Multicultural Advising: Creating Supportive Academic Advising Spaces for All Students

Multicultural Advising: Creating Supportive Academic Advising Spaces for All Students

Chloe Robinson (Purdue University Global, USA) and Tomicka N. Williams (Purdue University Global, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2177-9.ch010
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Since the cultural landscape of most higher education institutions is changing, it is paramount that colleges and universities make a concerted effort to connect with students from various backgrounds. The academic advising department could be the catalyst for change for many institutions of higher learning when seeking to support a diverse student body. Despite an increase in enrollment of students from various backgrounds on many college campuses, various challenges remain when attempting to advise and mentor diverse student populations. This chapter will examine some of the demographical changes taking place on college campuses across the U.S., the importance of multicultural advising and core components of this approach. Finally, the ways in which multicultural advising can be implemented within higher education will be examined.
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The Changing Landscape

Over the past few years, there have been various demographic shifts taking place on college campuses throughout the U.S. (Baggerly, Tan, Pichotta, & Warner, 2017; Sanchez, Deflorio, Wiest, & Olkonomidoy, 2018). As a result, the community is going toward an inclusive group of learners that seek educational opportunities without limits. According to Sanchez, Deflorio, Wiest, and Olkonomidoy, 45% of college students are a mixed multicultural group of individuals (2018). The demographics consist of students who represent male and females from a diverse population of Asians, Blacks, Latinas, and Whites (Baggerly et al., 2017). In addition to different ethnic backgrounds, gender is another critical component. Sanchez et al. (2018) reported that 20% of the student populations are male students, and the remaining 80% are women. Yet, the faculty population continues to struggle with ensuring the faculty population represents the student population (Baggerly, et al., 2017). Although diversity continues to be a topic of concern, the rate of enrollment increases (Flores, Park, & Baker, 2017).

Enrollment consists of men and women from different ethnic backgrounds that seek degrees to advance their career as well as salaries in the global marketplace (McFarland, Hussar, Wang, Zhang, Wang, Rathbun, 2018). Although the objectives of students are to accomplish these goals, Dorimé (2018) reported that minority students do not graduate. Instead, cultural differences of college student populations create challenges (Dorimé, 2018). Therefore, Baggerly, et al., (2017) suggested that faculty and staff representation of the student body is necessary to overcome these challenges. Therefore, scholars note the importance of examining culture, race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion and English language learners as it relates to diversity and inclusion within the higher education community (Baggerly, et al., 2018; McFarland, et al., 2018; Greenhouse et al., 2018; Rockenbach et al., 2014; Owens, Doyle and Matz, 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

NACADA: The National Academic Advising Association.

Institutional Climate: The beliefs, opinions, attitudes, and expectations that define the institution and its members.

Inclusivity: Including and embracing people from various backgrounds.

ELL: English language learners.

Academic Advising: A collaborative relationship between the student and academic advisor for the sole purpose of curriculum planning and the sharing of educational support services and resources.

Multicultural Advising: A holistic academic advising approach to supporting students by acknowledging all diverse backgrounds.

Higher Education: Education beyond the secondary level, at a college or university.

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