The faculty has been mindful of moving beyond “the canon” in our curricular planning. Given our small faculty, Scripps is doing relatively well in providing a curriculum that simultaneously reflects the College’s commitments to both academic excellence and diversity/inclusivity. We could and should, however, do even better.
Goal: Provide a diverse and inclusive curriculum
- Strategy 1: Regularly evaluate our three-semester Interdisciplinary Core Program for its diversity and inclusivity, and take steps to address student concerns.
- Strategy 2: Develop our Intercollegiate Ethnic Studies Programs.
- Strategy 3: Expand our diverse departmental offerings and provide resources for departments that are working toward increased diversity.
- Strategy 4: Include curricular diversity as a criterion for hiring new faculty. A review of the curriculum in light of contemporary scholarship and the strategic plan will involve broadening job descriptions to include areas now absent or to include faculty with breadth on issues of diversity.
- Strategy 5: Expand our course offerings that focus on international issues, and especially on world regions that are currently underrepresented in our curriculum, including Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
- Strategy 6: Strengthen the Race and Ethnic Studies Requirement by incentivizing more courses to be offered at Scripps College.
Goal: Improve classroom dynamics
- Strategy 1: Work with the Core Steering Committee, Core I faculty, and students to improve classroom dynamics in Core I.
- Strategy 2: Offer sustained discussions for faculty about “Difficult Dialogues” or “Teachable Moments” in the classroom.
Goal: Make sure Off-Campus Study is accessible and inviting to all students
Approximately sixty percent of our students choose to study abroad during their academic career at Scripps. This is a pivotal experience that is rated as life changing for many of our students.
Anecdotal data suggests that some students are choosing not to go abroad for financial reasons. We need to systematically investigate the current status of study abroad for students on financial aid. Are our financial aid students studying abroad as regularly as our full-pay students? And if not, what is preventing them from doing so?
- Strategy 1: Provide information about financial aid in relation to off-campus study earlier in students’ time at Scripps, so that students do not avoid even going to information sessions due to assumptions about affordability.
- Strategy 2: Develop funds to replace income work-study students lose while on study abroad programs.
Goal: Focus on STEM and diversity
Scripps College’s W.M. Keck Science Department, which is administered cooperatively with Claremont McKenna and Pitzer Colleges, participates in initiatives that are designed to broaden access to science and increase recruitment and retention of diverse student groups in science. For example, in collaboration with Harvey Mudd and Pomona Colleges, the three Keck Science colleges recently received funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to promote leadership in science and biomedical research. Of the five areas of emphasis, three are centered on recruitment and retention of a diverse student population in STEM fields. It should be noted that the Mathematics Department is not located within the Keck Science Department but is rather its own stand alone department at Scripps College. We will need to continue collecting data on student success, recruitment, and retention to assess our efforts in this area.
- Strategy 1: Develop and strengthen academic support and summer programs for incoming students, with the shared goal of supporting the persistence and academic success of all students in STEM.
- Strategy 2: Provide a peer community for underrepresented students in the STEM fields. An integrated, 5C-wide support community will focus on social integration and professional development for students from traditionally underrepresented groups.
- Strategy 3: Promote opportunities for undergraduate participation in science outreach programs to support the broader educational community. An example of a specific HHMI-supported program in Keck is the summer pre-college program that is designed to highlight the excitement of modern scientific research and to acclimate students to college life (rather than to provide remedial coursework).
- Strategy 4: Participate in Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) and in a Southern California PKAL initiative that proposes “to develop a comprehensive institutional STEM Education Framework to help campus leaders translate national report recommendations into scalable and sustainable institutional actions that improve recruitment, access, retention, learning, and completion for all students in all STEM disciplines.”
- Strategy 5: Provide and expand upon other sources of student support in science such as the Women in Science (WIS) club, which is a 5-college club based in Keck Science, and paid research fellowships during the academic year and summer.
- Strategy 6: Promote and support applications for and engagement with STEM and diversity. Keck Science is participating in a study that is investigating retention in STEM following different approaches to introductory chemistry.