Openness to Diversity and Challenge: Assessment of Undergraduate Attitudes and Experiences in the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University
AbstractThis research used survey data to measure baseline levels of (1) openness to diversity and (2) diversity experience for students enrolled in the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University in Fall semester, 2004. The study also used regression analysis to identify and quantify the determinants of student openness to diversity and challenge and the level of experience with diversity. Regression results found that the determinants of openness to diversity and challenge included: experience with diversity, gender, size of hometown, enrolled credit hours, desire to obtain an advanced degree, outside work experience, and major field of study. Student experience with diversity was defined as a measure of the degree to which students have interacted with individuals who are different from themselves in race, ethnicity, philosophy of life, politics, religious beliefs, race, or a different country. The level of experience with diversity was found to be statistically associated with participation in courses and workshops in diversity, ethnicity, urban background, parent education levels, and desire to obtain an advanced degree, and major field of study. The major implication of the statistical results is that there is an opportunity to influence student openness to diversity and challenge, since: (1) experience with diversity was shown to be a highly statistically significant determinant of openness to diversity and challenge, and (2) the levels of diversity experience in the College of Agriculture were low. Therefore, enhanced programming for diversity appreciation and understanding as part of the university experience is likely to provide higher measurable levels of openness to diversity and challenge among students and graduates of the College. The identification of student characteristics associated with openness to diversity allows students, faculty, and administrators information useful for addressing the planning, implementation, and consequences of institutional diversity programming.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI with number 19299.
Date of creation: 2005
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