Advertisement

Research in Higher Education

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 283–317 | Cite as

EDUCATING THE WORKFORCE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: A Cross-Disciplinary Analysis of the Impact of the Undergraduate Experience on Students’ Development of a Pluralistic Orientation

  • Mark E. EngbergEmail author
OriginalPaper

Abstract

This study extends the extant research demonstrating the educational benefits of diversity and examines how undergraduate students across disciplinary contexts acquire a set of pluralistic skills and dispositions necessary for today’s diverse workforce and society. The sample consisted of 4697 students who participated in a longitudinal study in the Fall of 2000 and Spring of 2002 at nine different public institutions. Findings from the study emphasize the importance of structural diversity in promoting positive interactions across race, which in turn produce positive indirect effects on students’ intergroup learning and second-year pluralistic orientation. The study also demonstrates the varying ways in which students in different majors acquire pluralistic skills, especially students in the engineering and life sciences. The study concludes with implications for practice and policy in the wake of the affirmative action case at the University of Michigan.

Keywords

diversity pluralism undergraduate students affirmative action workforce major higher education 

References

  1. AAC&U (1995). Liberal Learning and the Arts of Connection for the New Academy. Association of American Colleges and Universities, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  2. AAC&U (2002). Greater Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation goes to College. Association of American Colleges and Universities, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  3. ABET (2001). Engineering Criteria 2002. Retrieved May 15, 2002 from http://www.abet.org
  4. Allison P. D. (2002). Missing Data. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  5. Alwin D. F., Cohen R. I., Newcomb T. L. (1991). Political Attitudes Over the Lifespan. University of Wisconsin Press, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  6. Antonio A. L. (2001). The role of interracial interaction in the development of leadership skills and cultural knowledge and understanding. Research in Higher Education 42(5):593–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Antony, J. (1993, November). Can we all get along? How college impacts students’ sense of the importance promoting racial understanding. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Pittsburgh. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 365174)Google Scholar
  8. Astin A. W. (1993). What Matters in College? Four Critical Years Revisited. Jossey-Bass, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  9. Babbie E. (2001). The Practice of Social Research. Wadsworth, Belmont, CAGoogle Scholar
  10. Bagozzi R. P., Heatherton T. F., (1994). A general approach to representing multifaceted personality constructs: Application to state of self-esteem. Structural Equation Modeling 1:35–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bandalos D. L., Finney S. J. (2001). Item parceling issues in structural equation modeling. In: Marcoulides G. A., Schumacker R. E. (eds). New Developments and Techniques in Structural Equation Modeling. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, pp. 269–296Google Scholar
  12. Bikson T. K., Law S. A. (1994). Global Preparedness and Human Resources. Rand Institute, Santa Monica CAGoogle Scholar
  13. Bowen W. G., Bok D. (1998). The Shape of the River. Long Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJGoogle Scholar
  14. Cabrera A. F., Nora A., Crissman J. L., Terenzini P. T., Bernal E. M., Pascarella E. T. (2002). Collaborative Learning: Its Impact on College Students’ Development and Diversity. Journal of College Student Development 43(1):20–34Google Scholar
  15. Chang, M. (1996). Racial diversity in higher education: Does a racially mixed student population affect student outcomes? Dissertation Abstracts International, 57(04). (AAT 9626812)Google Scholar
  16. Chang M. J. (2002). The impact of an undergraduate diversity course requirement on students’ racial views and attitudes. The Journal of General Education 51(1):21–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chickering A., Reisser L. (1993). Education and Identity, (2nd Ed.), Jossey-Bass, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  18. Dovidio J. F., Gaertner S. L., Stewart T. L., Esses V. M., Vergert M., Hodson G. (2004). From intervention to outcome: Processes in the reduction of bias. In: Stephan W. G., Vogt W. P. (eds). Education Programs for Improving Intergroup Relations. Teachers College Press, New York, pp. 243–265Google Scholar
  19. Engberg, M. E. (2004). Educating the workforce for the 21st century: The impact of diversity on undergraduate students’ pluralistic orientation. Dissertation Abstracts International, 65(06). (AAT 3138145)Google Scholar
  20. Engberg, M. E., Meader, E. W., and Hurtado, S. (2003, April). Developing a pluralistic orientation: A comparison of ethnic minority and White college students. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  21. Erikson E. (1946). Ego development and historical change. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child 2:359–396Google Scholar
  22. Erikson E. (1956). The problem of ego identity. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association 4:56–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ewell P. T., Jones D. P. (1993). Actions matter: The case for indirect measures in assessing higher education’s progress on the national education goals. Journal of General Education 42(2):123–148Google Scholar
  24. Gratz, et al. v. Bollinger, et al., 530 U.S. (2003a)Google Scholar
  25. Gratz, et al. v. Bollinger, et al., No. 02–516. (2003b). Brief filed for amicus curiae leading American businesses in support of respondents. Retrieved May 1, 2003, from http://www.umich.edu/∼urel/admissions/legal/gru_amicus_ussc/um.html
  26. Grutter, et al. v. Bollinger, et al., 539 U.S. (2003a)Google Scholar
  27. Grutter, et al. v. Bollinger, et al., No. 02–241 (2003b). Brief filed for amicus curiae leading American businesses in support of respondents. Retrieved May 1, 2003, from http://www.umich.edu/∼urel/admissions/legal/gru_amicus_ussc/um.html
  28. Guarasci R., Cornwell G. H. (1997). Democratic Education in an Age of Difference: Redefining Education in an Age of Difference. Jossey-Bass Publishers, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  29. Gurin, P. (1999). Expert Report. Gratz et al. v. Bollinger, et al. No. 97-75321 (E.D. Mich.); Grutter, et al. v. Bollinger, et al. No. 97-75928 (E.D. Mich.). Equity & Excellence in Education, 32(2): 36–62.Google Scholar
  30. Gurin P., Dey E. L., Hurtado S., Gurin G. (2002). Diversity and higher education: Theory and impact on educational outcomes. Harvard Educational Review 72:330–367Google Scholar
  31. Holland J.L. (1985). Making Vocational Choices. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJGoogle Scholar
  32. Hughes M. (1994). Helping students understand and appreciate diversity. In: Schroeder C., Mable P. (eds). Realizing the Educational Potential of Residence Halls. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, pp. 190–217Google Scholar
  33. Humphreys D. (1997). General Education and American Commitments: A National Report on Diversity Course and Requirements. Association of American Colleges and Universities, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  34. Hurtado S. (2001). Linking diversity and educational purpose: How diversity affects the classroom environment and student development. In: Orfield G. (eds). Diversity Challenged: Evidence on the Impact of Affirmative Action. Harvard Education Publishing Group, Cambridge, MA, pp. 187–204Google Scholar
  35. Hurtado, S. (2003). Preparing College Students for a Diverse Democracy: Final Report to the U.S. Department of Education, OERI, Field Initiated Studies Program. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary EducationGoogle Scholar
  36. Hurtado, S., Dey, E. L., and Trevino, J. G. (1994, April). Exclusion or Self-segregation? Interaction across Racial/Ethnic Groups on Campus. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LAGoogle Scholar
  37. Hurtado, S., Engberg, M. E., and Ponjuan, L. (2003, November). The Impact of the College Experience on Students’ Learning for a Diverse Democracy. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Portland, ORGoogle Scholar
  38. Hurtado, S., Meader, E. W., Ziskin, M., Kamimura, M., and Greene, S. (2002, June). Intergroup Relations: Views from Different Racial/Ethnic Groups. Paper presented at the Association for Institutional Research Forum, Toronto, OntarioGoogle Scholar
  39. Hurtado, S., Milem, J., Clayton-Pederson, A., and Allen, W. (1999). Enacting Diverse Learning Environments: Improving the Climate for Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Higher Education. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports, 26(8)Google Scholar
  40. Hyun, M. (1994, November). Helping to Promote Racial Understanding: Does It Matter if You’re Black or White. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Tucson, AZ. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 375710)Google Scholar
  41. Inkelas, K. K. (1998, November). Increasing Visibility: The Racial Attitudes of Asian Pacific American Students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Miami, FLGoogle Scholar
  42. Judy R. W., D’Amico C. (1997). Workforce 2020. Work and workers in the 21st century. Hudson Institute, IndianapolisGoogle Scholar
  43. Kardia, D. B. (1996). Diversity’s Closet: Student Attitudes toward Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexual People on a Multicultural Campus. Dissertation Abstracts International, 57(03). (AAT 9624642)Google Scholar
  44. Kish L. (1965). Survey Sampling. John Wiley & Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  45. Kishton J. M., Widaman K. F. (1994). Unidimensional versus Domain Representative Parceling of Questionnaire Items: An Empirical Example. Educational and Psychological Measurement 54:757–765Google Scholar
  46. Kline R. B. (1998). Principle and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  47. Kuh G. D. (1990). Assessing student culture. In: Tierney W. G. (eds). Assessing Academic Climates and Cultures. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, pp. 47–60Google Scholar
  48. Meacham J. (2000, September 18). The new face of race. Newsweek 136:38–41Google Scholar
  49. Milem J. F. (1994). College, students, and racial understanding. Thought and Action 9(2):51–92Google Scholar
  50. Milem J. F., Umbach P. D. (2003). The influence of precollege factors on students’ predispositions regarding diversity activities in college. Journal of College Student Development 44(5):611–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Milem J. F., Umbach P. D., Liang C. T. H. (2004). Exploring the perpetuation hypothesis: The role of colleges and universities in desegregating society. Journal of College Student Development 45(6):688–700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Meyers-Lipton, S. J. (1996). Effect of a comprehensive service-learning program on college students’ level of modern racism. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, Fall, 44–54Google Scholar
  53. Nagda B. A., Kim C., Truelove Y. (2004). Learning about difference, learning with others, learning to transgress. Journal of Social Issues 60:195–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Nelson Laird T. F., Engberg M. E., Hurtado S. (2005). Modeling accentuation effects: Enrolling in a diversity course and the importance of social action engagement. The Journal of Higher Education 76(4):448–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Newcomb T. L. (1943). Personality and Social Change: Attitude Formation in a Student Community. Dryden Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  56. Newcomb T. L., Koenig K. E., Flacks R., Warwick D. P. (1967). Persistence and Change: Bennington College and its Students after 25 years. John Wiley & Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  57. Palmer S. R. (2001). Diversity and affirmative action: Evolving principles and continuing legal battles. In: Orfield G. (eds). Diversity Challenged: Evidence on the Impact of Affirmative Action. Harvard Education Publishing Group, Cambridge, MA, pp. 81–98Google Scholar
  58. Pascarella E. T., Edison M., Nora A., Hagedorn L.S., Terenzini P. T. (1996). Influences on students’ openness to diversity and challenge in first year of college. Journal of Higher Education 67:174–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Pascarella E. T., Palmer B., Moye M., Pierson C. T. (2001). Do diversity experiences influence the development of critical thinking? Journal of College Student Development 42:257–271Google Scholar
  60. Pascarella E. T., Terenzini P. T. (1991). How Colleges Affects Students: Findings and Insights from Twenty Years of Research. Jossey-Bass Publishers, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  61. Pike G. R. (2002). The differential effects of on- and off-campus living arrangements on students’ openness to diversity. NASPA Journal 39(4):283–299Google Scholar
  62. Romanoff S. J. (2000). The learning community laboratory: A context for discovery. Journal of College Student Development 41(2):245–247Google Scholar
  63. Schoem D., Hurtado S., Sevig T., Chesler M., Sumida S.H. (2001). Intergroup dialogue: Democracy at work in theory and practice. In: Schoem D., Hurtado S. (eds). Intergroup Dialogue: Deliberative Democracy in School, College, Community, and Workplace. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor MI, pp. 1–21Google Scholar
  64. Smart J. C., Feldman K. A., Ethington C. A. (2000). Academic Disciplines: Holland’s Theory and the Study of College Students and Faculty. Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville, TNGoogle Scholar
  65. Springer L., Palmer B., Terenzini P. T., Pascarella E. T., Nora A. (1996). Attitudes toward campus diversity: Participation in a racial or cultural awareness workshop. The Review of Higher Education 20(1):53–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Stephan W. G., Stephan C. W. (1985). Intergroup anxiety. Journal of Social Issues 41:157–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Taylor S. H. (1998). The impact of college on the development of tolerance. NASPA Journal 35:281–295Google Scholar
  68. Weidman J. (1989). Undergraduate socialization: A conceptual approach. In: Smart J.C. (eds). Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, Vol. 5. Agathon Press, New York, pp. 289–322Google Scholar
  69. Whitt E. J., Edison M. I., Pascarella E. T., Terenzini P. T., Nora A. (2001). Influences on students’ openness to diversity and challenge in the second and third years of college. The Journal of Higher Education 72(2):172–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Witt D., Chang M. J., Hakuta K. (2003). Introduction. In: Chang M., Witt D., James J., Hakuta K. (eds). Compelling Interest: Examining the Evidence on Racial Dynamics in Colleges and Universities. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, pp. 1–21Google Scholar
  71. Zúñiga X., Nagda B. A. (1993). Dialogue groups: An innovative approach to multicultural learning. In: Schoem D., Frankel L., Zúñiga X., Lewis E. (eds). Multicultural Teaching in the University. Praeger, Westport, CT, pp. 233–248Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Capital ResearchEvanstonUSA

Personalised recommendations