A Campus Family Committed to Understanding through Dialogue - Higher Education

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A Campus Family Committed to Understanding through Dialogue



Founded in 1903, North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) is one of the oldest two-year, comprehensive, residential colleges in the nation. NDSCS delivers learner-focused education through a unique and evolving collegiate experience. Using innovative delivery strategies, NDSCS anticipates and responds to statewide and regional needs by providing access to occupational/technical programs, transfer programs and workforce training.
The associate vice president for academic and student affairs, Dr. Philip Parnell leads 39 full-time and 45 part-time staff members in the Division of Student Services, which brings together several interrelated areas with the intent of creating a foundation for students’ holistic personal and academic success. Departments within the division include residence life, student activities and health and counseling services, among others.
With a focus on developing the whole student, the Division of Student Services at NDSCS intentionally creates a supportive and welcoming space that allows all members of the campus to engage in the learning process, grow, change and find a sense of belonging. Staff within the division can be found attending performances, concerts, presentations or lectures to learn about diversity, differences, inclusion and culture. Associate Vice President Parnell shares that there is always an opportunity to “develop teaching and learning opportunities necessary to promote cultural appreciation” at NDSCS.
Committed to inclusive excellence, the campus is advised by a 20-member Diversity Council, which reflects an institutional commitment to the matter. Michelle Griffin, outgoing tri-chair of the Diversity Council, shares: “If we do nothing more than [serve as] the starting point for difficult conversations between our students, then I feel we have succeeded.” The Diversity Council does more than meet and serve as a starting point for conversations, however; it also sponsors programs, sets standards for appropriate behavior and offers activities that promote deep understanding of diversity in its broadest sense. Staff enjoy employment benefits such as caregiving leave, child care services and flexible work schedules to accommodate the needs of people from various backgrounds, making it one of this year’s “30+ Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs.”

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