Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:A Look at the Experiences of Student Facilitators in UIUC's I-Connect Diversity and Inclusion Workshop
Author(s):Collins, Jasmine
Subject(s):Diversity Education
Peer Education
Higher Education
EOL 574
Abstract:The I-Connect Diversity and Inclusion Workshop offered through the Office of Diversity and Social Justice Education is a student-led one-hour mandatory diversity training experience required for all freshmen entering the University of Illinois. Reactions to this newly implemented diversity program have been mixed, eliciting support from some, the program’s facilitators in particular, while others shrug it off. This qualitative study sought to explore the questions: 1) What prompted the student facilitators to apply for a leadership role in the I-Connect program? 2) Do the I-Connect facilitators share similar characteristics, attitudes and/or behaviors and 3) what kinds of skills and/or competencies did they gain through their experience as facilitators? Results indicate that students pursued the facilitator position because they are already interested in diversity-related topics; they had an interest in developing pre-professional skills; and they wished to use the skills and concepts they have learned to give back. Characteristics that all participants seemed to share were leadership across campus; first real encounter with diversity occurred when they arrived to UIUC; and they each described an awareness of campus racial climate and a desire to take action. Lastly, facilitators described skills and competencies acquired through their I-Connect experience, including developing an ability to adapt to differing leadership and communication styles and an increased self-awareness of personal challenges and pre-conceived attitudes.
Issue Date:2013-06
Course / Semester:EOL 574, Lorenzo Baber, Instructor, Spring 2013
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-06-23

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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