The Importance of Diversity in Higher Education

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Whether regarding differences in race, gender, religion, socioeconomic class, personality, background or anything else, it is important for teachers and educational leaders to consider the diversity of the student population. In a nation as multicultural as the United States, acceptance of diversity might be assumed; however, the harsh reality is that America has historically struggled with integrating these ideas into the educational system, and there is still much to be improved upon.

The importance of diversity in education goes beyond making students feel accepted and comfortable to be who they are. The presence of diversity improves students’ cognitive skills and critical thinking while broadening their perspectives. Experiences with diversity also prepare students for citizenship and cultivate creativity.

Most colleges look for and emphasize diversity as an important characteristic. However, various lawsuits and controversies in recent years have shown that ethical problems can arise regarding diversity and college admissions. Due to the belief that certain identities, especially minorities, have a higher chance of being accepted into prestigious institutions, some applicants end up faking their identities on their college applications.

Applicants, however, are not the only ones at fault in these controversies. Many colleges accept a largely disproportional percentage of different ethnicities; it is not a secret that some ethnicities are more likely to be accepted than others.

Although we as a society have progressed from the days of segregated education and complete dismissal of diversity, there is still much to be done. Today, diversity has never been more important in education, and it is up to us to make sure students are treated fairly and equally without any discrimination for their differences.