Dominican University is proud to welcome and support a diverse student community inclusive of individuals from all backgrounds. Working to meet the needs of students and staff with a variety of personal experiences, values, and world views that arise from differences of culture and circumstance is something we take very seriously. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region, and more.
A large part of our inclusion efforts focuses on providing academic content that is relevant to both our student demographic and the world at large. Throughout the following disciplines and others, we continue to expand and develop curriculum that allows students to learn and grow with specific attention to diversity and inclusion within their chosen professions.
To prepare students for success in this field, we provide classroom experiences and field education to encourage the integration of diversity and inclusion—particularly encouraging students to engage in an introspective assessment of values, beliefs, and biases along with how this impacts work with various populations.
Specialized courses include:
- Ethnic Group Interaction
- Perspectives on Aging
- Child Welfare and the Law
- Global Perspectives of Women in Contemporary Culture
- Eating Disorders
- Counseling for Adolescents
- Understanding Autism and Neurodiversity
Special Annual Programing
Each year, the Social Work department selects a theme that coincides with our Community Day event to develop presentations that speak to contemporary issues relevant to the social work profession. With help from internationally renowned speakers and organizations, the department has covered a variety of topics including:
- Reducing the Stigma of “Dis-Abilities” (Persons with Different Abilities)
- Stand up for Justice: Educating, Empowering, and Engaging in Social Action
- Get in the Game: Social Work, Athletics, and Well-Being
- It’s not just for kids: Addressing Bullying Across the Lifespan
Active Student Advocacy
Each year, Social Work majors participate in New York State’s Legislative Education and Advocacy Day speaking out on behalf of vulnerable populations to mobilize government officials on causes such as:
- Racial Equity Bill
- DREAM Act
- Ban on Conversion Therapy
- Raise the Age
- Suicide Prevention Education
The Criminal Justice program highlights diversity and inclusion through curriculum, extracurricular activities and faculty presentations on current issues including Me Too, Black Lives Matter and others affecting society today.
History of Incarceration and Related Topics
Each year, the Criminal Justice department hosts a trip to Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia with specific attention to:
- Crime and punishment
- Changing face of criminal justice system
- Systemic racism and the resulting mass incarceration of Black men in the U.S.
Scholarships and Grants
The Criminal Justice department encourages students to apply for scholarships and related awards covering the cost of conferences and higher education courses.
In addition, the Criminal Justice Department supports Hour Children, an advocacy group aligned with the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility Nursery Program, helping incarcerated women and their children successfully rejoin the society.
Criminal Justice students may also visit the all-women’s maximum-security prison in Westchester, NY to observe their education and rehabilitation programs.
By teaching works by diverse authors with experiences similar to that of our student body, the English department encourages rich discussion and engagement with relevant topics. Throughout the semester, students are provided opportunities to attend presentations and readings by special guest authors, including James McBride and Ibtihaj Muhammed who both presented and interacted with students as part of our Freshman Read program. Works covered include:
- Proud by Ibtihaj Muhammed, the first American Muslim Olympian
- The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother by James McBride
Students pursuing degrees in teacher education participate in a variety of programs geared towards promoting diversity and inclusion. They include, but are not limited to:
- Diversity Sensitivity Project—highlighting the experiences of students with varying abilities and the challenges related to navigating public spaces.
- Annual Disability Library Resources Project—challenging students to evaluate accessibility at local libraries before presenting their findings and recommendations to librarians.
- Dignity for all Students (DASA) Training —a 6-hour training program for students and community members devoted to stopping bullying, discrimination, intimidation and harassment. Topics include both legal and ethical implications related to commonly targeted groups, as well as strategies that improve communication and reduce bias.
- Internships at Head Start and Campus Fun and Learn – Students plan and implement project-based learning experiences at Head Start based on the children’s interests, families and cultural backgrounds.
Business Majors are introduced to professionals from various organizations, including the Spanish broadcast network Univision and James Seth Thomson (Bernstein Wealth Management), to promote discussions around job opportunities, advocacy and diversity/inclusion within the workplace. Guest speakers for classes also include prominent women and other individuals from minority groups. Students study and attend presentations on related topics, including:
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their role in the development of collegiate and professional sports
- Successful Black, Latin, Hispanic and Asian CEOs, entrepreneurs and leaders
- Best practices for managers with regard to creating, maintaining and strengthening an inclusive environment with information on “Leading Inward” (mindset required for an inclusive environment) and “Leading Outward” (behaviors required for an inclusive environment)
- Inclusion, Diversity, Equality and Awareness in Healthcare, Education and Practice (IDEA)
To boost interest and opportunities in STEM and related disciplines, especially within unrepresented populations, the Sciences department offers several scholarships, grants and awards, including:
- BLISS (Biology for Low Income Student Scholars) Scholarship—awarded to low-income students and made possible by the National Science Foundation. Scholarship winners work closely with each other faculty, and administrators to ensure success in a biology career.
- RISE (Research Immersion in Science and Ecology) Program—a three-week summer program funded by a grant from Orange and Rockland Utilities. Local area high school students participate in this STEM and environmental science program where they engage in academic, teambuilding and mentorship activities that focus on microbiology, chemistry, and local biodiversity.