Virginia Community College System Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement (August 2014)
The Virginia Community College System is committed to fostering, cultivating, and sustaining a culture of diversity and inclusion. The VCCS acknowledges the vital impact of a diverse and inclusive community on academic programs, on workforce development and other training, and on the larger communities served by our colleges. Students from diverse backgrounds, taught by faculty and assisted by staff from similarly diverse backgrounds, benefit from an abundant educational experience that prepares them for success in an increasingly interconnected and multi-cultural world.
Therefore, it is the policy of the Virginia Community College System to employ and retain individuals who reflect our diverse society. A culture of diversity and inclusion shall be manifest in all dimensions of Virginia’s Community Colleges.
How does TCC develop a culture of diversity and inclusion?
- Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methodology engaged a diverse population of more than 500 faculty, staff and students in developing the 2013-2018 strategic plan, “One Voice, One Future, One College.”
- The Intercultural Learning Center works with the Global and Intercultural Learning Committee (comprising faculty, staff, and students) to develop annual college-wide themed curricular and co-curricular programs with specific learning outcomes. The programming calendar currently focuses on cultural events: Hispanic Heritage; International Education; Festival of Jewish Film; Black History; Women’s History; and TCC Literary Festival. Its reach extends to the Student Government Association, Office of International Student Services, International Programs and Women’s Center.
- The Office of Educational Accessibility provides access to programs and facilities for students, faculty, and staff in a supportive atmosphere and in accordance with Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act as amended. This office arranges appropriate accommodations to meet the needs of students with disabilities and chronic health issues.
- The Job Skills Training Program (JSTP) partners with social service and community agencies, the business community and industry leaders to provide counseling, internships, workforce readiness, and job follow-up for students who require job training and placement, but face barriers to employment.
- The On-Ramp Program, a unit within the Center for Workforce Solutions, is supported by the Workforce Investment Act Rapid Response funds. It helps dislocated workers who have been laid off due to company closures, downsizing or elimination of positions, upgrade their job skills through degree or certificate programs.
- TCC promotes inclusion through its partnership with Hampton Roads Transit, the regional transit provider in its service area, to provide students with discounted public transportation, reducing a significant barrier to student success. Discounted services also include transport for disabled students.
- TCC improves access and academic success for parenting students through its collaboration with the YWCA South Hampton Roads to provide high quality, affordable, and convenient child care on all four of its campuses.
- TCC's new website, launched in October 2015, provides a more inclusive experience for vision- and hearing-impaired users through captioned videos, consistent use of alt-tags, and a text-only version for screen readers. Staff are continuing to ensure the site conforms to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
- Recognizing that one-third of TCC’s students have a relationship with the U.S. military (i.e., active duty, veteran, or family), the Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE) developed a Blackboard-hosted site, the Military Cultural Awareness Resource Center, which serves as a one-stop professional development resource for faculty and staff. The structure brings awareness of military-related culture and issues and is accessible to all faculty and staff through Blackboard.
- The college established the TCC Chapter of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges (TCC-AAWCC) in 2014-15. The organization boosts mentorship, development, networking, and leadership. It is currently soliciting candidates for the 2015 AAWCC Region 3 National Board Student Scholarship and the AAWCC Doctoral Program Scholarship.
- The college provides mentoring through a variety of options. The Women’s Center on all four campuses provides a structured setting for mentors and mentees. The process entails screening and the signing of a Women Inspiring Self- Empowerment (W.I.S.E.) Mentoring Agreement by both parties. The Open Door Project mentoring program is somewhat similar in scope.
- A New Faculty Academy and Mentoring Program was established in 2011-12 under the Office of Academic Affairs. The academic deans nominate mentors from a slate of full-time qualified faculty volunteers with at least three-years of teaching experience and they are trained as mentors beforehand.
Hiring and faculty and staff diversity
- Led by the Internal Relations Committee, the college is developing a new employee orientation program that speaks to EEO and cultural diversity. Using Dashboard as a foundation, the college plans to measure gender and racial/ethnic diversity at all levels and at academic discipline levels of five or more individuals by July 1, 2015.
- The TCC Diversity Officer works collaboratively with Human Resources to develop a standardized employment search committee/interview panel checklist delineating diversity expectations (gender, race/ethnicity, etc.) that must be considered and met while developing search committees.
- The college will continue to strive to increase its minority full-time teaching faculty by 6 percent within the next five years.
TCC’s Diversity Officer
Susan M. James
Chief Administrative Officer
- Chair: Kyndra Brown, Chesapeake Campus
- Terrence Bowers, Norfolk Campus
- Babi Brock, Virginia Beach Campus
- Beth Callahan, Virginia Beach Campus
- Rhonda Goudy, Chesapeake Campus
- Catherine “Karen” Grunow, Institutional Effectiveness
- Jaedda Hall, Virginia Beach Campus
- Ellyn Hodgis, Virginia Beach Campus
- Brittney Lapoint, Workforce Solutions
- Gloria McKinney, Information Technology
- Jeanne Natali, Academic Affairs
- Alicia Phillips, Portsmouth Campus
- Yvonne Sandoval, Office of the President
- Manisha Trivedi, Norfolk Campus
- Jennifer Valentine, Virginia Beach Campus