In its quest for distinction, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has achieved considerable diversity, which attracts students from diverse religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds across the world owing to its inclusive climate and learning environment.
The diversity of VCU is a major factor that attracts students from diverse racial, cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. Asha Patel, who is a 19 year-old Indian, wanted to join a diverse college and he eventually managed to join VCU. Given that Asha Patel likes interacting with people from diverse religious, cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds, she found VCU to be having a remarkable diversity. During her admission, VCU assigned Asha Patel a hall of residence with the capacity of 20 students, which reflects diversity because it comprised South Koreans, Ethiopians, Philippians, White-Americans, and African-Americans. Owing to experience of diversity and inclusivity of the learning environment, Asha Patel terms VCU as a mini-New York City. Joey Rodriguez, a notable Latino basketball player, also says that diversity attracted him to join VCU. Evidently, national rank of universities has placed VCU at position 55 because it has a population of about 32,000, where 56% are Whites, 17% are Blacks, 10% are Asians, 5% Latino, 5% multiracial, and the remaining are international students.
The diversity of VCU is beneficial to students in a number of ways. Micol Hammack, the lecturer of writing and critical thinking, argues that the diversity of students allows interactive learning, as students give different experiences and perceptions of situations, for instance, percussion of Native Americans. Unlike monolithic classrooms where experiences and perceptions are the same. A junior student, Khiem Tran, supports the argument by saying that diversity makes learning about courses such as Globalization and Human Societies interesting and enriching because diverse students give their unique inputs based on the backgrounds. Beverly Warren, vice president of academic affairs, perceives diversity as an important asset to VCU because it attracts students and give them different perspectives, thoughts, and beliefs about life and education. Joseph Seipel, School of Arts’ dean agrees that diversity opens the minds of students and make them have different perspectives and thinking patterns.
Paraphrases of Key Points
- Diversity of VCU attracts students.
- VCU adopted a five-year strategic plan in 2009 to improve diversity.
- Two students, Asha Patel (Indian) and Joey Rodriguez (Latino), state that diversity attracted them to VCU.
- VCU is one of the most diverse universities nationally and in the commonwealth.
- Nationally, VCU ranks at position 55 in diversity.
- In terms of diversity, VCU is similar to a mini-New York.
- Diversity makes learning interesting and enriching because students share diverse experiences and perceptions.
- Monolithic classrooms do not favour learning because students have the same experiences and perceptions.
- Diversity of VCU has increased with time because the Whites formed 71% in 1997 and has currently decreased to 56%.
- Diversity open minds of students and make them have different perspectives of thinking.
Two Key Quotations
- “Sitting in the heart of the city, VCU has an undergraduate, graduate and professional student body of 32,000 that is 10 percent Asian, 17 percent black, 5 percent Latino and 3 percent biracial or multiracial” (Green par. 8).
The above quote is important because it shows the diversity of VCU in terms of racial composition of students and their distribution in percent.
- “…the school’s diversity opens students’ minds to different ways of thinking” (Green par. 19).
The above quote, which is from the School of Arts’ dean, is important because it states the benefits of diversity to students at VCU.
Increasing the level of education difficulty does not extend the period that students require to graduate, but it improves the quality of education. In its mission and vision statement, VCU aims to advance knowledge through academic, research, and global engagement with a view of improving the quality of education among students (Virginia Commonwealth University 4). To achieve its aim, VCU has embraced diversity as a strategy of boosting global stance, improving academic performance, and augmenting quality of education. Diversity of students has become an attractive feature of VCU because it draws students from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds (Green par. 9). Evidently, a number of students have joined VCU because they need to learn in a diverse academic environment and share their experiences and perceptions with others. Although diversity makes education difficult because students need to learn different languages, it does not have a significant impact on the duration of attaining a degree.
In its strategic plan, VCU has adopted diversity and made it one of its core values. According to Virginia Commonwealth University, diversity is a core value, which aims to build an inclusive learning environment where integrity, honesty, and trust dominate (4). In this case, VCU recruits diverse students with talents to improve the rate of their graduating within the normal period of learning. The recruitment of talented students from diverse ethnic, racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds does not influence the period of attaining a degree, but rather improves learning experience. Classes that have diverse students have interesting and enriching learning experience because they share first hand experiences about their backgrounds, unlike monolithic classes where students do not have unique experiences to share with others (Green par 10). Diversity is an important asset, which VCU uses in promoting not only a learning experience, but also quality of education among students. Therefore, in the aspect of diversity, increasing education difficulty levels does not lengthen the duration that students take to graduate.
Green, Kristen. “Students are drawn to VCU’s diversity.” Richmond Times Dispatch, 2011. Web.
Virginia Commonwealth University. Quest for distinction. 2011. Web.