Creating Diversity

The Diversity and Inclusiveness missions of the college certainly do not end with creating demographic or statistical diversity but it is essential to begin there, and it is essential that hiring and recruitment in all constituencies of the college remain attentive to the goals of creating and maintaining a truly diverse community.

Student Demographics

Goal: Recruit and maintain a student body that is racially, regionally, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse.

The Admission Office at Mount Holyoke College recruits in a variety of ways a student body that is racially, regionally, ethnically and socio-economically diverse.  Mount Holyoke continues its commitment to an SAT-optional admission policy to encourage applications from talented students - particularly low income students and students of color - who have been disadvantaged historically by the reliance on standardized tests for admission to selective colleges/universities. In every admission presentation, both formal and informal, the College’s definition of and its commitment to diversity is highlighted.  Similarly, most admission publications discuss the College’s commitment to diversity.  The Admission staff, purposefully diverse itself, travels far and wide (last year, more than 30 states and nearly 20 foreign countries) looking for talented students who would bring much to the MHC community.

Each year, two on-campus programs are hosted for prospective and admitted ALANA women and other young women who have championed diversity issues in the communities to which they belong.  Both programs have a generous budget to provide transportation to campus.  Finally, a number of current students are employed by the Admission Office as Diversity Outreach Fellows.  These students work with the Diversity Outreach staff in Admission to conduct outreach to students through email, chats, postcards, and on-campus visits.

Additional Diversity and Inclusiveness initiatives from the Office of Admissions include:

  • Maintaining relationships with high-school guidance counselors who work with diverse student bodies, as well as with directors and counselors in community-based programs, such as Upward Bound and TRIO, who serve students from disadvantaged schools and backgrounds.
  • Ongoing memberships in collaborative professional organizations that work to develop outreach programs as well as provide a professional network of knowledgeable admission officers. MHC staff frequently hold leadership positions in New England Counselors.
  • Bridging Access to College (NECBAC) and Association of Black Admission and Financial Aid Officers at Ivy League and Sister Schools (ABAFOILSS).
  • Collaborations with the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) and the College Board to collaborate in developing a national network of Community Based Organizations; MHC proposes to host the first conference for this group.
  • Continued participation in the “Kids to College” program - a pipeline program for middle-school students from local Holyoke schools.
  • Awarded $779,000 by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to support staff and programming necessary to prepare and recruit a larger number of high achieving community college students to MHC over the next four years.

Student enrollment by Racial/Ethnic Category 2003-2004 and 2006-2007.

Faculty Demographics

Goal: Continue to build and maintain our diverse faculty. Mount Holyoke has been unusually successful in creating faculty diversity, although more so in some fields than in others. We encourage ongoing efforts to address under-representation where it exists, and to improve upon the satisfaction of faculty of color in our community.

The Dean of Faculty's Office continues its membership in the Consortium for Faculty Diversity at Liberal Arts Colleges, and a rigorous commitment to encourage thorough, informed and multicultural sensitive search procedures and thoughtful outreach to excellent scholars of diverse backgrounds.

Faculty demographics by gender and ethnicity 2003-2004 and 2006-2007.

Staff Demographics

Goal: Increase efforts to recruit and retain staff of color.

(Fall 2006) Annie Rodriguez was hired to fill the newly created position of  Five College Coordinator of Recruitment Outreach, charged with the responsibility to recruit a more diverse group of applicants for administrative and staff position openings. Funding for the first three years of the position is provided by a Five Colleges grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. On-going and upcoming collaborative efforts are a win-win situation for all involved- opening the door to people who have acquired skills but who traditionally would not have access to institutions of higher education for employment opportunities and/or not have access to institutions of higher education for an educational purpose.  Current initiatives are designed to create employment and educational opportunities while building/developing a diverse workforce.

(Spring 2007) Extremely successful "Higher Education" job fairs have been hosted, including follow-up meetings that allowed HR professionals to network, and dialog about common barriers and issues.  The overall goal of having a strong representation of professional people of color was achieved, and on-site questionnaires completed by 200 people amassed important feedback about the process.  The next "Higher Education Job Fair" will be hosted in Holyoke on May 7, 2007.

Staff from the other colleges are referring people of color for positions within the five college institutions and have participated in several community and organizational job fairs, attended community and/or college banquets, networking meetings and community events.  Relationships with local radio disc jockey’s,  professional associations (like Calahe and, and community announcement groups like Point of View Calendar have yielded better communication of job openings to communities of color. A professional connection with the Westover Job Corps Internships program that trains a very large population of young people of color has benefitted the Five Colleges.  A similar initiative is under way with MCDI (Mass. Career Development Institute).  Current conversations are underway with The Urban League and campus representatives about developing a curriculum and providing a series of job readiness workshops (to be held at The Urban League) for people who are interested in seeking employment within the Five Colleges.  The involved HR people would help to facilitate the workshops.  The anticipated roll out is early to mid-June.

Staff demographics by gender and ethnicity 2003, 2005, and 2007.