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Multicultural Advising Portfolio

EDCEP 851-Final Portfolio (05.2010)
by erin donahoe-rankin on 27 October 2010

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Transcript of Multicultural Advising Portfolio

Multicultural Advising:
Where do we begin?

a portfolio summary
by erin donahoe-rankin As a little girl, I looked like her (without the bangs) I am white. I am fair, and blonde (most of the time), and blue-eyed. I am from California. My husband, when we first started dating joked about my “accent.” I told him, in jest, “What accent? All the people on TV talk just like me.” I was raised in a middle-class family, with traditional nuclear heterosexual parents. My father worked and my mother stayed home and took care of the home and four children, of which I am the oldest. By this view, I have little to offer the multicultural student. The initial impression of my facticity, those conditions under which I was born and have no control over, is of one decidedly unaffected by discrimination and privileged with access to the power inherent in social norms. That is where I begin, personally, from a definition of white privilege. "White privilege," describes more than preferetial treatment based on my skin color, it carries an implicit discrimination against others, a LACK of access, rights, and privileges for those who are not "white." This beginning is a humbling realization. It is because I have no control over these facts and that they yet afford me privileges that we can define our society as white supremacist and as classist (even capitalist). My awareness feels most acute when I am conscious of the ways in which I am complicit in those norms, and the ways I am not. For those conditions of experience, one (myself included) must look deeper than the initial facts. My family belonged/belongs to a religious minority, Mormons. My mother was a convert and my father was from an “inactive” family, an important difference I discovered as I grew. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), or more commonly known as the Mormon Church or Mormons, was and is an inescapable function of my experience. I have since “left the church,” but that leaving coincided with my move to Utah, thereby effectively turning the tables on me. I have always been on the outside of the norm where my Mormonism, or lack thereof, is concerned.
Speaking of Utah... Climate, as a meteorological term refers to the overall weather, the sum total of conditions such as precipitation, wind and temperature. Utah Climate Zones Map (UCCW) When it comes to an institution, the climate should refer to the prevailing norms, the sum total of conditions regarding race, gender, and class, at minimum. UVU’s climate is undoubtedly.... white & male. but look closer.... How does this climate influence academic advising, and particularly multicultural advising?
First, it impacts it greatly but in two distinct ways:
1. The opportunity to exercise the principles is at least statistically less probable, BUT
2. Means it is all the more important when the occasion presents itself!
It means I am more likely to miss the student for whom multicultural advising is a must,
if I am not ever aware and intent on exercising those principles with those who may not seem to need them. How can i affect change? Where do i go from here? I can propose better ways for academic advisors, most importantly myself, to better utilize resources like the Multicultural Office, International Center, and Accessibility Services Department and be actively engaged in assisting students who may need the services they provide.
One aspect of the delivery of these services I can help improve is the referral process. I can more intentionally learn about the services offered by these offices. I know the office location, their phone number, and the like, but I can and should know more. I can do a better job of cultivating relationships with those offices so I can provide a seamless transition for students who may feel anxious or unsure about meeting with a new advisor. I know that all of these offices provide websites that are easily accessed by students. I can do a better job of providing that resource without request, so students may feel they can investigate these resources in a non-threatening, non-committal way. I can request more from the common advising body on campus, as in more information and more training, to be certain. A commitment to these steps would improve, at least, the delivery of services wherein multicultural principles are already in play to the students I advise.
“Imagine living in a world where there is no domination…Feminist revolution alone will not create such a world; we need to end racism, class elitism, imperialism.”
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody

I know that privilege must be used for more than reinforcing a paradigm of oppression. I know that I must work for change-in myself and in the world around me. I can be a part of why students STAY at UVU, specifically, or a part of why they achieve highereducation goals, generally. please view my portfolio "guts" in the word document also submitted. thank you for an excellent course. the end. Multicultural advising self-awareness: 5 Recognition of institutional climate influence on multicultural advising:5 Understanding of how privilege shapes multicultural advising: 5 Multicultural Advising: a working definition
If advising is teaching, then multicultural advising is teaching informed by the whole student experience and meant to address the whole student. Multicultural advising is advising at its best.
I strive to create an open environment for exploration and discussion, advocate holistic education, dedicate myself to the direct and indirect needs of students, and facilitate love of learning and self-knowledge. Multicultural advising is not in opposition to these goals. Rather, cultural awareness should encourage advisors to find better, more student focused, ways to do these very things. Defined multicultural advising operationally (incl. awareness): 5 Based on these things: what multicultural advising is & how privilege informs my personal experience,
the advising I engage in should do more than be absent of discrimination, it should strive to be actively holistic and inclusive. applies multicultural principles to advising services delivery: 5 multicultural advising at UVU should specifically address the needs of students of color. but it is also likely that i will spend time with non-traditional students or students needing remediation and others for whom there are unique and important needs. multicultural advising at UVU must be prepared to account for a full-range of possibilities. As bell hooks offers in Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom, “we have the opportunity to use knowledge in ways that positively transform the world we live in.” (188) I cannot be in every classroom, but I can be sure that within my sphere of influence, I advocate for students in this way. applies multicultural advising to academic setting: 4 shows how multicultural advising influences student retention: 3
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