Missouri State University and the McQueary College of Health and Human Services (MCHHS) are taking strides to promote inclusivity.
Guided by the inclusivity principles distributed by the MSU president’s office, MCHHS aims to create a more inclusive campus environment. By aligning with MSU’s public affairs mission, MCHHS encourages cultural competence among faculty, staff and students.
“If we can provide some tips and tricks that make life easier for just one student or subset of students, that’s when we know it was worth it,” Ulbricht said.
The Inclusive Excellence Challenge
The Inclusive Excellence Challenge encourages teams of faculty, staff and students to attend events and support inclusive initiatives on campus and in the community. The challenge is about making participants aware of existing resources that can aid their journey toward inclusivity.
“Through the Inclusive Excellence Challenge, MCHHS can foster a supportive community at MSU,” Ulbricht said.
The challenge runs throughout the spring semester, with a showcase event in May. The showcase will allow participants to share what they’ve learned and accomplished, as well as offer them a chance to win prizes. Apply to join the festivities.
Workshops and initiatives
MCHHS hosted the Inclusive Syllabus workshop. It gave faculty members tools to make their syllabi more inclusive. Another will be the Inclusive Advising workshop led by MCHHS Student Success and Advising Center, which focuses on exploring ethical frameworks for advising practices. This workshop will take place Feb. 28.
By encouraging attendance at workshops and participation in student organizations, MCHHS can help to dismiss inclusive misconceptions.
Targeting specific needs
As the university’s student population becomes more diverse, it is important to recognize and address the needs of specific student groups. This includes efforts to support first-generation college students as it can be difficult for them to navigate the hidden curriculum. Workshops can help students face new challenges and provide equal opportunities for success.
“We, the professors, are at the ground of this, but we’re often the barrier as well,” Ulbricht said. “If we can break that down and be the person that invites them into college, then that goes a long way.”
A call to awareness
MCHHS wants individuals to understand that they care deeply about students and want to make the MSU campus the most welcoming place it can be.
“We’re always here, but it’s so hard to be heard over the noise sometimes,” Ulbricht said. “This felt like a good way to let people know we care.”