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My first takeaway from the reading is that structural diversity refers to initiatives on universities that seek to broaden the diversity of their faculty, staff, and students. Although there are more students of color, this does not necessarily mean that the racial climate has improved (Harold et al. 207). The majority of institutions, in my experience, take satisfaction in the growth of their student body of color and claim that this reflects favorably on race, but the readings indicate that this is not a sufficient indicator. The "equity scorecard," which considers variables like retention rates, excellence, and access to programs, is an example of a measure that is better at capturing the true racial atmosphere. Secondly, I have learned that the psychological climate; perceptions of racial conflict and discrimination is also essential. Perceptions come from interactions among the different ethnic groups, and it is possible that students interact on a frequent basis, but still, there are perceptions of a hostile racial climate. Therefore, it is unsuitable to judge the racial environment of an institution on the interactions between ethnic groups because this does not reveal the perceptions of the climate.
I have also learned that it is essential to assess the racial climate and the educational outcomes. It is vital to address the effect of the racial group differences regarding attitudes and perceptions on educational outcomes such as learning, aspirations, and achievements. Institutions have a role to play in changing these racial attitudes, for instance, educational programs to increase student knowledge of gender, race, and ethnicity. Campuses should recognize that promoting understanding of perceptions and beliefs is the first step for reducing racial conflict and resistance as well as helping students improve their interactions with diverse people.
From the paper, college campuses need to do a lot more to improve the perception of racial climate. Most universities use the term diversity to refer to race, but the discussion should be expanded to include sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, and culture. Also, campuses should increase the number of students of color, or rising interactions are not sufficient measures of the racial climate. There is need to adopt the “equity scorecard” measures identified earlier to give the bigger picture of the overall college campus diversity climate.
Hurtado, Sylvia, et al. "Assessing the value of climate assessments: Progress and future directions." Journal of Diversity in Higher Education 1.4 (2008): 204-221, https://heri.ucla.edu/PDFs/surveyAdmin/dle/JDHE.Hurtadoetal2008.pdf
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