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Multicultural Advising Portfolio
Transcript of Multicultural Advising Portfolio
Results: The influence of multicultural awareness in academic advising on student retention
My Advising Philosophy
A Timeline of Awareness
Multicultural Advising Portfolio
Multiculturalism on our campuses creates an environment that is welcoming and offers a sense of community that encourages student retention. Institutions that include services such as multicultural staff trainings and develop programs that improve the social and racial environment on campus have proven success in retaining a diverse student population. When students feel respected and cared for they develop a sense of belonging and connection to a community and are more likely to participate and thrive on campus. Creating and providing an inclusive and safe environment for everyone on campus by promoting multiculturalism through posters, clubs, and even classes is a great way to advance social justice on campus. However, by creating cultural and racial self-awareness within the university setting and establishing educational programs that support the acknowledgment of how the privilege of the dominant culture has influences our society can help create a campus that will retain a new diverse student population.
Dr. Donna Menke
Multicultural awareness is like a tree as it begins at our foundation and if it receives the care and attention it deserves it will grow and develop into something that will benefit society in many ways. My multicultural advising portfolio has been created with the main objective of demonstrating my present multicultural awareness and knowledge relating to my career as an academic advisor, the community college campus I represent and through my own personal reflection and experience.
• A timeline of multicultural self-awareness
• Examining the role of white privilege
• Defining academic advising with a multicultural perspective
• My Advising Philosophy
• Resources that support advising services and institutional climates that support multiculturalism on campus
• How to create multicultural curriculum that fosters multicultural awareness
• The influence of multicultural awareness in academic advising on student retention
Multicultural advising is a holistic collaborative process that provides students with a wide range of services in an accepting, open environment throughout their journey at the institution. Advising staff is trained to identify their own cultural viewpoint as well as identify any institutional biases that may exist in order to establish a safe and respectful advising relationship that recognizes the viewpoints of all students regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, or life choices.
By self-examining our own values and beliefs, we not only become aware of how they may influence our work with others, but we are able to decipher how they have been constructed by life events as well as the culture in which we live. This awareness can help develop a humanized system that values the experiences of others and that holds respect for the differences that our belief and value systems may hold. As we begin to understand how our life chances have influenced these beliefs and how the power and privilege we hold in our culture affects both our awareness of others and the context in which our values are formed, we can interact with others with less judgment and bias.
June 2, 1972
In many ways parents become the dominant culture of a family, they set the rules and norms in which the family must follow. It is not until we become acquainted to the outside world that we are introduced to the differences presented in culture and overtime realize our own privilege or lack of privilege.
We learn from our families and like a compass they point us in the direction that fits their own values and beliefs, they construct our values and beliefs by being our first experience with culture. My own family was unique in the fact they were part of the counterculture of the 1960’s, and their influence has drastically impacted who I am today especially in my rejection of many of the rules and norms defined by the values held by the dominant, Eurocentric, white, Christian male culture. However, because my family in many ways held privilege in our culture as a Caucasian middle class family, I was still given the life chances that would keep me in a place of power.
A new brother brings new awareness
In 1985, my family welcomed my brother Jason to our lives as a six-year-old foster child and he was adopted within a year. My brother’s biological mother and family are members of the Lakota Nation and it was important as a family to recognize his heritage by learning about their traditions and culture. I have attended numerous culture events in support of my brother and I continue to volunteer and attend my local community college’s annual winter Powwow. This experience increased not only my awareness concerning this population, but it opened my eyes to the history of racism and discrimination within our country as well.
Racism in the Big Apple
In my early twenties, I moved out of my predominantly white community to live in New York. As I learned to navigate city life, I found myself in countless situations where I was being introduced to multiculturalism. Within a few months I was moving to Brooklyn with two African American friends and I witnessed firsthand how ingrained racism is in our culture. Here I found myself the minority in our neighborhood, however I was still granted a certain status that was unearned because I was white. Shop owners, restaurant servers, and even the police were generally accepting and trusted me because I was white, on the other hand my roommates were presumed to be guilty of something just because of their skin color. Shop owners would watch them, one of them was asked to pay the bill in a restaurant before she got her food, and more than once the police stopped us on the street to make sure I was OK when we were together (they assumed I was being harassed).
In my undergraduate studies as a social and behavioral science major I gained higher insight into diverse populations and the struggles our society faces with the problems associated with rising inequality. Classes such as Sociology in Everyday Life, Multicultural Education, Urban Society and Culture, and Diversity in the United States, have given me a deeper, stronger knowledge of issues relating to multiculturalism in today’s society as well as a strong foundation to understand the diverse needs of all individuals. Furthermore, the Master’s of adult and continuing education and academic advising program has supported my new understanding of multicultural issues, theory and development, by giving me the tools needed to express myself within the profession of adult education. For example, language can deliver a sense of validity to not only understanding how power and privilege affect both students and our society, but also by being able to communicate why it is important to acknowledge the role they play in maintaining a system of oppression.
Resources that support advising services and institutional climates that support multiculturalism on campus
Cascade students are encouraged to visit the two Multicultural Centers located on the Sylvania and Rock Creek campuses, contact us by email or by telephone, and visit the web site and check out the multicultural goals and values. The centers were founded to address institutional racism and support the needs of students of color on all PCC campuses. Mentoring programs, peer tutoring, and cultural programs are available to all Portland Community students and staff.
Women’s Resource Centers
Leadership opportunities for women, personalized help entering college, scholarship information, and a variety of services to support the needs and student development of women on our campus is available at the Women’s Resource Center.
Student Disability Services
Disability Services at PCC Cascade are designed to maximize the opportunities for success for all students and promote independence and equality within the classroom
The physical environment at Portland Community College Cascade (PCC) is warm, inviting and is a great example of an environment that fosters and supports a multicultural population. The campus is located in North Portland, an area that represents one of the most ethnically diverse areas in Portland. The buildings are modern with large windows that create natural light and the campus offer both outdoor spaces and indoor spaces for students to gather. All of the buildings are designed to accommodate wheelchairs and the classrooms have moveable furniture allowing teachers to decide their own environment.
PCC offers a variety of resources that support advisors and that create a multicultural atmosphere…..
We offer a safe, supportive environment to empower students, staff, and community members of all sexualities, sexes, gender identities and gender expressions. Look for the Safe Space sticker around our campus that acknowledges a commitment to supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning individuals. PCC provides a safe, accepting atmosphere and environment for students, staff, and visitors of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender variances, the Safe Space sticker is just one symbol of our respect responsibility to our whole community.
Bilingual career and counseling services, advising and information on a variety of services, including training, employment, and academic programs are provided. Servicio bilingüe de aconsejamiento e información sobre servicios y programas, trabajos y clases académicas. Llamen para citas.
Tim Wise says it best....
The Power of Microaggressions
Microaggressions are a powerful aspect of the prolonged problems and issues our society has faced when dealing with prejudice in our culture. Many verbal, non-verbal and environmental microaggressions are ingrained in our culture to the point that they have become established or ignored and are passed on to the next generation as culturally accepted. In Taxonomy of Microaggressions, Chapter 2. Microaggressions in Everyday Life, Dr. Derald Sue defines microaggressions as “…brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership (people of color, women, or LGBT’s)” (Sue, 2010, p.24). Microaggressions send a negative message that creates the allusion that the dominant white, male culture of society is the superior culture and thus should hold power and be awarded privilege in our society. These messages contribute to the justification that this dominant culture truly deserves the cultural, economical, and even political privilege it has in society while enforcing, either directly or passively the degradation and isolation the non-dominant groups face with their limited power and privilege.
Recognizing White Privilege
Moving from a small predominantly white community to New York City changed my outlook on the reality of racism within our culture. I was brought up to promote the idea of being color blind, that all people were equal, which I still believe, however, witnessing the limited power and privilege that is available to people based on their race or ethnic background made me realize that while we should all be treated equal, many people were not. While I thought my values were reinforcing equality, they were denying the reality that our society gives those in the dominant culture more advantages which keeps them in power and privileged. Through this recognition, my values shifted to believe that “Because racism combines prejudice with power and is personal, institutional, and cultural, we must acknowledge its existence, teach and learn about power, and collaboratively and proactively develop policy and practices that value pluralism and promote equity” (Williams, 1970). We must recognize what it means to be white, recognize the privilege we hold and make changes in our society, this cannot be done if we are “color blind”.
White privilege does not necessarily mean the same thing as privilege. White privilege is a system that is embedded in our culture as well as something that affects us individually. The unearned benefits received through white privilege are benefits that result from the dominant white culture being perceived as superior as it reflects the normal or accepted culture, which then defines non-white races as abnormal.
Sue, D. (2010). Taxonomy of Microaggressions, Chapter 2. Microaggressions in Everyday Life. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons. (p. 21-41).
Williams, R. M. Jr., Guideline to Cultural Themes and Orientations (1970) adapted from Ginsberg, M. & Wlodkowski, R. (2009). Diversity and motivation: Culturally responsive teaching in college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Operational definition of advising
My goal as an advisor is to support the student on their journey in the appropriate manner that fits best with the student’s circumstances while taking into consideration the sociocultural factors that may affect the student as well as the social context of the student while they move into, through, and on from college. It is my philosophy that by understanding the limitations and successfulness of multiple advising approaches I can establish the best way to support the needs of students, particularly non-traditional students and at risk students. In order to successfully understand the student’s needs I believe a relationship with each student must be established that respects the students culture, personal values, life goals, as well as life choices. Although as an advisor, I will not bring negative preconceived ideas or perceptions concerning a student’s life or ability based on their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, or life choices, and will not judge or discriminate against any student in any way.
How to create multicultural curriculum that fosters multicultural awareness
Content must be complete and accurate, acknowledging the contributions and perspectives of all groups.
Ensure that content is as complete and accurate as possible.
"Christopher Columbus discovered America" is neither complete nor accurate.
Avoid tokenism--weave content about under-represented groups (People of Color, Women, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual People, People with Disabilities, etc.) seamlessly with that about traditionally over-represented groups.
Do you present under-represented groups as "the other"?
Do you address these groups only through special units and lesson plans ("African American Scientists"; "Poetry by Women") or within the context of the larger curriculum?
Do you "celebrate" difference or study, acknowledge, and explore its implications as part of the overall curriculum?
Study the history of discrimination in curriculum and ensure that you are not replicating it.
Are you supporting stereotypes (learning about Native Americans by making headdresses and tomahawks) or challenging them (learning about Native Americans through resources by Native Americans)?
Are you supporting or challenging the assumption that our society is inherently Eurocentric, male-centric, Christian-centric, heterosexual-centric, and upper-middle-class centric?
Teaching and Learning Materials
Teaching and learning materials must be diverse and critically examined
Vary instructional materials.
Examine all materials for bias and oppressive content.
Does your history book show stereotypical or inaccurate images of people from certain groups or eras (ex. railroad workers)?
Do your science materials use male-centric language?
Do your reading or literature materials have racist language or stereotypical images?
Does the language you use and the language your materials use assume heterosexuality, a 2-biological-parent household, U.S. citizenship,and so on?
Diversify images and content in bulletin boards, posters, and other constantly-visible materials.
Do you always diversify, or only during special months or celebrations?
Content must be presented from a variety of perspectives and angles in order to be accurate and complete.
Present content from a variety of perspectives, not only that of majority groups.
How do we define "classic literature" or "great books" or "the classics," and from whose perspective?
From whose perspective do we tell history? When is "westward expansion" the same as "genocide"? When are champions of "liberty" the same as slave owners?
Present content through a variety of lenses, not just those of a few heroic characters.
Slave narratives to teach about slavery (not Frederick Douglas).
Slave narratives to teach about colonial Virginia.
American Indian texts to teach about westward expansion.
Students must be engaged in the teaching and learning process--transcend the banking method and facilitate experiences in which students learn from each other's experiences and perspectives.
Bring the perspectives and experiences of the students themselves to the fore in the learning experience.
Encourage students to ask critical questions about all information they receive from you and curricular materials, and model this type of critical thinking for them.
Who wrote or edited that textbook?
Who created that Web site?
Whose voice am I hearing and whose voice am I not hearing?
Make content and delivery relevant for the students--facilitate experiences in which they connect what they're learning to their everyday lives.
Recognize your students as your most important multicultural resources.
Social and Civic Responsibility
If we hope to prepare students to be active participants in an equitable democracy, we must educate them about social justice issues and model a sense of civic responsibility within the curriculum.
Starting with the youngest students, incorporate discussions about difference and inequality into your lessons--this can be done across all subject areas.
How has misapplied science been used to justify racism, sexism, and religious oppression?
Look for ways in which recognized names in various disciplines have used their work and stature to fight social injustices. (It can be particularly powerful to find people from majority groups who fought certain types of oppression.)
When an opportunity arises to address racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, or other forms of oppression, facilitate it.
Have honest discussion with your students about the history of privilege and oppression in your subject area, school, education, and society at large.
Connect teaching and learning to local community issues and larger global issues.
Encourage students to think critically about the United States, capitalism, the two-party system, and other traditionally untouchable subjects of critique.
Paul C. Gorski: Key Characteristics of a Multicultural Curriculum
In Key Characteristics of Multicultural Curriculum, Paul C. Gorski outlines a useable guide for developing and adapting curriculum that can be used in any area of education from elementary school through graduate school. The seven areas Gorski addresses, delivery, content, teaching and learning materials, perspective, critical inclusivity, social and civic responsibility, and assessment, are added here as a blueprint for future curriculum building and to inspire the much needed dialogue of curriculum reform.
Gorski, P. C., key characteristics of a multicultural curriculum, critical multicultural pavilion (1995-2012) EdChange project, http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/curriculum/characteristics.html
Delivery must acknowledge and address a diversity of learning styles while challenging dynamics of power and privilege in the classroom.
Vary instructional techniques.
Understand the dynamics of power in the room so you do not perpetuate privilege and oppression.
On whom do you call more or less frequently?
Who do you encourage to work through a problem and to whom do you provide the answer?
Challenge the notion of teaching as "mastery."
Ask students what they already know about a topic.
Ask students what they want to learn about a topic.
Ask students to participate in the teaching of topic.
Curriculum must be assessed constantly for completeness, accuracy, and bias.
Work with a cohort of teachers to examine and critique each other's curricular units, lesson plans, and entire frameworks.
Request and openly accept feedback from your students.
Return to this model from time to time to make sure you haven't reverted to former practices.
Gorski, P. C., (1995-2012). key characteristics of a multicultural curriculum, critical multicultural pavilion EdChange project, http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/curriculum/characteristics.html
Sue, D. (2010). Taxonomy of Microaggressions, Chapter 2. Microaggressions in Everyday Life. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons. (p. 21-41).
Williams, R. M. Jr., Guideline to Cultural Themes and Orientations (1970) adapted from
Ginsberg, M. & Wlodkowski, R. (2009). Diversity and motivation: Culturally responsive
teaching in college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.