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Kansas Wesleyan University

Kansas Wesleyan is committed to the difficult conversations. Kansas Wesleyan is committed to each and every student and, yes — Kansas Wesleyan is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Efforts led by numerous individuals across campus and the university’s DEI committee are constantly working to ensure that students from all backgrounds and all walks of life are an integral part of the KWU experience.

For more than 100 years, KWU has been committed to the ideals of being a welcoming campus. The university was among the first to welcome women for co-education, to recruit and educate Indigenous and Black students, and the first to provide intercollegiate athletics for women (well before Title IX was enacted). As the university reflected on national and international issues, it knew it must do more to enhance the lived experience for all students, faculty, and staff. KWU has initiated new programs, enhanced funding, incorporated practices and identified personnel to support the university’s commitment to these ideals. The university has developed new outcomes in line with the institution’s strong desire to prepare all students for lives of intellectual vigor and academic success.

The Hispanic Student Union, Minority Alumni Association, Multi-Cultural Student Union, KWU Loves All and NEXT Level are all groups students have the opportunity to become involved with on campus.

For more information on DEI at Kansas Wesleyan, please contact Vice President of Student and Community Engagement Bridget Weiser at 785-833-4325. Other DEI staff members with a significant focus on DEI efforts include Dr. Allen Smith, advisor for strategic initiatives, and Brandon Cheeks, student support advisor.

Goals, Strategies and Actions

Short-term Goals (1-2 Years)

  • Enhance the number of Historically Underserved Students (HUS) student-focused events
  • Equal or better retention rates of HUS versus their counterparts at KWU
  • Ensure all academic programs and areas have a diversity learning outcome that is implemented and assessed

Intermediate Goals (3-4 Years)

  • Unique programs that allow HUS to grow, develop, and thrive
  • HUS students have access and top choice in a vibrant internship program
  • Implement a robust mentor program/host family program for all HUS

Long-term Goals (5-7 Years)

  • Equal or better graduation rates of HUS versus their counterparts at KWU
  • Equal or better student debt rates versus their counterparts at KWU
  • KWU reduces or eliminates institutional barriers and systemic racism for the university

The Future

In the future, diversity, equity and inclusion will permeate the culture of KWU. Difficult, but necessary, conversations will be had and changes implemented. Unique programs will be developed that will allow historically underserved students to thrive. In the future, Kansas Wesleyan will become an institution of choice for all, regardless of social standing, ethnic identity, age, veteran status, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Faculty and Staff Involvement

Departments have identified SLOs (student learning outcomes) and PLOs (program learning outcomes) that will have direct effect on how faculty interact with the student population. KWU faculty members identified and implemented pedagogical strategies to enhance inclusive teaching methods. Faculty and staff participate in DEI training that enhance faculty and staff’s ability to produce a climate of inclusive excellence.

Trainings include:

  • How to engage in difficult conversations
  • Responding to micro-aggressions
  • Creating an inclusive environment