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Diversity Network Member Highlight: Arizona State University

Posted By Erica Ledesma, Friday, September 23, 2016
Updated: Friday, September 23, 2016

Institution name

Arizona State University


Arizona; Online


Institutional Profile

Large (over 15,000) 

Why did your institution join the Diversity Abroad Network?

Arizona State University (ASU) joined the Diversity Abroad Network because as an institution, we have a commitment to representation and inclusion is prevalent in the university’s Diversity Plan. In addition, ASU is committed to excellence, access and impact in everything that it does. Currently, the Study Abroad Office is in the middle of a five-year strategic plan and one of our eight "Strategies for Growth" is "increase the number of underrepresented students going abroad." Due to this strategy, we felt we have been sought out additional resources to help the office make study abroad more accessible to ASU's diverse student population and the Diversity Abroad Network has been instrumental in supporting us and providing invaluable tools for both our students and faculty.


How long has your organization/institution been a member? 

2 years


What Diversity Network resource has been most useful for you and your colleagues in advancing diversity & inclusive excellence in global education? 

We have thoroughly enjoyed the webinars that the Diversity Abroad Network has provided to our staff and colleagues. We also had the privilege of spending a day with Diversity Abroad's Founder and President, Andrew Gordon, in which he helped us take a deeper look at how we can continually improve upon our services for underrepresented students as it relates to study abroad resources. Our advising teams also utilize the country diversity climate notes and the diversity/inclusion advising manuals. Lastly, we are going to complete the Access, Inclusion, Diversity (AID) Roadmap this fall 2016 semester.


How has membership with the Diversity Network helped your institution make global education more accessible to students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds? 

As members, we attended our first Diversity Abroad Conference in 2015 and left the conference with a list of 30 ideas that we heard from other institutions focusing in on diversity and inclusion. From that list, we have already implemented many of the ideas, and are working on the others. For example, our website now contains material for the following populations of students who are considering study abroad: Online student, First-Generation students, GI-Bill Benefit recipients, International Students, LGBTQIA students, Non-Traditional students, Racial & Ethnic Minority students, Student Athletes and Students with Disabilities. 


Please describe any innovative initiatives related to diversity and inclusion in global education that your institution is currently undertaking.  

Here are a few innovative initiatives that we have developed over the last couple of years related to diversity and inclusion.

1. ASU Planning Scholars: The ASU Study Abroad Planning Scholarship provides first-generation college students with the opportunity to also be the first to study abroad by reducing the financial barrier that may prevent some students from considering study abroad. If an ASU student receives the Planning Scholarship, the student will have five (5) semesters to use it after his/her freshman year. A team of two professional staff from the ASU Study Abroad Office facilitate 2-3 workshops per semester for the recipients and are the point of contacts from our office. We just awarded 60 scholarships to cohort

2. Cohort 1 (awarded in July 2015) has already experienced a lot of success with 1/2 of the recipients already studying abroad since receiving their scholarship. We designed a new position for the Study Abroad Office - Management Intern for Diversity and Inclusion - and had it funded starting in academic year 2015-2016. The same intern is now on year two with us and her entire 20 hours a week is focused on activities and initiatives related to diversity matters. She presents to underrepresented study abroad student populations about study abroad, makes sure that our marketing materials include all students, works to educate the Study Abroad Office professional staff on offices on our campuses that work with underrepresented student populations and so much more.

Tags:  Diversity  education abroad  members 

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