YEARLONG COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT

Hello Road Warriors and general travel lovers! 

OACAC’s Inclusion, Access, and Success Committee is organizing a yearlong community service project to collect toiletries to donate to organizations in major cities in Ohio (Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland). We would really appreciate it if you could remember to bring back any unused toiletries you receive during your travels (such as shampoo/conditioner, soap, lotion, etc.) so that we may collect them and disperse them among these organizations. iasctoiletries

Toiletries can be sent to:

Stacy Watts

OACAC IAS Committee

College Now Greater Cleveland

50 Public Square, Suite 1800

Cleveland, OH 44113

We will also set up a collection station at the OACAC Annual Conference occurring in Columbus, OH April 10-11, 2016. So if you are planning on attending or know someone who will be attending, please save up your toiletries and bring them to the conference!

Please contact oacaciasc@gmail.com for a list of potential organizations, to suggest some organizations that we can donate to, or to find a committee member closer to you who can take your toiletries if you are unable to send them to Stacy Watts.

National Coming Out Day!

TomorrowOctober 11th, is National Coming Out Day.
To celebrate, I’m coming out with some information that will be helpful as you work with LGBTQ+ students in the college search process.
First, the Gender Unicorn is the most up-to-date visual to better understand gender identity, gender expression, sex assigned at birth, and physical and emotional attachment. It’s important to recognize the differences between these terms as we work with students!
Next, the Campus Pride Index Trans Clearinghouse has lists and links of colleges that have nondiscrimination policies that include gender identity/ expression, gender-inclusive housing, trans-inclusive athletic policies, LGBTQ+ Identity questions on admission forms, Women’s college policies, Record changing lists, and medical related resources. It’s a great resource, and is not trans* exclusive.
Finally, there are MANY scholarship organizations that are out there (and several Universities that offer scholarships for students, as well), but I wanted to draw attention to the Point Foundation. For students that are out, and willing to share their story, it has done great things in the community. Today, I applied to be a reader for the Foundation, and I encourage you to do the same if you have an interest in this population.
 As a shameless plus, this information is a small slice of what the OACAC Inclusion, Access and Success (IAS) committee provides for professionals.  If you are interested in being a part of the conversation related to diversity and equity issues, I encourage you to visit http://oacac.org/join-committee/ and check out IAS.
Best,
Charlie Runyan
Westerville South High School
IAS Chair

OACAC Annual Conference Community Service: I Know I Can

The Inclusion, Access, and Success Committee was excited to collaborate with I Know I Can, a college access organization serving the Columbus, OH city school district, to raise donations during OACAC’s Annual Conference (April 10-11).

IMG_8991

I Know I Can (IKIC) was founded in 1988 as a result of the foresight, dedication, and generosity of community and civic leaders who believed that no child should be denied a college education simply because they could not afford it.  I Know I Can is the only college access program in Columbus and one of the largest and most successful in the nation. Since its beginning, I Know I Can has made higher education a reality for tens of thousands of Columbus City Schools students who dreamed of a college education and worked hard to get it. Today, IKIC provides the materials, financial support, mentoring and advising services needed to help students overcome barriers and achieve their higher education dreams with particular emphasis on middle school and high school students as well as current college students.  For the past 27 years, IKIC has not only helped parents and students navigate the college-going process; it has also awarded more than 25,000 grants and scholarships, with a total investment of more than $26 million in the higher education of CCS’s college-bound students.

With the support from conference attendees we were able to collect 4 full bins of items including notepads, pens/pencils, cups, college logo wear, and other items.

We can definitely say that they want to offer a big Thank You to everyone at the OACAC Annual Conference who made donations to the students at I Know I Can!

 

Preferred Pronouns

Cultural competence is paramount in the admissions and recruitment process. It is even more imperative to continue this competency throughout the enrollment process and campus placement. Continual education and diversity training are key components in working with students and their families.

Many colleges and universities are making strides in becoming even more sensitive and inclusive of diverse students. Asking for a students preferred pronoun, having unisex bathrooms on campus, and providing LGBTQQA* Living-Learning Communities are just a few of the examples of fostering a community of inclusion and diversity on college campuses. Education professionals can also embrace inclusivity in daily interactions with students, faculty, and staff by using preferred pronouns.

What exactly are preferred pronouns?

A “preferred gender pronoun” (or PGP) is the pronoun that a person chooses to use for themself.

For example: If Xena’s preferred pronouns are she, her, and hers, you could say “Xena ate her food because she was hungry.”

 There are also lots of gender-neutral pronouns in use.

Here are a few you might hear:

They, them, theirs (Xena ate their food because they were hungry.) This is a pretty common gender-neutral pronoun. It can in fact be used in the singular.

Ze, hir (Xena ate hir food because ze was hungry.)
Ze is pronounced like “zee” can also be spelled zie or xe, and replaces she/he/they.
Hir is pronounced like “here” and replaces her/hers/him/his/they/theirs.

Why is it important to respect people’s PGPs?

You can’t always know what someone’s PGP is by looking at them.

Asking and correctly using someone’s preferred pronoun is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity* (Gender Identity-One’s innermost concept of self as male or female or both or neither—how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different than the sex assigned at birth.)

When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated, or dysphoric (or, often, all of the above.)

It is a privilege to not have to worry about which pronoun someone is going to use for you based on how they perceive your gender. If you have this privilege, yet fail to respect someone else’s gender identity, it is not only disrespectful and hurtful, but also oppressive.

It is imperative for higher education professionals to recognize and respect the diversity of students we are recruiting; this could mean the difference between a student feeling safe, included, and respected at your institution. We are a representation of the institution we work with and first impressions are lasting.

Useful resources:
http://forge-forward.org/
http://www.transstudent.org/graphics
http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2015/03/the-genderbread-person-v3/
https://uwm.edu/lgbtrc/support/gender-pronouns/

 References:
Understanding Gender. (n.d.). Retrieved April 01, 2016, from https://www.genderspectrum.org/quick-links/understanding-gender/

Mateo Medina. (2011). Hampshire College Orientation Training-Materials [Brochure]. Author. Retrieved April 1, 2016.

Courtney Johnson-Benson, M.A.Ed.
Assistant Director of Admissions
Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment
The University of Akron
caj4@uakron.edu

Diversity Training in the Workplace

While universities enact policies to maintain compliant with diversity and institutional equity, in efforts to promote inclusivity and an ethical model concerning multiculturalism; offices and departments must ensure that they are doing their own part to remain committed to diversity. In a climate where university administrations are being taken to task for the lack of diversity in institutions or for poor responses to racially hostile environments and race-conscious admission policies are under particular scrutiny, offices being proactive instead of reactive can lead to benefits for the office, staff, and student body.

Diversity Training can come in many forms (e.g. workshops, conferences, one-off meetings, ongoing training programs) and can cover a variety of content (e.g. microagressions, types of diversity, sensitivity training, communication among differences). Trainings can be held internally or by external representatives, but no matter the setup, it should be a key component in the ongoing training of individuals in the workplace. Further, research indicates that an ongoing diversity training program in workplaces is one of the most effective means to promote diversity in your workplace . “It should be something that all departments within the company take part in, and that all department managers are held accountable to enforce and encourage. By making diversity a company-wide initiative, it includes all employees and helps to widen the appeal of diversity to the workforce” (Root, 2016).

But why is it important? One could easily write a book (and there are many readily available) about the essentialness of diversity training. In particular, diversity training in the workplace works to serve and support not only the office, but also individual staff, students, and clients. Implementing training can boost the morale of staff during periods when a campus is struggling with diversity issues, showing that your office not only values diversity, but is willing to take action to make sure staff embrace and support such values. But it is always better for offices to be proactive instead of reactive. Offices should not wait for a protest, a damaging article, or even an internal complaint to take steps to promote diversity and instigate training. Having diversity training shows that your office supports your diverse staff, which is particularly important when you want to retain those talented individuals. It promotes inclusivity and will help staff members recognize behaviors that could potentially create an uncomfortable or hostile environment for other staff, student workers, students, or visitors. Training can assist in making the hiring process more inclusive and finding more diverse talent to bring to your office. It is especially important for admission offices to ensure that their staff members are culturally competent and able to effectively converse with individuals of all background to ensure the appropriate level of service and ability to effectively recruit all types of students to your campus.

Root, G.N. “The best practices of diversity training.” Accessed February 19, 2016. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/practices-diversity-training-1851.html

 

Nicole Williams
Transfer Credit and Articulation Analyst
Ohio University
willian3@ohio.edu

CAMPUS SAFETY AND CAMPUS ENGAGEMENT

“What are the police like on this campus?” It’s not a question that we get too frequently, however, with current events it’s a question that we as admissions professionals need to be prepared to answer. While the majority of admissions personnel can recite facts about campus safety from rote memorization, it is imperative to dive deeper into what it is that your respective institution’s campus safety looks like. There are a variety of ways that admissions professionals can learn more about their institutions’ campus safety department. These include but are not limited to inviting campus safety to speak with admissions staff at an admissions meeting, inviting campus safety to participate at an admissions open house event, or reaching out to see if shadowing a campus safety officer is an option for staff members. Through forming a partnership with campus safety, admissions staff can increase their own knowledge about how their institutions’ campus safety works. There are also broader initiatives that can be discussed with a prospective student, such as ways that campus safety engages with the university community.

Schools such as Ohio State University utilize Facebook and Twitter to engage their communities via social media. Using these outlets, the police are able to engage their campus community and quickly update them on pertinent situations. Ohio University’s Coffee with a Cop program is a discussion forum where students are able to speak with the Ohio University Police Department and get to know who the officers are and how they plan on keeping Ohio University’s campus safe. Through this program, students are able to get to know the campus officers on a more personal level. Rutgers University has recently implemented a new program, Text to RUPD, where students are able to text the police for non-emergency situations.

As an admissions professional it is important to not only know statistics and facts about your intuitions’ campus safety department, but also know how the department works to engage with the community.  Being knowledgeable about opportunities for students to engage with campus safety (outside of a crisis situations) is a strong talking point for addressing students concerns when it comes to campus safety.

Christopher Williams
Admission Advisor
Ohio University
williac2@ohio.edu

 

DEADLINE APPROACHING: Charles L. Warren Memorial Heritage Scholarship

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN….

The Charles L. Warren Memorial Heritage Scholarship deadline for high school seniors is this Friday, February 12, 2016! Click this link for the application http://oacac.org/student-scholarships/. Please remember that high schools counselors must be OACAC members* for their students to be considered for the scholarship! Click here to become a member http://oacac.org/become-member/. Please contact Nancy Gibson at gibsonn@denison.edu if you have any questions.

*Just one counselor in your high school needs to be an OACAC member to qualify.

FAQ Sheet: Financial Aid and Undocumented Students

Have questions about how financial aid and eligibility for undocumented or DACA students? The U.S. Department of Education has drafted a very informative and concise document that answers many frequently asked questions regarding general information about these students, eligibility for financial aid, and how to complete the FAFSA: financial-aid-and-undocumented-students.

Financial aid can be a vexing process for students of all backgrounds and to best serve all populations, admissions officers should ensure that they know the appropriate resources for their students. Please be aware of your institution’s policies regarding undocumented, Dreamers, and DACA students even if you do not consistently work closely with these populations. For some additional insight into the different immigration terms and categories, we have an informal guide that may assist you with discerning the different populations you may interact with: https://oacacinclusion.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/immigration-insight/.