Attract, Retain, and Advance A Diverse Community of Students

Diversity, equity and inclusion plan for 2020-2023

Strengthen opportunities for greater inclusion of a more diverse populations of students across the university as a manifestation of the university’s commitment to human dignity, equity, and inclusion. Address the compositional diversity of the university’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional student communities through continuous review and assessment of programs, policies, and administrative decisions to broaden representation of diverse populations among students. Address obstacles to successful recruitment and root causes of early attrition across student populations.

Strategic Priorities

Build on existing commitments and campus resources to increase the proportion of undergraduate from populations that are underrepresented at Marquette and in higher education more broadly.

Task Status 

In progress

Enhance outreach to Wisconsin’s diverse communities and facilitate pipeline programs from high school and two-year colleges to Marquette and from undergraduate to graduate school.

Read about our progress

  • Marquette continues building on the successes of EOP (Gear Up, Talent Search, Upward Bound, UB Math and Science, Student Support Services, McNair Scholars), Engineering Leadership Academy, Law School Summer Youth Institute, Urban Journalism Workshop, College Essay Writing Workshops, Project BEYOND-2 in Nursing, and we are exploring additional offerings to engage local high school students from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • The highly successful Urban Scholars Program was expanded to 40 scholarship recipients from Milwaukee schools per year starting in 2021-22. This is a direct result of the advocacy efforts of the Black Student Council in summer and fall 2020. 
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion is cultivating strategic partnerships with local schools that serve underrepresented students; the Encuentros program, for example, is a partnership with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Milwaukee.
  • The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is conducting on-site admission events at the following area high schools in October 2020: all Carmen schools, Reagan, Augustine Prep, Cristo Rey, Rufus King, Riverside, Messmer, Thomas More, and Golda Meir. Additionally, we are attending virtual high school visits and college fairs serving Milwaukee area high schools.
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) initiative have ramped up Spanish language outreach through the creation of a Spanish website with critical information for navigating campus resources and support, a Facebook page for Spanish-speaking parents, and a Spanish option for the general Marquette phone line.
  • The Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Marquette Central, and New Student and Family Programs have also increased their Spanish language capacity and programming. For example, the Office of Undergraduate Admission hosts Mi Casa Es Tu Casa, an annual admitted student event for Spanish-speaking families and hosts events for prospective students in collaboration with area community-based organizations, including Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, College Possible, and many others.
  • The Office of Undergraduate Admissions continues to engage with a broadly diverse population of high school students and has developed articulation agreements with a number of two-year colleges, which serve highly diverse student populations, to facilitate a smooth transition to Marquette.
  • In reviewing practices related to recruitment, support, retention, and success of underrepresented graduate students, many graduate departments went test optional for admissions, the graduate school maintained their number of master’s level diversity fellowships and significantly increased the number of doctoral diversity fellowships.

Task Status 

In progress

Address financial challenges for low income students.

Read about our progress

  • Since 2018, the Office of Financial Aid has stewarded an Emergency Fund for low-income students and also offers FAFSA workshops, including in Spanish.
  • Through integration of DEI into fundraising activities, in 2019-20, two gifts that included scholarship support, support for RISE, and support for High Impact Practices, were received by the University. These augment a scholarship donation ($5 million) the previous year and represent promise for more funding in the future.
  • In 2020, Marquette committed to expand the highly successful Urban Scholars program for local students to 40 full-tuition scholarships per year. Fundraising efforts are also aimed at room and board funding for students in this program.

Engage in high-impact practices and other efforts to support underrepresented student development, engagement, and retention

Task Status 

Ongoing

Support the efforts of campus centers and programs, including but not limited to the Center for Engagement and Inclusion, the LGBTQ+ Center, the Office of Student Educational Services, and the Educational Opportunity Program, that serve the educational, social and cultural needs of a diversity of students.

Read about our progress

Ongoing: The Center for Engagement and Inclusion, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, the Office of Student Educational Services, and the Educational Opportunity Program continue to be thriving places for student programming and support, important spaces of community for underrepresented students, and collaborative partners with the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion on DEI initiatives.

Task Status 

In progress

Broaden peer-to-peer, faculty-to-student, and alumni-student mentoring opportunities through the Division of Student Affairs, academic departments, and by leveraging existing and emerging alumni associations.

Read about our progress

  • The Center for Engagement and Inclusion in the Division of Student Affairs sponsors the RISE program for students of color, which has both a pre-orientation component featuring near-peer experiences as well as programming throughout the academic year.
  • University Engagement ushered in the creation of Black and Hispanic Alumni Associations in 2019, both of which engage with current students.
  • The Minority Mentor Scholars Program, a student-initiated near-peer mentoring program started in 2019, is supported through both the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Engagement and Inclusion, and various academic departments support and engage with academic-based student professional organizations, such as SHPE, PALMA, and NSBE, among others.

Task Status 

In progress

Create a “student experience” fund for low-income students to support their engagement in academic conferences, study abroad, internships, and research experiences.

Read about our progress

In progress: The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the Center for Engagement and Inclusion, and the Women’s Innovation Network have worked together to support student travel to regional and national meetings that enhance their academic and leadership experiences and to assist in travel for study abroad. With a generous gift of $750,000 over three years, Marquette will provide small grants for students to engage in high-impact practices and other leadership development and experiential learning opportunities starting in spring 2021.

Task Status 

In progress

Work with the Office of Economic Engagement to create a diverse leadership pipeline initiative through internships, scholarships and other forms of talent development.

Read about our progress

In progress: Conversation started with Office of Economic Engagement during 2019-2020.

Strengthen opportunities to build community among diverse graduate students

Task Status 

Ongoing

Create spaces specifically designed for underrepresented graduate and professional students to gather.

Read about our progress

Ongoing: The Counseling Center hosts “The Gathering”, a holding space for graduate and professional students of color to meet, share their experiences, and receive support regarding challenges within their graduate/professional programs. The Graduate School has also started some programming for underrepresented students.