SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As students return to campus this week for fall term at San José City College (SJCC) and Evergreen Valley College (EVC), they are stepping into classes being taught by some of the most diverse faculty in the nation, according to new data from the Chronicle of Higher Education.
According to the Chronicle's "Diversity Index," which was published late last month and ranks "colleges with the greatest racial and ethnic diversity among faculty members," EVC ranks No. 2 and SJCC No. 7 nationally among all two-year public institutions.
"We certainly benefit from being located in one of the most diverse cities in the country," said Dr. Byron D. Clift Breland, San José – Evergreen Community College District chancellor. "But we have also been very intentional with our recruitment processes in order to ensure that we are identifying the most highly qualified and talented faculty possible to fill our available positions. By taking steps to ensure we recruit diverse applicant pools, we are able to hire the best and brightest faculty from throughout the nation and world."
According to research, having a faculty comprised of instructors who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the students they teach is beneficial for multiple reasons. One study of more than 1,000 college students conducted for the PhD Project found that more than 90 percent of minority students indicated that studying under a minority professor positively impacted their education. Studies have also found that a diverse faculty can have a positive impact on retention rates among minority students.
"Representation matters," Chancellor Breland said. "It's important that our students have educational role models and an opportunity to learn from faculty from a variety of backgrounds."
Both colleges show slight enrollment increases over last year, with more than 9,500 students signed up for classes at EVC and more than 9,200 at SJCC during the first week of the term.
The Chronicle of Higher Education's Diversity Index measures "the probability that any two full-time instructional faculty members at an institution are from different racial or ethnic groups."
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SOURCE San Jose - Evergreen Community College District