As a leading component of one of the most diverse research universities in the world, the Honors College embraces racial, socioeconomic, religious, and other forms of diversity as central to its mission. We believe that bringing together students from diverse backgrounds with wide-ranging interests not only is the responsibility of a public university but also provides the potential for the best educational opportunities for all students to become effective and empathetic citizens of the world. Working and living together with students and faculty who identify, believe, and behave differently, our students are positioned to learn more deeply about themselves and to imagine and help shape the kind of world they want to create.
Creating an inclusive and equitable community of diverse individuals entails upon all of us respecting differences of opinion, belief, and custom, recognizing our own limited experiences, and appreciating the insights yielded by the experience of others.
We are taking several strategic steps to advance inclusive excellence at the Honors College.
Broadening the Honors College Curriculum
- Working with teaching fellows and students, we updated the Forum curriculum to incorporate more attention to locally based community partnerships, implicit bias, ethnocentrism, and the problem of "savior complex."
- Building on the proposal put forth by the True Inclusion Curriculum Committee, we successfully piloted our Cross-Cultural Competency Course last fall, and we are pleased to announce that the course has been approved as a requirement for all incoming Honors College students beginning fall 2022.
- We engaged the university’s academic schools in requiring all Honors College students to fulfill a 3-credit RICE (Race, Inequality, and Community Engagement) requirement, which will take effect beginning fall 2022.
Cultivating Cultural Competence
- Working with the diversity education consulting firm Cultural Connections by Design, the entire HC staff has participated in semester-long workshops and training on creating and maintaining an inclusive workspace and fostering an equitable and inclusive community among our students.
- The HC Student Support & Inclusive Communities team has expanded to include staff and graduate and undergraduate interns focused on DEI initiatives, wellness, first-generation, and more in support of our students.
- Working with our students, the Honors College staff has created a regular DEI newsletter to update staff and students on HC and university-wide programming and opportunities.
Enhancing the Institutional Climate
- We updated our mission statement and our description of our motto to reflect and emphasize the centrality of diversity and inclusion to our core values and vision. We also created a DEI timeline and an Honors College student population at-a-glance webpage.
- We are working with University Facilities and outside partners on creating more welcoming and culturally representative and diverse spaces in the building.
Creating a Culture of Belonging
- Through the Student Affairs Strategic Plan, we are focused on more inclusive student leader selection and development, cross-cultural conversations, and revisiting the programming model.
- We strengthened the pre-existing affinity groups, Gen HC program, and Diversity Peer Educators program.
- Through the professional development programs offered to HC students, including networking opportunities with our diverse professional network of HC alumni and upperclassmen, our Career and Life with Purpose Program, and our Peak Performance Series, all students have the social capital and resources they need in order to explore and venture into their preferred career paths.
Expanding a Diverse Pipeline of Highly Qualified Students
- Partnering with University Admissions, we updated parameters and procedures for deciding merit scholarship awards and honors invitations, leading to significantly more invitations to students from underrepresented groups.
- The Honors College Class of 2025, our seventh and newest class, represents more than a 20% increase in underrepresented students over the past year's class, making it our most diverse class to-date where more than 20% are underrepresented students.
- We are working directly with high school pipeline programs and creating relationships with community-based organizations and independent counselors to begin recruitment of highly qualified students early in their high school careers.
UPDATED March, 2022
Learn more about diversity and inclusion at Rutgers.