Parenthood has two big transitions, when our children arrive and when we finally get them out of our homes after years of marking day after day off of the calendar.
Maddie has had her heart set on attending Jackson State University (JSU) which is a Historically Black University or College (HBCU) for as long as I can remember, so when I suggested we explore other options Maddie was not trying to hear it.
But as her mom I decided we would take a mother/daughter vacation to Tempe and check out Arizona State University. If you are looking for things to do in Tempe a college tour should number one on your list.
Choosing a college is likely one of the most important decisions a young adult will make in their lives. The right college or university can have a significant impact on a student’s career path and ultimately their success so while I want Maddie to have the HBCU experience I felt as her mom I would be doing her a disservice if we didn’t at least look at a few additional universities.
For African American students, choosing exactly the right college can make a significant difference between just barely getting by or thriving.
If I am honest, I must ask myself is the reason I want to Madison to look at another university is because I am worried about her “fitting in” and being socialized into corporate america.
The verb socialize means “to make suitable for society.” Does this mean I believe Maddie is a threat to her white counterparts or she is not suitable for a society with her kinky hair and love for black culture?
If she was going to attend somewhere other than JSU I wanted to her attend a university where diversity and inclusion are not just a set of buzzwords or phrases we often hear thrown around in a conversation.
Arizona State University is one of those higher learning institutions that actually lives and breathes diversity and inclusion from the student body, staff, and the community of Tempe, Arizona.
I do believe we (Black Folk) need to preserve our culture, community and have safe spaces where we are accepted, respected and protected but I also want Maddie to be open about other cultures, people, and places because I will not be able to protect from the world and my job as her parent is to make she is equipped to handle whatever obstacle comes her way.
For a student of color, these factors can be detrimental to comfort, performance and ultimately their success at the college level which is why choose ASU as an alternative to JSU.
Why are Diversity and Inclusion Important at Arizona State University
By definition, diversity refers to the representation of minorities within a setting. Inclusion relates to the effort and initiates an organization, group, school or workplace puts in place that allows for the involvement of minority groups.
Through my research I was impressed that ASU is committed to diversity and inclusion by creating an environment that promotes inclusion, respect, community, and appreciation for diverse cultures in the college setting which directly translates to how Maddie will feel while she is enrolled and adapts into the real world.
I want Maddie to learn about a variety of identities from ethnicity, race, age, sexual identities, and I really wonder if she will receive that at an HBCU?
Diversity at Arizona State University enhances the academic experience for students.
Students that are surrounded by diversity on a regular basis come away from the experience with a broader sense of self.
I want Maddie to think beyond her own perceptions. This can do wonders to combat stereotypes. It can also, over time, help to bridge the gap between races and ethnicities.
Being able to recognize another person’s experience and to see issues from another point of view creates diplomatic adults. This can challenge students and help them grow exponentially.
Being uncomfortable in one’s limited thinking is detrimental to change. Students at diverse schools are challenged regularly to look beyond their own lives and see the world from a classmates’ perspective which is ASU is a great alternative if we decide not to attend an HBCU.
Why Colleges Should Focus on Diversity and Inclusion
As Maddie enters the workplace, she will be better prepared to be a team player and have mutual respect for others because she was educated in a diverse environment.
It is this mutual respect and sense of community that she will gain in a university that encourages her, into adulthood, to advocate for minorities and appreciate and respect others.
Colleges and universities that make a conscious effort to attract, retain and elevate as they focus on diversity and inclusion, are truly changing the game in society.
About Arizona State University
Arizona State University is one of the largest public universities in terms of enrolled students in the United States.
Located in Tempe, Arizona, the college spans five campuses and is centrally located to a thriving metropolitan area. Students can enjoy a variety of nearby activities, resources, and amenities that contribute to the diversity of the school.
ASU is a large school where Sun Devils football reigns. When not cheering on their teams, students have countless things to do.
One popular location is the nearby mall and entertainment complex. Students also flock to downtown Phoenix for shopping, movies, and dining.
Outdoorsy students will appreciate the hiking trails and activities close to campus as well as an ample indoor fitness center and rock climbing wall.
Students attending ASU enroll in popular majors like Marketing, Business Management, Engineering Social Sciences, Biological, and Biomedical Sciences and Visual and Performing Arts.
Scholarships Available at ASU for Minorities
Tuition is also a determining factor when deciding if I am going to send Maddie to an HBCU or Predominately White Institution (PWI).
ASU tuition ranges from 10K to 20K for instate and out-of-state students, respectively. The cost of attendance also depends upon whether a student lives on campus, including books and supplies and transportation if applicable.
It also varies depending on course requirements and whether or not a student is at the Undergraduate or Graduate level.
Arizona State University offers several scholarships for minorities. UNCF provides a number of scholarships for enrolled students.
The ASU Black Alumni Chapter also offers scholarships to incoming students and transfer students. The African and African American Studies program scholarship is for students working toward a minor, degree or certificate.
It is not race or ethnicity-based and all undergraduate students may apply. Completing The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to be considered for these and other relevant scholarships.
How ASU Promotes Diversity and Inclusion
Arizona State University has a high racial diversity. Forty-eight percent of students are minorities or students of color which is important to both Maddie and myself.
ASU has been able to attract and retain African American students because of their commitment to diversity and inclusion within the university.
The Black African Coalition at Arizona State University brings students together to work toward common goals within the school community.
The group also serves to support and advocate for ASU Black & African students and the organizations they belong to. This support makes ASU a college dedicated to the success and growth of its black students.
Cultural Diversity at Arizona State University
Arizona State also provides a number of cultural celebrations throughout the year. These celebrations help bring students together to learn about one another and from one another which is why I struggle with whether to send Maddie to an HBCU.
Will she be able to celebrate other cultures or should her undergraduate education be around people who like her?
International student groups, interfaith and spiritual groups are also in place. These groups ensure a place for everyone and give each student a voice.
The Culture@ASU program allows students to interact and engage in various cultural settings. The student-run initiative promotes inclusion and aims to build programs that celebrate cultural identity and heritage.
Its goal is to foster cultural awareness among students. Arizona State University offers 7 identity-based coalitions to promote and represent the varying cultures and voices within the university.
Conclusion of Diversity at Arizona State University
Arizona State University recently welcomed its largest, most diverse class ever this past Fall. Among those students, approximately 40% are the first in their families to attend college.
Thus, ASU has made a commitment to including a variety of students across different backgrounds. This commitment celebrates each students individual ways of thinking and their individual ideas.
Diversity and inclusion at ASU creates a learning environment that I’m confident will allow my child and others, the opportunity to break through systemic barriers society has had in place over the years.
If you are interested in scheduling a college tour at ASU click here!
The best part of any vacation is the mystery and the discovery, so start planning today and BOOK YOUR RESERVATION NOW to the Tempe, Arizona!
Ready to plan your trip, grab my FREE Vacation Planner to help you plan your trip in the time it takes to watch your favorite TV show!
If you would like to donate to Passports and Grub click here!
ADDITIONAL ARTICLES FOR TRAVELING
Have you started thinking about College Tours for your child and is diversity a factor when picking a college or university? I would love to hear your thoughts so leave me a comment on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Are you also on Pinterest?
Why not save this post to your Pinterest board for later? I am also on Pinterest so feel free to follow Passports and Grub boards and get the latest pin directly