Ongoing Challenges

Careful critique of ourselves as a community is a necessary step that helps us to direct the best course of action for positive changes. In the process of implementing the recommendations of the DCC report it is inevitable that we will come across roadblocks, pitfalls, and missed opportunities. The MCCL committee and others in the community strive to make note of, learn from, and respond to such instances. Some examples are below; we will assuredly continue to identify new areas of challenge, set backs and necessary points of growth in our community as we continue to address the DCC report.

Point-of-Entry Training

(Spring 2007) Employment point-of-entry at Mount Holyoke provides a significant opportunity for learning what it is to enter a community that not only tolerates and celebrates, but values diversity, thus the DCC recommended that diversity and inclusiveness learning opportunities for faculty and staff be routinely offered to newcomers - to date little progress has been made in this arena.

Enrollment of African American Students

(Sept. 2007) While the first few years of this century had our college boasting a rise in the numbers of first year African American applicants and accepted students, 2006~2007 saw a slight decline in the trend.

Tracking Improvements Needed in Hiring of Staff of Color

(April 2007) According to assessments made by the Five College Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator, the Five Colleges lack comprehensive ways to track qualitative success of the outreach program, and a meaningful evaluation on our campus is difficult for an employee shared by five colleges. The Five Colleges presently track how many Latinos, African-Americans/Black and Asians apply for positions, how many are interviewed, how many are hired and when, as well as when and why these employees leave. However, we lack the practices and data to meaningfully compare these numbers against the hiring and retention trends of white staff members. These methods are too reliant upon numbers and fail to provide qualitative analysis of trends in retention: the focus is on numbers of hires rather than an analysis of the hiring process and hiring outcomes. Additional examination of applicant pools, and the qualitative experiences of hiring and retention of people of color, need to be addressed internally by each institution.

Native American Student Enrollment

(Spring 2007) The small number of enrolled Native American students each year remains a concern and identified area in need of improvement.