Graduation sees an increase in diversity among students – The Daily Evergreen

The 2022 class is one of the most diverse in WSU history; Administrators say more work can be done

With the largest proportion of students of a different color, especially among black and Hispanic communities, the graduation class in 2022 is one of the most diverse in WSU history.

Saichi Oba, vice deputy for enrollment management, said he believed that some of the reasons for the increased diversity at WSU over the years included a change in who accepts WSU and the completion of standardized tests as a requirement to attend WSU.

“This is a continuation of the trend that WSU has seen over the last few years. We expect this diversity to increase, “said Oba. “Across the country, there is a demographic shift among university-aged students. More under-represented students are coming in high school age, so we expect this group to grow. “

The relatively recent change ending standardized testing requirements is likely to lead to an even more diverse group of students in the coming years, he said.

Regarding to the high level of diversity in this year’s graduation class, Both said he was not surprised by the large data or trends that led to it.

“I think we are succeeding in attracting under-represented students. It has been a steady increase over the years, “said Oba. “Nothing really bothered me completely out of the ordinary.”

Both said the WSU administration believes they have made good progress in attracting minority students, but are not satisfied. They want to keep moving and increase their numbers.

“I think we believe there is a lot more room at WSU for more people and more students of color,” Oba said. “So I think we’ll keep doing that.”

There is no specific goal on how diverse the student body should be, but among some of the most basic goals for WSU over the next few years, he thinks it will make the university more accessible and accessible to under-represented students through good law. programs.

“I do not think our job will ever be finished. So let me tell you, I have a really positive view of this, “Oba said.

Ellen Taylor, vice chancellor for student affairs, said the WSU administration had made efforts to diversify the student body, particularly by reaching out to students from a variety of backgrounds.

“We’ve worked very hard to reach first-generation students whose feelings of going to college may not be so clear,” Taylor said. “I believe we have several programs in place to reach students in more rural and non-rural areas.”

Taylor said one example of a program designed to reach potential students is Upward Bound, a federally funded program designed to support first-generation college students.

While the increased diversity of the student population may not seem observable, Taylor said she hoped people would notice over time, although it could take several years.

WSU Tri-Cities has enough Hispanic students to be an institution serving Hispanics, while the numbers on the Pullman campus are not that high.

“I would like our numbers to be high enough for us to be an HSI as well as a land grant institutions, “Taylor said.

The WSU administration hopes to continue to increase diversity, Taylor said. It is about creating a diverse environment where students can communicate with people other than them, as well as creating opportunities for people who have historically faced barriers to higher education.

“It’s a commitment to keep improving and I don’t know exactly what the finish line will look like,” she said.

The main conclusion she had from her graduation data over the past few years was the question of what WSU could do to ensure that the diversity rate remained high in the future.

Taylor said no surprised by some of the trends observed in the data, which contributed to the decline in the number of international students to COVID-19.

“When I look at it, I see some numbers and I say to myself, ‘Well, the pandemic has done us no favor; this is no surprise. “What are we going to do to get those numbers back?” Taylor said.

Taylor said another goal for the future of diversity at WSU is to spend more time in field programs. The university is currently developing programs to support student success.

I would like us to say in the coming years, ‘Look at how we’ve changed in the last three or four years,’ “Taylor said.

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