Diversity and Education Benefits

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Campus climate studies and research on the impact of diversity in higher education abound. On closer examination, however, the corpus of findings on the role of diversity and how diversity is captured with campus climate surveys reveals both conceptual and methodological limitations. This volume of New Directions for Institutional Research addresses these limitations with the inclusion of studies by institutional research (IR) practitioners who make use of data that furnish new insights into the relationships among student diversity, student perception of campus climate, and student sociodemographic background?and how those relationships affect academic outcomes.

Each chapter emphasizes how IR practitioners benefit from the conceptual and analytical approach laid out, and each chapter provides a framework to gauge the contribution of diversity to educational benefits. The findings revealed in this volume cast doubt on the benefits of student diversity purported in previous research. At a minimum, the influence of student diversity is neither linear nor unidirectional, but operates within a complex web of interrelated factors that shape the student experience.

This is the 145th volume of New Directions for Institutional Research. Always timely and comprehensive, New Directions for Institutional Research provides planners and administrators in all types of academic institutions with guidelines in such areas as resource coordination, information analysis, program evaluation, and institutional management.