Diversity, Inclusion and Student Success Conference
Submitted by Kate Haselhorst, HR
On October 6 and 7, the System Office hosted more than 130 VCCS leaders, faculty and staff at the inaugural Diversity, Inclusion, and Student Success Conference. The goal of the conference was to build capacity and advocacy for the success of our diverse student body and workforce. This was achieved over the two days through engaging presentations and candid discussions about the commitment needed at our institutions.
Keynote presentations were provided by Chancellor Glenn Dubois, Blue Ridge Community College President John Downey, and Dr. Ervin Griffin, president of Halifax Community College (NC) and recent recipient of the Advancing Diversity Award given by the American Association of Community Colleges.
Concurrent sessions included information on college programs that support the success of minority student groups, best practices in developing an employee diversity and inclusion council, demographic trends in student success rates, and how to become an inclusive educator.
Many walked away from the conference energized with new ideas and connections, but likely with the realization that more work needs to be done. We know that diverse and inclusive environments positively impact student success and employee engagement. But how do we get there? As stated in the Chancellor’s keynote, “If diversity and inclusion is a priority, it must be institutionalized.”
For those who were able to attend, share the information and tools you gained at the conference, continue the conversations at your college, utilize resources that are already in place and the connections you made. Chancellor DuBois also reminded us that there is one place left where everyone can come together for a common cause and where the needs of the community are the priority. It’s called a community college.
All employees can access the conference presentations on an open SharePoint site: (log in using your MyVCCS password) OR visit the public website, which highlights the Chancellor’s Teaching Fellowships.
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