“We cannot achieve excellence without diversity. A liberal arts education is about learning to bring multiple perspectives to complex problems and issues. Providing a diverse and inclusive learning environment is essential to offering an excellent education and preparation for post-college careers and citizenship.”
At Gettysburg College, our perspective on diversity and inclusion is grounded in our core values. We believe in the worth and dignity of all people and the limitless value of their intellectual potential. We are also committed to providing a diverse and inclusive learning and working environment because it enhances the educational experience for all students. Research shows us that a diverse college environment is linked to the development of critical thinking skills. Nurturing, respecting, and sustaining an inviting campus climate where individual differences and identities are perceived as strengths, not deficits, is critical to developing a sense of belonging. We strive to be that place where everyone can live authentic lives without concern that this authenticity will negatively impact their opportunities for success.
The Association of American Colleges & Universities expresses it this way, “Making excellence inclusive is thus an active process through which colleges and universities achieve excellence in learning, teaching, student development, institutional functioning, and engagement in local and global communities. And instead of seeing diversity as a laundry list or as dichotomous—where one has either gender identity or racial identity, for example—we must address the intersections and multiplicities of identities and recognize how campuses must now engage the complexity of diversity.”
Inclusive excellence generates more innovative pedagogy and work processes, diverse curricula, high quality research, effective problem-solving and general creativity, creating a climate in which all community members can achieve their potential. When college demographics at all levels reflect the society in which we live, students graduate with role models, mentors and first-hand experiences that prepare them for successful futures.