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Campus Diversity and Student Self-Segregation: Separating Myths from Facts

A survey of the most recent research suggests that, indeed, campus diversity is leading to significant educational and social benefits for all college students. It also suggests that, contrary to popular reports, student self-segregation is not, in fact, a dominant feature of campus life today. This paper summarizes new research on campus diversity and on the actual extent of student self-segregation and interaction across racial/ethnic lines on college campuses today. Written for the Ford Foundation Campus Diversity Initiative.

When students went off to college this Fall, they entered more diverse campuses than ever before. For many students, in fact, their college community is the most diverse they have ever encountered. Most students entering college today come from high schools that are predominantly or exclusively one racial or ethnic group. Given this reality, how are students interacting with one another educationally and socially in college? How socially segregated are college campuses? Is campus diversity leading to educational benefits for today's college students or are students too separated into enclaves on campus to benefit from campus diversity?

Debra Humphreys

Association of American Colleges & Universities

Resource Link: www.diversityweb.org/diversity_innovations/institutional_leadership/campus_climate_culture/student_segregation.cfm

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