overhaul of current racist—even if it’s subtle or unintentional—policies and practices. Ashlee (2019) sheds light on the harmful practices systemically rooted in our hiring practices. More specifically, the author explores the pervasive notion that the term “fit” is used as a euphemism for white supremacy in higher education.

The author illustrates this urgency for change by telling their story on how they got offered a job at an Ivy League institution in the New England area. Ultimately, Ashlee (2019) identifies their combined race and gender (a white man) as being the sole reason for them being hired. Despite being underqualified for the position, and for coming from a vastly different background than the population in which they’d be working with, the author was hired for the role. The author uses a conversation with the director as grounds for making their claims. When asked whether it mattered that the author graduated from the prestigious institution when working and conversing with alumni, the director responded by saying, “…you look like a younger version of most of these guys…you’ll fit right in” (Ashlee, 2019, p. 196). Already frustrated with the flawed job search process in student affairs, this interaction left the author pondering the concept of fit in higher education hiring practices. Because the author had the same outward-facing identities as most of the alumni population, they were perceived as being a good fit for the role despite their lack of experience. This reasoning allows for fit to be used as a “thinly veiled preference for white candidates” (Ashlee, 2019, p. 198).

The author’s narrative highlights an even larger and more pervasive issue in higher education and student affairs. The unintentional and habitual use of the term fit as reason for hiring or rejecting someone’s candidacy for a position is not “a localized phenomenon of individual bias” (Ashlee, 2019, p. 198). Instead, it is one small-scale example of how our biases perpetuate systems of racial oppression. Continuing on this path, higher education environments will be lacking in the rich talents and unique skills offered by People of Color in a place of dignified scholarship.

The author makes clear that racism in higher education is not a new phenomenon. The resilience of white supremacy and the ways racism shows up both explicitly and invisibly in our practice has remained consistent over time. Leaving this practice uninterrupted and unchallenged allows for white isolation to continue at colleges and universities resulting in a culture where participants are accustomed to “white racial tastes, perceptions, feelings, and emotions” (Ashlee, 2019, p. 201). Allowing for a legacy of whiteness to continue to manifest promotes solidarity exclusively with white people and establishes a normalcy for racial segregation, hierarchy, oppression, and the patriarchy. The term to describe this is habitus of whiteness. More specifically, habitus of whiteness is defined as “the racialized, uninterrupted socialization process that conditions and creates whites’ racial tastes, perceptions, feelings, and emotions and their views on racial matters” (Ashlee, 2019, p. 200). By continuing to silently adhere to these current ways of existing in higher education, we foster an environment the produces racist practices in our hiring practices.

Implications for Practice

After reading Ashlee’s (2019) work, I find it vitally important for me to critically examine what it means to refer to someone as a good fit for a position. The author’s deeper analysis reveals that fit is “coded language used to maintain the status quo of whiteness and weed out candidates with different racial and cultural perspectives” (Ashlee, 2019, p. 203). It is no surprise that organizations struggle to diversify their teams when the hiring practices are dripping in a cultural habitus of whiteness. In order to successfully hire, and adequately support, People of Color practitioners must actively challenge oppressive practices.

Ashlee (2019) details specific ways in which we can implement strategies that confront whiteness in higher education hiring practices:

  1. Become racially cognizant
    1. White people charged with leading out hiring efforts must develop practices that center race and racism
    2. Embrace the truth about when, where and how whiteness shows up in the job search process
    3. Develop and implement required, high-quality and sustainable implicit racial bias trainings
  2. Use Critical Race Theory (CRT)
    1. Familiarize ourselves with and adhere to the tenets of CRT 
  3. Use critical whiteness studies (CWS)
    1. Familiarize ourselves with and adhere to recommendations put forth as a result of conducting CWS
  4. Evaluate and eliminate racially coded language
    1. professionalism” – the term professionalism is ambiguous and undeniably a tool used to uplift white people in hiring practices. If a candidate does not display enough “professionalism”, that usually means they did not adhere to the vision and culture white people have created. We must challenge the mold and expand the definition of what it means to be “professional” in your workplace.
    2. qualified” – oftentimes this is used a reasoning for not hiring a more diverse team in higher education. There is an underlying assumption that People of Color decrease the quality of an applicant pool and therefore are discarded from the hiring process. This assumption is systemic and when used is simply forcing candidates to be in accordance with white expectations of professionalism.
    3. attitude” – oftentimes, candidates of Color are dismissed under the guise of “bad attitude”. This is rooted in white fragility and linguistically related to the “Angry Person of Color” trope.
    4. communication skills” – this should not be a leading criterion for hiring decisions as it promotes the use of a white-only standard of communication.
    5. enthusiasm” – using this as a criterion for hiring decisions only benefits white candidates who do not experience racial hostility and emotional exhaustion that People of Color face working at predominantly white institutions.
  5. Go beyond hiring practices
    1. Racially unjust practices transcend department or staffing practice. The author urges readers to look beyond hiring practices when working to actively interrogate the inherent white supremacy at our institutions.

References

Ashlee, K. C. (2019). “You’ll fit right in” Fit as a euphemism for whiteness in higher education hiring practices. In Reece, B. J., Tran V.T., DeVore, E. N., & Porcaro, G. (Eds.), Debunking the Myth of Job Fit in Higher Education and Student Affairs (p. 193-216). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

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Lower retention rate amongst young professionals in Higher Education

While higher education encompasses both academic and student affairs areas, for this blog post I want to focus on a contemporary issue specific to student affairs area in higher education. One of the biggest problems in student affairs functional areas is the retention of new professionals. Student affairs is known to have one of the highest attrition rates compared to a similar profession.

According to Renn & Hodges (2007), the reasons professionals leave one institution for another institution or one job for another job is connected with having heavy workload impacting their personal life, job dissatisfaction, lack of direct mentoring from a supervisor, inadequate supervision, and lack of professional development opportunities. Based on numerous research studies conducted to understand the reasoning behind lower retention rates amongst young student affairs professionals, lack of quality supervision is one of the biggest factors (Davis and Cooper, 2017). Just like many individuals in the workforce, Student affairs professionals highly value progressing in their functional areas while continue gaining knowledge and experience through participating in diverse practices/opportunities. However, this requires not only participation from new professionals but also supervisors. This practice is known as synergic supervision. Davis and Cooper (2017) describe synergic supervision as a dynamic process that requires participation from both the new professional(s) and the supervisor. Also, synergic supervision ensures that new professionals achieve their professional and personal goals as well as meeting organizational goals.

Unfortunately, most if not all of the professionals do not learn about supervision in their graduate program as well as their graduate assistantships. Thus, professionals try to perfect their supervision style through trial and error. This specific approach comes at a cost because a lack of quality supervision has been linked to young professionals leaving the department or the institution or the student affairs profession as a whole. Losing a professional comes at a very high cost to the department and/or the institution because you lose the diverse experience and the ideas they have but also resources invested after them.

In my experience thus far as a graduate student in the higher education program at Virginia Tech, I have not had as much experience supervising student leaders as I would have like to. Although, I have learned about other people’s supervising style, reflect on my supervision style, and the ways I can work to improve my supervision style through classes, and participating in training sessions and other professional development opportunities. Furthermore, I have had one opportunity in my time as a graduate student to directly supervise student leaders. During the summer of 2019, I served as a NODA intern at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg working in the orientation office. One of my responsibility as a NODA intern was to supervise 15 student leaders. Just as I mentioned above, I had no previous experience directly supervising students. Therefore, I had to follow a trial and error approach as well as the content I learned in classes to supervise students. Through this experience, I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on how I can best supervise individuals. Moving forward, I will continue to seek out opportunities to further my knowledge in supervision and incorporate the knowledge I gained through my past experiences into my practice in the future.

Reference:

Davis, T. J. & Cooper, D. L. (2017). “People are Messy”: Complex Narratives of Supervising New Professionals in Student Affairs. Journal of Student Affairs Reseach and Practice, 54(1), 55-68. https://doi.org/10.1080/19496591.2016.1219267

Renn, K. A., & Hodges, J. P. (2007). The first year on the job: Experiences of new professionals in student affairs. NASPA Journal, 44(2), 367–391. doi:10.2202/0027-6014.1800

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The Gaps Between Higher Ed and Industry

The Issues:

There are several issues going on today that involve higher education and my field of study. One of the biggest ones is the issue with job availability as you continue on with your education. One example of this nutrition. I cannot vouch for the other species, but for swine, there are very few industry positions available for those who pursue a Masters degree in swine nutrition or even Ph.D.s. Most of the large companies only have a few nutritionists that focus just on that.

Going off of that, getting a Masters degree in any part of the agriculture  industry may open a lot of doors. But it may also close a lot as well. And most of the jobs that require a Masters are filled by very competent people who are not planning on leaving any time soon. And the same can be said for Ph.D.s as well. It may even be worse. If you are pursing a Ph.D. then the best opportunity for you is to go into academia. This is mainly because you are considered overqualified for most of the jobs that are available. Also, it is extremely likely that you lack industry experience that companies want.

This brings me to my next point. Another gap between higher education and the agriculture industry is the fact that a lot of people don’t know what they are going to do with their degrees. There are issues with people not learning what they need to know for their field of study, even in undergraduate programs. Some knowledge just comes from experiences, but some programs aren’t building a good foundation for students to build upon. And even with post graduate degrees there are students that are conducting research, putting in countless hours and lots of energy, but they have no clear idea what they are going to do when they graduate.

Moving forward:

I think there are a couple thing that we can do to improve these issues. One of the biggest is to properly encourage students. I think that it is part of a professor’s job to properly guide students through the transition from college to industry. I had this experience. When I first started talking to one of my professors at my undergrad about grad school, I told him I was interested in swine nutrition. He was very straightforward with me when he explained that I would have a really hard time finding a job in that field after graduation and that he did not want to see me waste me time on that. I think we need more of this within higher education.

I also think that companies can start with university researchers more. If we can start working together, we can essentially kill two bird with one stone. Companies can have the research that they need conducted, students will have opportunities to do research that will make an impact, and it provides a networking opportunity for everyone involved. I know that there is a lot of university/company collaboration happening already, but I think we may need to step back and make sure that what students are learning is actually applicable in the real world.

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Data Governance, Management and Protection in Higher Education

We are bombarded with data. Higher education institutions have no shortages of data and experience daily influxes from diverse streams. From confidential student and institutional information to sensitive research data sets, it becomes increasingly crucial that higher education institutions enforce and regulate stringent data protocols and practices to ensure proper data control, data management, data protection and data privacy. As pressure increase for higher education institutions to do more with the resources they have at hand, paying attention to these issues are imperative for their sustainability and continued success.

With the increasing power and capability of data, there is so much that can be done using data-driven initiatives to enable improved outcomes and effective decision making in higher education. Data can be used strategically to achieve greater impact in higher ed. decision-making that better meet the goals and outcomes of the institution, departments and student affairs. The key remains in properly controlling and leveraging the data to achieve these desired outcomes. EDUCAUSE [1] recommends that for higher education institutions to implement effective “data management and governance practices” they should:

    • Learn: Read about higher education data management and governance topics and find proven practices that helped other institutions implement data management and governance.
    • Plan: Benchmark their current data capabilities and lay the groundwork for their data management and governance strategic direction.
    • Do: Implement data management and governance practices and validate their forward progress.[1]

Furthermore, there exists many data quality problems from the vast array of data sources, but higher education can utilize data governance to help continuously mitigate this problem in order to ensure quality data for strategizing and planning initiatives such as those that help to drive student success.[2] Hayhurst claims [2], “The success of any data-driven initiative depends on that data being relevant and trustworthy.” Universities can ensure high-quality data by ensuring these “key attributes” that include:

 

      • Completeness: Related data must be linked from all possible sources.
      • Accuracy: Data must be correct and consistent, with no misspellings, for example.
      • Availability: Data must be available upon demand.
      • Timeliness: Current data must be available. [2]

Most recently, my colleagues and I, have been receiving many spam and phishing emails from administration in my department. This calls into question the issue of data protection and the necessity for heightened data protection measures. The ability for cyber-criminals to manipulate email accounts and transcend network security protocols poses a serious threat to higher education operations and trust. Cyber experts emphasize that, “It is critical university leaders consider whether their cyber protection governance is sufficiently robust.” [3] University officials must work intently to ensure that their valuable data is protected with the highest level of protection. Some critical questions that higher education providers need to ask include:

    • Who has access to data?
    • Are regular vulnerability scans performed as part of vulnerability management?
    • Do attack monitoring and mitigation systems cover the right cyber-attacks?
    • Are staff and students trained in information security awareness to spot fraudulent attacks?[3]

References:

  1. https://www.educause.edu/guides/improving-data-management-and-governance-in-higher-education
  2. https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/06/breaking-down-data-governance-data-quality-perfcon
  3. https://www.hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Policy-Note-12-Paper-April-2019-How-safe-is-your-data.pdf
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Defunding Mental Health – A slippery slope

Mental health is a serious concern for all college students. Students today are under immense pressure to succeed, make friends, have a job, volunteer and do service work, and so many other things. This increased pressure has resulted in decreased mental health. ActiveMinds, a nonprofit which advocates for issues regarding student mental health, states that 39% of college students have experienced a significant mental health issue, and that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. These issues are compounded by specific STEM fields like Animal Science, and Biology where the vast majority of students are seeking to enter very competitive and rigorous post-graduation programs. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 67% of veterinary students have had periods of depression. Of which 37% had a period of depression lasting over 2 weeks.

While scrolling through Inside Higher Ed, a website that discusses issues within higher education, I found an article titled, Defunding Student Mental Health.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/10/18/mental-health-low-priority-community-colleges

In the article it talks about how 2 year community colleges are defunding mental health programs due to high costs and under funding. This bothers me due to the high number of transfers that enter Animal Science programs from community colleges and 2 year schools. I am a graduate teaching assistant for the Intro to Animal and Poultry Science lab for first year students and a very large proportion of my students are transfers from 2 year or other 4 year colleges and universities. Not only do these students tend to have a harder time adjusting than regular freshman do, they also tend to have less time to check all of the boxes for graduation than a typical freshman student. This all combines into a serious mental health concern that will only be compounded if community colleges begin a large scale defunding of mental health services. It is imperative that these students have strong mental health habits so that they are prepared to handle the stress and pressure that comes with being a transfer student.

This article also struck a cord with me due to the general poor state of mental health services at colleges and universities. These programs are generally underfunded and understaffed, and are not adequate to solve the mental health needs of students today. For example, recently a friend of mine was experiencing a episode of depression. They went to Cook Counselling Center to make an appointment to see a Counselor and were turned away because they were not having suicidal thoughts. My friend does not have personal medical insurance, and therefore cannot afford to see an outside specialist. Needless to say, the were left helpless during this episode and had no options to speak to someone about their depression. While this is an isolated incident, it does shed light on the state of mental health services, even here at Virginia Tech.

I am discouraged by the current defunding of mental health services at community colleges and hope that this is not a trend that will extend into major universities. Students today are under more pressure than ever to succeed, and these services are vital for their success and well-being while in college.

 

Inside Higher Ed. (October 18, 2019) https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/10/18/mental-health-low-priority-community-colleges

Active Minds. (2019).

Statistics

American Veterinary Medical Association (May, 2016) https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/160501c.aspx

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Issues Impacting Higher Education in National and Global Platforms

A form of discrimination that exists in higher education in both the national and global platforms is ageism. Age discrimination does exist in the engineering discipline and does not necessarily require the existence of sexism and racism. In a report written by Demi Simi and Jonathan Matusitz, Ageism Against Older U.S. College Students: A View from Social Closure Theory, they examine ageism and its effect in the United States’ higher education system. Older students are said to offer capabilities that have not yet been obtained by their younger peers. With their insights and experiences, older students are more prepared, provide more reliability, and have garnered more values than the younger students. Despite these advantages, older students encounter a large amount of neglect regarding their interests and learning styles. This neglect may stem from the false premise from university members that older students do not require as much considerable attention. This, in turn, can render them disregarded and virtually invisible when it comes to public policies and objectives. This blatant disregard hinders a university’s growth and prosperity, so more options and opportunities to engage the older students and create a more diverse and inclusive environment where older students feel comfortable in voicing out their thoughts and ideas is vital. 

When entering their respective universities, older students come with the perception that they are marginal and possibly ostracized, feeling excluded from the mainstream culture. As time continues, this feeling can escalate. Older students, according to Simi’s and Matusitz’s report, shared their frustrations with the university’s admissions and counseling staff, who suggested that their real-world skills were the primary reason for their acceptance, no mention of their merit. Moreover, it was reported that the admissions and counseling staff that oversaw the undergraduates in the university believed that the first-year students all came straight from high school. These comments and false assumptions are not only annoying but create barriers in the institution. 

Despite some of the hindrances, the class participation rates of older students can be a lot higher than compared to their younger peers. Their participation in class discussions and overall student engagement is valuable and appreciated, especially by the faculty members in the university. Their dedication, maturity, and inspiration seen in their pursuit of their degrees is motivating. 

Now, several older students assume that higher education is necessary without question. They get inspired into enrolling at the universities to produce crucial life changes that cultivate new aspirations and new trajectories in their current conditions. For some, instead of circumventing the idea of pursuing a higher education degree, the unfavorable life circumstances are what motivate older adults to pursue a higher degree. Personally, I owe sincere gratitude to the older students in my department for their advice, encouragement, and enthusiasm during my graduate studies. Tackling ageism, which is apparent in higher education, as illustrated above, should be a priority in creating a more diverse and inclusive environment in the university system. The problem does not end in academia but transcends into the job market. 

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USA Needs International Students in Higher Education

 

Topic of Interest:

There are a lot of different issues arising in higher education that I could have discussed for my blog. After a long look at my field and program, animal and poultry science, I decided to research and comment on international students in higher education because I see a lack in the animal science program. 

International Students in Higher Education:

At my undergraduate college, there was little emphasis placed on international students. We only had a handful of students who were not from the United States and most of them seemed to be recruited to play sports. I was not involved in sports, other than being a spectator, and didn’t know many of the international students. However, when I was lucky enough to have a class with an international student, I appreciated my time in class. 

I love learning about the different perspectives people have and the cultures people grew up in. I like to hear about how growing up in a country other than the United States has shaped someone. I fully and wholeheartedly believe that I gain something of value from being in a class and learning from international students. 

According to Grawe, the United States also gains something from international students. Grawe states, “international students contribute substantially to the financial health of their colleges and universities, local communities, and state economies” (2019). I was unaware of just how much international students contribute financially to a university. What I also found interesting was the fact that “only one in six international students receive institutional aid” (Grawe, 2019). I am appalled at that number, but am sad to say I never knew how much of an issue scholarships to international students. 

The Issue:

In my opinion, international students have a lot of unnecessary hoops they need to jump through in order to be eligible and receive higher education in the United States. I am not too familiar with the process, but from what I have heard in class and from peers, there are a lot of tests and costs involved. 

Over the past few years, the number of international students that attend a university to receive higher education in the United States has declined. Grawe states, “the nearly 10% reduction in new students seen in the two years beginning in 2016/17 is notable given the incredible consistency of growth in this market seen in the previous 69 years” (2019). 

What This Means for Animal Science:

I think in order to be the best you can be, you need to need a perspective check and to have an open mind. I don’t know a lot about livestock or the industry, but from what I have gathered from lectures, articles, and peers, the United States runs things differently than other countries. Now, I am not saying one way is better than the other, but I do think in order to improve, and there is always room for improvement, we need to take into consideration all the ways to do something. 

From what I have seen in Animal and Poultry Sciences (APSC) thus far is a lack of diversity. I have also met only one international student in the program, that is not to say there isn’t more, I just have yet to personally meet others. Therefore, if the country’s percentage of international students is declining this means the program’s numbers will also decline. I believe this is when we will run into issues. 

A national decrease in international students means that a majority of the students in APSC will come from similar backgrounds and have similar perspectives. How do we improve and get better if no one comes in and has differing opinions on how things can be run? Who will push us to do research on the best method if the methods aren’t being questioned? 

To me, the decrease in international students is a tragedy that the United States needs to really look at. We need international students for many reasons and not just for our financial gain. I truly hope one day the process to come to the United States to gain a higher education will be easier, so we may continue to learn and grow together. 

Video

I also stumbled upon this video while doing research about international students in higher education. I would love to hear opinions on what people think of the video.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/Why-International-Students-Are/243860

 

Sources

Grawe, Nathan, et al. “International Students and U.S. Higher Education.” Econofact, The Fletcher School Tufts University, 17 July 2019, https://econofact.org/international-students-and-u-s-higher-education.

Kelderman, Eric. “Why International Students Are Important at Indiana U.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 11 July 2018, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Why-International-Students-Are/243860.

 

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