Preliminary Notes NCORE ( Day 3 -AM)



10:30-11:45 (National Harbor 7/Convention Center, Level 3)
Afternoon Conference Pleneray Session

Diverse Learning Environments: A New Assessment and Plan of Action to Transform the Campus Climate

Note: this was a very important topic, delivered poorly; the absence of Sylvia Hurtado hurt, big time.  Cynthia Alvarez began the talk while Chelsea Wann went to make more copies of the ppt to hand out (could have gotten emails and sent it).  Anyway, Alvarez speaks very low so it was difficult to hear – except that all she did was to read, line by line, each ppt frame, more often then not, looking at the screen to her right (our left) in the front of the room.  Wann followed the same technique, which tells me they were clearly nervous and, though they know the work, didn’t take the next step: learn how to present the work in a creative, passionate way to best illustrate the important thinking that’s gone on behind the development of their research model and the subsequent outcomes.  In all, this presentation was a disappointment.  I went to the presentation because, at Middlebury, we should perhaps be thinking along these line – researching, assessing and evaluating how diversity functions and why (why it’s important).


Cynthia Lua Alvarez, Research Analyst, Higher Education Research Institute, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California – Los Angeles, California  —

Sylvia Hurtado, PhD, Professor and Director, Higher Education Research Institute, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California – Los Angeles, California –

Chelsea Guillermo Wann, Research Analyst, Higher Education Research Institute, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California – Los Angeles, California –


•    Absent from presentation, Sylvia Hurtado, PhD – bummer! (the leader)
•    Somewhat confusing beginning, Wann and Alvarez explaining that they don’t have enough materials to hand out, but there is material on the web (to be given at the end of the talk)
•    Project funded by the Ford Foundation
•    Creating a diversity institute (future)
•    A continuation of a presentation done in NCORE, 22, in San Diego
•    Purpose, goals & features of project; developing the DLE Conceptual Framework; Diverse Learning Environments Survey; Action plan
•    Purpose and Goals: develop awareness about diversity, student learning, and student success; asses undergraduate skills for work and citizenship in a pluralistic society; increase retention; create conditions for realizing the benefits of diversity
•    Research: diverse learning environments survey – will be launched nationality in a couple of years; campus case studies of 8 institutions – west and mid west (colleges, private and public and community colleges); National Retention Study (Clearinghouse) – about to be launched
•    Proud of work because they’re being able to quantify affects of diversity
•    Practice: Institute for the Critical Analysis of Quantitative Data – over summer; Diversity Research Institute, also summer work – anyone in the audience can attend
•    Developing the Diverse Learning Environment Conceptual Framework: habits of Mind/Skills for Lifelong Learning; Competencies for a Multicultural World – diverse democracy project; Achievement and Retention – differences in meanings btwn 2 and 4 year institutions
•    Foundational Frameworks: Institutional Adaptations to Student Diversity (Richardson and Skinner 1990); Campus Climate and Diversity (Hurtado, Milem, Clayton-Perdersen and Allen (98-99) and Milem, Chang and Antonio (2005); Student/Institution Engagement Model (Nora, Barlow and Crisp- 2005); Dynamics of Multicultural Teaching and Learning (Marchesani & Adams, 1992, and adaptation of Jackson, 1988) –different climate dynamics have an impact on the classroom, a very intricate intersection
•    DLE Conceptual Framework: this is a box image on the screen that I can’t duplicate, but hopefully find; long and the short: students experience the campus in various, complex ways –historical, structural, institution, psychological, organizational, behavioral; also demographics and pre-dispositions, external influences, outcomes, habits of mid/skills for lifelong learning, competencies for a multicultural world, retention and achievement (at this point, one of the presenters returned to the talk with paper copies of the ppt presentation_
•    Unveiling the DLE Instrument: integrated assessment of climate, diversity, practice, and outcomes; inclusive of diverse social identities; modules targeting specific topics; longitudinal when linked with other student data (e.g. registrar data)
•    DLE Survery Components: core survey; Modules: classroom climate; transition into the major; intergroup relations; community college students’ transfer; transitional experiences for transfer students at 4 year institutions
•    Resources and Questions:
Higher Education Research Institute: http://www.heri.ucla

Diverse Lerning Environments Project:

Phone: 310-267-5930

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