|Submission Date||Feb. 13, 2016|
University of Louisville
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups
Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs
Office of the Executive Vice President and University Provost
Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support underrepresented groups on campus?:
A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support underrepresented groups:
The University of Louisville meets these criteria through the various programs that support under-represented groups within the student body, the faculty and the staff. Examples include:
C.O.N.E.C.T. (Caring of New students Experiencing College Transition) – peer mentoring program to assist Black students with the transition from high school to college. C.O.N.E.C.T. mentors host monthly workshops and programs organized and facilitated by the peer mentors. All first year students are assigned a peer mentor during summer orientation sessions at Making the Connection. The program has been so successful with Black students that its programs have been expanded to work beyond the first year through “C.O.N.E.C.T. Remix.” They also host a regular discussion group targeting Black females entitled A Sistah’s Voice and the African American Recognition Reception to celebrate the academic success of students of color.
Society of Woodford R. Porter Scholars – a society of scholarship recipients named in honor of Woodford R. Porter, Sr., a leader in Louisville's civic, business and education communities. He was the first African American to serve as President of the Louisville School District Board of Education and as Chairman of the University of Louisville's Board of Trustees. The group was formed in 1986 to provide academic and social support to the Woodford R. Porter Sr. Scholarship recipients with the goal of increasing the retention and graduation rates of Porter Scholars. The organization also promotes interaction, enhances leadership opportunities and personal development as well as encourages professional/graduate education.
Diversity Leadership Institute – A program of the Cultural Center to address leadership & professional development, campus engagement for underrepresented students and to provide them with tools to lead and manage the shifting intercultural changes at the University of Louisville. Students explore bbest practices, current events, share challenges and triumphs, and form lasting bonds with other participants.
School of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Sciences (SIGS)
The School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies is committed to providing financial support for UofL departments and programs to assist in the matriculation and graduation of qualified, underrepresented ethnic minority students.
• Minority Fellowships - Approximately 12-15 ethnic minority fellowships are awarded annually. Both master’s and doctoral students are eligible for consideration. Doctoral students are funded for two years, with a commitment of support for an additional two years from their department. Master’s students are funded for one year, with the same commitment from their department for an additional year. Students must be enrolled full-time for the duration of their funding and the award includes a stipend, tuition, and health insurance.
• Visitation Day is an annual program sponsored and conducted by the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS). The program is a day and a half event, in which SIGS hosts prospective graduate students. Historically, Visitation Day has targeted minority students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, along with minority students from other regional institutions of higher education. The program is a diversity initiative; however, students of all ethnic backgrounds are eligible to apply. The aim of Visitation Day is to connect academically qualified upper-class undergraduate students who have a strong desire to pursue graduate education with faculty, staff, and current graduate students at the University of Louisville as a way of providing an up close and personal campus visit. Participants of the program attend workshops on admissions and scholarships/financial aid. Overnight hotel accommodations and meals are covered for students who are selected to attend.
• Graduate Teaching Academy - The Graduate Teaching Academy was created in 2008 and is designed to assist Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) from different disciplines who are assigned some classroom responsibilities as part of their assistantship to develop knowledge, skills, and excellence in classroom teaching. The focus of the academy is on the following topics: critical thinking, development of evaluation rubrics for the classroom, creating a learner-centered syllabus, stimulating active learning, classroom management, test development, and student learning styles and generational differences. Many ethnic minority graduate students participate in the Academy.
• Professional development workshops - An initiative within the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS) is the Professional Development program for graduate students, known as PLAN (P – Professional Development, L – Life Skills, A – Academic Development, N – Networking). PLAN aims to provide a series of professional development workshops, which are interdisciplinary in nature, for current graduate students. Some workshops are designed specifically for ethnic minority fellows and SREB scholars. Each fall, SIGS sponsors a “welcome back social” for all ethnic minority graduate students as a way of connecting them to one another and to provide networking with ethnic minority faculty, who are also invited. Other workshop topics include but are not limited to financial planning, mentoring, critical thinking, and job placement.
• American International Relations Club (AIRC) - serves as a platform for unity in diversity for American and International students from around the world. The primary objective is to bring together students from diverse backgrounds, different countries, several languages, and across cultures into one common thread.
• Arts and Sciences Equity and Inclusion Interns - The Inclusion and Equity Internship (IEI) Program is designed to expose a team of students to the scholarship and best practices concerning greater inclusiveness and equity, with the purpose of cultivating social justice leadership skills among college students. Interns attend and participate in a series of workshops and guided training to provide a common foundation that will enhance the undergraduate student co-curricular programming experience.
• Association of Black Students (ABS) - designed to motivate Black students to become involved on campus, coordinate activities to strengthen cultural and political awareness, and provide assistance to the development and utilization of resources.
• Black Law Students Association (BLSA), UofL Chapter - (NBLSA) is a nationwide organization formed to articulate and promote the needs and goals of black law students and effectuates change in the legal community.
• Black Biomedical Graduate Student Organization (BBGSO) – dedicated to the enhancement of the graduate experience for African-American and minority students in the sciences. BBGSO provides UofL students with professional, educational, and social support.
• Fighting for Immigrant Rights and Equality (FIRE) – the university’s chapter of a larger statewide student network, FIRE is dedicated to improving the college experience for undocumented and DACA students.
• Latin American/Hispanic Student Organization (LAHSO) – designed to bring together students across the spectrum of Hispanic/Latino (a) identities, LAHSO hosts campus trainings and cultural events to create a welcoming climate.
• Shades - the organization for LGBT students of color on campus. Members include individuals of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions to promote equality and diversity on and off campus.
• Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) - purpose is to assist African American males to excel academically, socially, culturally and professionally on campus and in the community.
• Student National Dental Association, UofL Chapter - SNDA promotes increase in minority enrollment in dental schools, and encourages a viable academic and social environment conducive to the mental and professional wellbeing. Members of the UofL Chapter work within the community with such programs as the YMCA Black Achievers program, and participate in various annual community programs which entail informing and educating children and adults about the importance of good oral hygiene.
• Transformations – Focused on support and peer education for students who are transgender, gender nonconforming, or questioning gender identity.
For more details on these and other student organizations, go to) http://louisville.edu/studentactivities/clubs/current-clubs-and-organizations.html
The website URL where more information about the support programs for underrepresented groups is available:
Does the institution have a discrimination response policy and/or team (or the equivalent) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:
A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response policy, program and/or team:
UofL has a Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT).
The University’s diversity vision statement sets the stage for a campus where diversity is celebrated and civility is expected. It states:
“The University of Louisville strives to foster and sustain an environment of inclusiveness that empowers us all to achieve our highest potential without fear of prejudice or bias.
We commit ourselves to building an exemplary educational community that offers a nurturing and challenging intellectual climate, a respect for the spectrum of human diversity, and a genuine understanding of the many differences-including race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, disability, religion, national origin or military status-that enrich a vibrant metropolitan research university.
We expect every member of our academic family to embrace the underlying values of this vision and to demonstrate a strong commitment to attracting, retaining and supporting students, faculty and staff who reflect the diversity of our larger society.”
While valuing freedom of thought and expression, and multiple points of view, we recognize that some members of our campus community are affected by instances of bias and hate and need assistance. The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is a group of faculty and staff who are committed to creating a proactive response for students, faculty and staff to instances of hate and bias in the following ways:
- Support those who are targeted by hate or bias.
- Refer them to the resources and services available.
- Educate the campus community about the impact of hate and bias.
- Promote initiatives and new ideas that further a welcoming, bias- and hate-free climate at U of L.
BIRT is project of the Commission on Diversity and Racial Equity's Campus Environment Team at the University of Louisville.
The website URL where more information about the institution’s discrimination response policy, program and/or team is available:
Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:
Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender neutral bathrooms on campus?:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE
staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.