Henderson, Nev. As Nevada’s most culturally diverse higher education institution, Nevada State College’s (NSC) Multicultural Affairs Department takes its efforts seriously.
Established when the school opened nearly five years ago, the department continues to provide students and the public alike with programs and events that enhance the community by providing educational outlets that focus on diversity.
It’s only been recently that other higher education institutions placed more focus on embracing and educating the community on diversity, said Dr. Rene Cantu Jr., who serves as NSC’s vice president of multicultural affairs. In the past, it was typical to focus primarily on multicultural teachings as a means of counteracting problems created by the global melting pot effect all communities are experiencing, he said.
Higher education institutions are models for their community and serve as a hub for embracing diversity and multicultural education, Cantu said. Our world is increasingly inter-reliant. NSC recognized this when it opened its doors, and through the years we’ve provided programs to students and the community and have been able to position ourselves as a leader in academic success and a model that promotes good human relations.
Cantu added that studies over the past 25 years have shown multicultural relations on campuses increase student performance, student-student interactions, faculty-student interactions and expectations. It also reflects to the abilities, perception, values and attitudes among those in the campus communities and type of curricula offered.
Providing these programs and services to the community is critical to any institution’s success, Cantu said. It serves and reflects the diverse community of people who make up our campus and promotes our heritage.
NSC’s Multicultural Affairs Department uses a multi-faceted approach to promote heritage and address student priorities, curricular needs, hiring and staffing concerns as well as cultural climate issues.
The department offers assistance to the disability community through its Center for Learning Assistance and Support Services (CLASS), provides educational events and programs through its Heritage Center that celebrate the heritage and history on all minority groups, develops outreach services for K-12 students, promotes equal opportunity throughout the college, provides conflict resolution services for students, faculty and staff, and actively engages in partnerships with community organizations to improve access to college through its aggressive community outreach efforts.
Cantu said that although the college is continuing to add educational events to its 2007-08 calendar, it has already lined-up a number of free multicultural events that will pick up in September, when the fall semester begins, and run throughout the school year until spring 2008.
Upcoming events scheduled will include such things as discussions on immigration and Latino labor issues, a cultural nursing seminar, salsa lessons, Native American educational forums, a hip-hop history night, disabilities forum and religious perspectives panel discussion.
Nevada State College opened its doors to students in September 2002 after the Board of Regents and the Nevada Legislature determined the need for enhanced educational opportunities in Southern Nevada in 1997.
NSC offers progressive bachelor’s programs in several in-demand fields of study as well as a low student-to-professor ratio and competitive tuition rates.