Like many across the US, Juniata College stands at a crossroads regarding our need to address matters of social justice, equity and inclusion, support for BIPOC, international and LGBTQ+ students. To that end, the college has taken a moment to analyze some challenges we face and how to address them to support not only our current students but also our faculty, staff, alumni, and prospective students.
The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), the EDI Council and the Senior Leadership Team have worked collaboratively to listen to and consider recommendations made by students and faculty over the last year. Here you will find what we've heard and how we plan to move forward.
We acknowledge that this is a working document. Some concerns involve greater collaboration amongst us all to identify the best outcomes. When new challenges arise, it will be important for us to think about and find ways to address them. As we continue this work, check back to see what progress we have and will continue to make as we move forward.
If you are aware of progress that has been made in one of these areas that your campus
department may be responsible for, feel free to share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Goal: Provide course offerings in locations and through methods that are accessible for all
- The pandemic required the institution and all of its stakeholders to develop familiarity with interactions over Zoom and related technologies; classrooms and areas have been equipped with technology that facilitates remote engagement (Spring 2019)
- Faculty undertook extensive training related to online course development and delivery and pedagogical considerations in the required shift to remote learning that accompanied the COVID pandemic (Spring 2020)
- Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) membership with regular participation in training opportunities as well as interaction with other professionals across the country who work in Accessibility Services.
- Neurodiversity Trainings provided to multiple campus groups including RA’s, Peer Mentors, Admissions, and SoTL (Faculty).
- Listserv membership enabling interactive communication among peers within the field of Accessibility Services which helps us maintain best practices and remain up to date with emerging best practices.
- Creation of Student Accessibility office branding to promote visibility and awareness of supports and services.
- Autism Awareness Month Programming in partnership with Disabled Student Union, Education Department, Library, and other RSO’s.
Our Goal: Realizing and respecting accommodations
- The College implemented a software solution (AIM) to help facilitate transparency and communication between students and faculty as it relates to course accommodations (Summer 2020)
- The institution revised and updated the Emotional Support Animal policy and procedure for clarity and transparency (Summer 2021)
- Expansion of single room options and adjustments to housing placements will allow better and broader access of students with medical and mental health need to single rooms and accessible spaces (Fall 2021 for 2022-23 housing selection)
Our Goal: Processing and completion of incident report and resolution
- The Bias Incident Response process has undergone a significant reorganization. Some of the changes are related to the best methods for responding to and addressing incidents when they have been reported by different parties. This also meant clarifying the role of the team as an administrative and advisory body who will provide recommendations to human resources, academic affairs and student life in terms of processing and resolution. What Is a Bias Incident?
Our Goal: Transparency in communication of number of incidents reported on campus
Bias Incident Reporting
Since the Start of the Fall 2021 Semester
Reports In Progress
BIPOC Student Support
Our Goal: Authentically addressing race/ethnicity retention and graduation gaps
- The Office of Institutional Research published retention and completion rates in a disaggregated format disaggregated by race (Fall 2021). Additional analysis of retention and completion for under-represented and under-resourced cohorts (first-generation or Pell-eligible, for instance) is ongoing and related data is published as collected. We are regularly analyzing data to identify equity gaps and suggesting changes designed to help eliminate them. For example, we have identified equity gaps in some of our experiential learning opportunities. Participation in experiential learning opportunities is directly related to student success measures such as retention and graduation. Furthermore, the analysis work performed has involved disaggregating funding data by racial, and economic backgrounds, which in turn helps to inform Enrollment Management in exploring strategic augmentations in financial aid awarding to help to close gaps in retention and graduation rates that appear impacted by financial need. Published Data
- A collaborative effort is underway to identify students in academic distress earlier and provide resources and support to facilitate academic success and course completion (Fall 2021)
- The expansion of Academic Coaches to include part-time individuals with a broader range of identity representation through in-person and remote contact is underway. (The position was posted in Fall 2021 with additional staff anticipated for Spring 2022.)
Our Goal: Address the need for safe spaces for BIPOC students on campus
- Assessment of Unity House spaces was completed (Fall 2020), and additional room made available for meeting. A plan is under development to make the ground floor/basement more amenable/usable for gathering and programming.
- A proposal for the development of a Black/African-American living-learning community (LLC) is under development for incorporation into 2022-23 housing selection (Fall 2021).
Our Goal: Provide access to mental health support for and by African-Americans
- The College has incorporated remote tele-counselors that represent a range of diverse identities and clinical modalities to help address BIPOC students’ need for support. Clinical modalities represent backgrounds and experience in addressing racial battle fatigue and racialized trauma with clients (Fall 2020).
- The Counseling Center now allocates frequency of counselor contact based on clinical assessment and client need, eliminating session limits and additional fees beyond the universal health and wellness fee. Students can meet with a counselor in person or via zoom.
Our Goal: To assess and address issues of campus climate
- The HEDS Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey is now available for all faculty, staff and students. An analysis of the results of this survey will begin after the first of the year and will guide the work of many campus departments going forward. This survey will help benchmark our current climate and provide comparative data with other institutions. We will readminister this survey in 3-4 years to assess progress.
Our Goal: Assess the difficult interactions between students, JCPS and Huntingdon PD
- JCPS Officers took part in cultural competency training
- President Troha hosted a coalition of area law enforcement leaders, including representatives from the HBP, District Attorney’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police and institutional representatives to discuss the relationship between the campus community and area agencies (Summer 2020). The effort to maintain and develop continued relationships and dialogue, shared training events and cooperative understandings is ongoing.
- JCPS has facilitated changes in its campus presence and presentation, including changes to the appearance and dress of officers, the look and presence of the campus safety vehicle (Fall 2021).
Our Goal: Assess challenges with racial profiling and acts of intimidation in the Huntingdon community
Our Goal: Ensure that teaching about systemic racism and minority experiences are a required part of the college curriculum
- All faculty included as an annual goal in fall 2020 how they would alter their teaching to address systemic racism. Approximately 60% reported adjusting content of courses to diversify authors and perspectives; roughly 1/3 addressed how they teach and worked to utilize more inclusive practices.
- All students are required to have a U.S. experience requirement as part of our general education curriculum. In a U.S. experience course, students will explore the complex social, cultural, political, and historical contexts that shape the lived experiences of traditionally marginalized groups within the U.S. Students will critically examine how power, privilege, and marginalization influence opportunity. In the fall of 2020, all faculty included in their annual goals one way they would address structural racism in their teaching. Approximately 60 altered course content by relying on texts written by members of marginalized populations and/or purposefully relying on examples and illustrations that spoke to minority experiences. About 1/3 of the faculty focused on altering their teaching methods to be more inclusive in their strategies and approaches.
Our Goal: Address the need for more faculty of color teaching in the general education and POE curriculum
- Diversifying the faculty remains a priority. Search committees are trained by the Dean of EDI and the Provost with regard to building diverse pools of candidates. Without demonstrable evidence of diversity in those applicant pools, searches will not be allowed to continue.
Our Goal: Provide additional financial support for non-STEM academic programs
- Under the guidance of the Provost and in collaboration with the Dean of EDI a strategic hiring plan for faculty is underway. This plan will focus on ensuring the breadth of perspective central to the liberal arts and to support STEM, social science, humanities and arts program over the next 3-5 years.
Our Goal: Address inaccurate or missing representation of marginalized groups in academic programs
- In an effort to address this challenge, an audit of academic programs as a part of their annual review will take place. The goal of this audit is to address inaccuracies and/or lack of representation. This will be an ongoing effort and will become a required part of new course development in academic programs.
Our Goal: Ensure that students who participate in athletic programs feel integrated into the campus community
- The Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is partnering with Athletics in support of Project RISE (Resources and Inspiration for Student Engagement), an effort to partner incoming students with upper-division peer support and alumni to cultivate persistence, affinity, connections and success (Fall 2021).
- A taskforce will be created to brainstorm ways to create an Inbound Program for students who participate in fall sports. This will provide an additional opportunity for student athletes to connect with various members of campus.
Our Goal: Assess inequities in internship and research opportunities for BIPOC students in comparison to white students
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Our Goal: An administrative response to issues of equity and inclusion on campus
- The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in close collaboration with the Office of the President have discussed and are implementing a strategic communication plan that provide transparency among campus and community constituents regarding issues of equity on campus. The Dean of EDI will provide monthly updates (on the last day of the month) and will ensure that the webpage you are currently viewing shares progress made in any and all of these areas.
59 student life professional staff or 85% of all student life employees (100%
of full-time employees) completed an online Equity, Diversity and Inclusion training
in October 2021. Leadership of the effort came from Tim Launtz, Director of Public
Safety and Juniata’s Compliance Officer.
- The need for equity, diversity, and inclusion on institutions of higher education campuses across the nation has, perhaps never been so self-evident. "Social justice" is no longer just a rallying cry; instead, it’s one of the crucial measures by which institutions are judged. This course doesn’t attempt to assign blame, but rather seeks to encourage dialogue and understanding between different races, religions, ages, gender identities, and differently abled employees at Juniata College.
Our Goal: To increase the EDI capacity on campus
- An EDI Program Coordinator position has been added. Recruitment will begin In the second week of November 2021. Additionally, the EDI Office has three student workers who will be coordinating programs, marketing and social media presence as a part of their work-study programs.
Our Goal: Ensure that the Board of Trustees are educated about issues of cultural intelligence and social justice
- The members of the Board of Trustees will undergo Cultural Intelligence & Competency and Unconscious Bias training over the next year. As a part of their preparation for this work, they will also read as a collective From Equity Talk to Equity Talk by Tina Brown McNair et al.
Our Goal: Transparency, quality and frequency of communication related to EDI efforts
- Through the development of the Bias Incident dashboard and the monthly updates from the Office of EDI, there is an effort to ensure that more information is being shared and regular updates will provide clarity for all constituents.
LGBTQ+ Student Support
Our Goal: The expansion of gender inclusive housing options
- Gender inclusive bathrooms incorporated into most buildings on campus or into plans for renovation (Beeghly Library/Learning Commons) when impossible to incorporate into current structure because of code restrictions (VLB currently). Campus planning accounts for the incorporation of gender inclusive bathrooms into all new or additional campus construction. A campus bathroom map was published on the Dean of Students website. Bathroom Policy and Map
Our Goal: Address mis-gendering of students in classroom and work settings
- We are actively working to provide professional development for faculty around this issue. Our SoTL Center has issued best-practice guidelines to faculty and staff. Additionally, Jacoba Rock presented best-practices to the faculty at the November, 2021 faculty meeting. Additionally, software changes are being made to ensure that students’ pronouns are displayed in Self-Service and Moodle.
Our Goal: Assess inability for chosen name to use in all data systems/collection
- A Names Task Force has been assembled to identify all systems in which names are required. Additional Name Fields have been added to our core Colleague system. Students and employees are now able to specify chosen names and personal pronouns. Additional work will need to be done to understand requirements external to Juniata and the implications to chosen names and pronouns.
Our Goal: An accurate account of LGBTQ+ student demographics for retention and graduation rates
- The Arch Directory was adjusted to reflect personal pronouns once entered by individuals through Colleague Self-Service (Summer 2020 – Fall 2021). Sexual and gender identity are captured in the Eagle’s Nook housing application for data migration into the Colleague Student Record.
Professional Development for Faculty and Staff
Our Goal: Facilitate faculty development related to cultural intelligence, humility and competency
- A three-year plan has been implemented in order to ensure that all faculty, student-facing staff and student leaders are trained in cultural intelligence and competency as well as unconscious bias during that time. The training module being utilized is from The Cultural Intelligence Center. This module calls for action plans, accountability partnership and re-assessment to identify the campus-wide growth in those areas.
- In addition, there will be a series of workshops prior to the start of the spring 2022 semester to build faculty and staff capacity with regard to cultural intelligence, equity literacy, accessibility and accommodations, culturally competent advising, and cultural humility in community-based learning.
Recruitment and Marketing
- An audit of recruitment marketing collateral has been underway and still continues. More specifically, photography used in print and web-based marketing materials is under review by staff in Enrollment and Marketing. Publication revisions began during the 2020-2021 academic performed and additional revision efforts continue. Furthermore, meetings and discussions took place throughout the month of October with some faculty, staff, and students that led to a cancellation of a planned fall photoshoot in effort to regroup to discuss (photography strategy).
- In addition, audit work performed so far has revealed that an active web page, https://www.juniata.edu/admission/just-the-facts/, is currently advertising information that is out of date. Instead of just performing an update to refresh the facts and data, an opportunity exists now to reimagine the presentation of these pages and more appropriately present and promote enrollment and student profile data. Enrollment Management will be leading efforts to reimagine these pages.
- UPDATE - Multiple meetings with various campus community members took place November to December and a revised just-the-facts web page has been developed that provides greater disaggregated data points with easy to find links. Ongoing work will continue on this page. https://www.juniata.edu/about/just-the-facts/
Our Goal: To accurately market living and learning in Huntingdon to BIPOC prospective students
- While progress has not yet been made to address this concern, conversations have begun between the Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing and the Dean of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. A first-step action discussed is to perform focus group work with both Juniata College and Huntingdon community members to identify marketing inaccuracies and explore ideas for marketing improvement. Further discussions are needed to plan this effort out in a manner that is intentional.
- UPDATE - Given the Huntingdon community links to this specific action, a meeting is scheduled for February 6 with Huntingdon community member, Anthony Bullett, who is very interested in assisting with supporting students, faculty and staff of color and has offered to assist with efforts to more accurately market living and learning in Huntingdon to BIPOC prospective students.
Communications from Senior Leadership