A Commitment to Diversity

Embracing Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive excellence (IE) is the recognition that an institution’s success is dependent on how well it values, engages and includes the rich diversity of students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumni constituents. It is a comprehensive approach that requires a fundamental transformation of the institution by infusing IE in every effort, aspect, and level of the college.

Inclusive excellence in higher education requires educators and campus administrators to ask whether underrepresented students are also underserved. A goal of IE is to ensure that all students are experiencing the most powerful and impactful forms of learning and whether they are” successfully achieving the knowledge, adaptive skills, and hands-on experiences that prepare them to apply their learning to new settings, emergent problems, and evolving roles”. (Committing to Equity and inclusive Excellence: A Campus Guide for Self-Study and Planning, AAC&U, 2015, p. 7)

Diversity Plan Principles

Elizabethtown College is committed to valuing and fostering the diversity reflected in our life together and in the world beyond our campus. We strive to ensure that the members of the community—students, faculty, staff, and administrators—are diverse in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, gender, gender identity and expression, age and national origin. We also seek to provide our community members, especially our students, with educational opportunities, programs, and services that are multicultural in content and expressive of a diverse life of experiences and worldviews that underrepresented groups bring to the learning environment.

The College’s commitment to maintaining and growing a diverse community of education is an integral part of principled efforts to achieve academic excellence and to educate our students for service to humanity and the world. Guided by this commitment, this Diversity Plan affirms the following three principles:

Diversity in our educational life promotes learning and academic excellence.

One of the most significant practices required for achieving academic excellence is direct engagement with multiple sources of knowledge, worldviews, experiences, and skills. A truly liberal—and excellent—education is neither parochial in content nor singular in perspective but comprehensive in its attention to the rich facts, insights, and attributes of our diverse social world.

Diversity in our social life prepares us to participate in a global community.

Familiarity with the diverse identities, beliefs, and practices found in our global community provides a strong foundation for undertaking effective and constructive work in the world beyond our campus. We serve our community members well not by creating a campus marked by uniformity and unanimity but by offering them the social diversity that is characteristic of our increasingly interdependent world.

Diversity in our campus life models our institutional commitment to social justice, human dignity, and peace.

By becoming a diverse community, we provide access and equal opportunities for individuals and communities who have long been excluded from mainstream society. And this allows us to create the understanding of difference that is required for building a just and peaceful world.

Programs and Initiatives

The five goals and objectives outlined in the Embracing Inclusive Excellence: Five Year Plan for Strengthening Campus Diversity are a campus-wide effort, from support from campus administrators to faculty committees. Areas of effort include recruitment and retention; curricular and cocurricular development; international diversity and cross-cultural interactions; campus climate and resource development.

Progress Highlights

Highlights of our progress to date include:

Established the Carole Isaak ALANA Student Scholarship

Extended College benefits to domestic benefits

Organized International Fest, an annual fall showcase

Established a Living Learning Community called GEMS (Growing to Empower a Multicultural Society)

Held a Community Forum with President Emeritus Ted Long in March 2011

Created the Momentum Program with a $100,000 Walmart grant

New Student Orientation highlights global citizenship and study abroad