Back See this section in context: Criterion 1 Core Component 1B
1B.2: Recognizes Diversity Within the Community
Sauk’s Mission and Vision Statements address diversity as an issue of “needs,” both of students and the community. This directive is mirrored in the Shared Values Statement that the college will “respect the worth and dignity of all people.” Ultimately, the Mission, Vision, and Shared Values Statements move Sauk beyond mere regulatory compliance for protected classifications to overcoming the barriers that keep people from participating in higher education.
Each of the five Strategic Goals contains objectives that direct Sauk's efforts to carry out the mission imperative to address diversity as it relates to removing barriers to education:
- Goal 1 ties expansion and improvement to diversity by expecting the organization to use “alternative delivery methods” to “expand student access” (Objective 1.3).
- Goal 2 mandates awareness of students’ diversity as the college seeks to improve persistence, retention, and program completion (Objective 2.1-2.3).
- Goal 3 points directly to increasing the number of minority students (Objective 3.6) and non-traditional age students (Objective 3.7).
- Goal 4 points to continuous reassessment of community needs (Objective 4.1). In addition, the objective to “expand and strengthen” programs and services for community members and organizations (Objective 4.2) speaks to Sauk's determination to exercise its Shared Ethical Values with the external constituencies it serves.
- Goal 5 calls for the college to “redesign the campus for better utilization, efficiency, and handicap access” (Objective 5.2).
Sauk carries out its commitment to help learners overcome barriers through a variety of practices and programs, including the following:
- Ability: Learning styles are diverse across the campus population. Students are regularly informed about using and adapting their learning styles by the Counseling Office and in various classes, including Orientation (PSY 100). The Special Needs Office helps students to adjust to their physical or cognitive barriers to learning with specific accommodations on a student-by-student, course-by-course basis.
- Economic: Financial Assistance staff not only provides one-on-one support to students, but also informs the general public of available financial resources. During FY10, for example, the office held ten workshops at high schools, four FAFSA workshops, and three scholarship workshops; presented at 49 Orientation (PSY100) classes; and maintained over 200 scholarship listings on the college website.
- Preparation: To address the diversity in academic preparation of its students and of the local community, Sauk maintains a Developmental Education Department, supervised by the Director of Academic Development, which coordinates curriculum and services for underprepared students. In addition, an Honors Program provides opportunities for those who are ready for additional academic challenges.
- Age: One of the ways in which Sauk has helped increase opportunities for adult learners has been through its rapid response team, which has conducted career and academic advising, testing, and registration for employees at plants that have announced a closure. The college also offers reduced tuition to senior citizens, although few use this assistance.
- Racial/Ethnic: Sauk is in compliance with all of the pertinent laws and regulations regarding service to diverse racial and ethnic populations. In addition, the college employs a Cross-Cultural Coordinator to recruit, support, and help integrate minority students into the college.
Sauk also addresses diversity issues in the surrounding community based on its Shared Ethical Values statements on Integrity and Fairness. These values underlie practices that expose the college community and the district to diverse cultures and social issues. The Cross-Cultural Coordinator’s job description includes a responsibility to “propose and/or provide cross-cultural development activities for Sauk faculty, staff, and students.” Many of these activities reach out into the surrounding Sauk Valley district (5A.2).