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Join Date: Aug 2008
ETS, Harvard to study progress of Diversity at Predominantly White Colleges
Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world?s largest educational research and assessment company, is collaborating with the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University to study what it is like to be an undergraduate member of a racial or ethnic minority on a predominantly white college campus.
Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the study, The Voices of Diversity, will explore the views of minority students, including their accounts of their curricular, co-curricular and social experiences. Students will be asked to describe what, on their campus, has made them feel welcomed, respected, supported and encouraged, and what has made them feel unwelcome, disrespected, unsupported and discouraged.
"What is unique about this research is that we will assess the progress of diversity on college and university campuses from the students? perspectives," says ETS Senior Vice President Michael Nettles of ETS?s Policy Evaluation & Research Center. "We want to learn what factors promote students? academic and social success and whether that varies depending on their race and sex. This information could help administrators, educators, policymakers, students and their families improve campus environments and student experiences."
Nettles and his staff will conduct the research with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of Harvard?s W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, and Dr. Paula J. Caplan, a Research Associate at the Du Bois Institute and former Professor of Applied Psychology, University of Toronto.
"Gates' and Caplan's roles in the study and the partnership between the Du Bois Institute and ETS will raise the public profile of the study and capture the attention of America?s colleges and universities," Nettles says. "We?re thrilled to collaborate on this research with these outstanding educators, because Professor Gates is such a towering intellectual and scholarly figure, and Professor Caplan is one of the most prolific, thoughtful and productive scholars that I have ever met."
The project is funded by a $400,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Michigan for the first year and focuses on undergraduate students from four universities. Researchers will interview female and male African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic and American Indian students as well as a limited number of white students as a control group.