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SJMC Diversity Plan

Updated April 2016

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication strives to create a community of scholars that represents the complexity of the human experience in regards to race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, economic status, gender identification, religion, age and physical abilities. We are committed to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for all our faculty, staff, students and visitors, and celebrating our differences through the lens of the First Amendment value of freedom of expression.

To support those goals:

We will monitor and improve the recruiting, retention and graduation rates of students of color, and students from other underrepresented groups.

  1. We will increase the percentage of SJMC students of color to 15% by 2020.
    • We will increase our collaboration with the University’s Crew Scholars program to recruit students from diverse local and national communities.
    • We will use our attendance at Journalism Education Association, DECA and other conferences to identify high schools with a concentration of students of color.
    • We will participate as presenters and sponsors at high school camps, especially those aimed toward students of color and other underrepresented groups.
    • We will work with our alumni of color to identify fruitful areas to recruit.
    • We will solicit donor funds to support scholarships for two students from underrepresented groups to our summer Media Now Drake summer camp for high school students.
    • As part of our Meredith Hall fund-raising campaign, we will solicit donor funds to create scholarships for students from underrepresented domestic and international groups who could not otherwise afford a Drake SJMC education.
    • We will work with Drake international programs and admissions staff to create an action plan for recruiting more international students.
  1. We will audit the number of students of color and their retention rates annually and act promptly to remedy any identified problems.
    • We will ensure that our retention rate for minority students is equal to or better than our rate for other SJMC students.

We will ensure that SJMC students are exposed to diverse domestic and global instructional viewpoints by hiring full- and part-time faculty who represent diversity and by inviting diverse guest speakers into our classes.

  1. We will make diversifying our faculty a priority when hiring full- and part-time faculty.
  2. We will increase the number of diverse guest speakers participating in our classes, both in-person and remotely.
  3. We will host at least one visiting professional a year who represents a diverse perspective.

We will ensure that issues of diversity, inclusion and multicultural competency are addressed effectively across the curriculum and in co-curricular activities sponsored by the SJMC.

  1. We will conduct an audit of course content at the end of every semester to ensure that exercises and assignments that address diversity are incorporated throughout the curriculum in both core and major classes.
    • We will especially encourage faculty to create assignments that involve student engagement in the Drake neighborhood and diverse Des Moines communities.
  2. We will incorporate reflective components into student learning about diversity and inclusiveness to allow students to witness their personal growth during their Drake years.
    • Assignments that require students to reflect on their personal growth related to diversity will be incorporated into JMC 30 Mass Media in a Global Society (lower-level course) and JMC 104 Communications Law and Ethics (upper-level course). The assignments in those classes will be assessed to identify areas of growth or gaps.
  3. The SJMC will be a model for the rest of the University in leading the discussion on issues of diversity and inclusiveness.
    • The School will sponsor at least one event annually that focuses on diverse multicultural perspectives.
  4. We will increase the percentage of SJMC students studying abroad to 30% by 2018.
    • We will work closely with the World Languages and Cultures Department to encourage SJMC students to study languages.
    • We will work with international programs to create a trio of Spanish-speaking opportunities for our students at partner universities in Spain (Nebrija), Mexico (Monterrey Tec) and Chile (Universidad de los Andes).
  5. We will conduct an SJMC “diversity climate assessment” of its students every two years.
    • The School will monitor the climate assessment and other University and SJMC data annually to ensure we are being effective in our efforts to encourage multicultural competency.