You work as the DOS (Dean of Students) at a faith-based, private, medium-sized, liberal arts school in the south. Your student population is 5,000 with 3,0000 undergraduate students. Your undergraduate population is approximately 80% white/Caucasian with the remaining approximately 20% of the undergraduate population made up of minorities: African American (85% of total 20%), Hispanic/Latino Americans (8%), Asian Americans (7%) as well as Native Americans (5%). Currently, within the student affairs model at your institution, there is no established multicultural office and your programming funding has not changed since 2010 (limited resources).
You have been approached by some of your minority student leaders (students involved in CAB, SGA, Orientation) in creating more specific opportunities for engaging new minority students in order to help with retaining more minority students. After meeting with the students several times, a meeting is finally accepted by the President of your institution. He is in favor of moving forward but tells the students that he would like for this endeavor to be organic in its approach and lead by the students in creating these new programs. He doesn’t think a top-down approach (creating a Multicultural Affairs office) is the right fit but tasks you with helping this new student initiative.
What approach would you, the DOS, take in helping these students? How much involvement should you, the DOS, have in this creation to keep it truly ‘student-driven’?
Tinto’s (1993) model of college departure has indicated that the greater a student’s academic and social integration, the more connected the student will be to the institution. Tinto (1993) goes on to indicate that orientation is the groundwork to achieving academic and social integration. Do you think that Tinto’s (1993) model is still applicable to Gen Z and is orientation truly the right place to start?
Does ‘student life programming’ strengthen the academic enterprise? If so, then how? If not, why not pour funding back into strengthening academics? Please provide one recent article (2009-Present) that provides evidence for your answer.