April 21, 2019

Develop PC’s Diversity Proficiency: Students Require More Knowledge on Social Issues

posted on: Thursday January 31, 2019

Graphic of various people on bench.

Graphic courtesy of BD Foundation.

One of the most important opportunities that attending a liberal arts college gives students is the ability to take courses in subjects that they may have otherwise never been exposed to. 

The majority of liberal arts colleges require students to take courses that they consider to fulfill a diversity requirement. 

For many students, these courses expose them to issues in society that they may have never even known existed. 

But in order to gain a true understanding of our society and various social issues, taking one course may not be enough. 

As the world becomes increasingly globalized, it is important that college students learn how to actively fight against stereotypes and harmful social norms. They should also be able to go out into the world with more awareness of societal issues.

At Providence College, students are only required to take one class that will fulfill the diversity proficiency. 

While PC does offer courses that cover a wide range of topics such as race and gender, it is easy for students to put off fulfilling the proficiency until much later on in their time as a student. 

Only requiring one approved class to fulfill the diversity proficiency does not properly express the true importance of diversity nor does it educate students in a way that allows for them to actively be involved in the world once they graduate. 

While students are required to take two classes in both theology and philosophy, the diversity proficiency is much easier to satisfy. 

For students who are not sociology or global studies majors, for example, there should be a much bigger push to take courses in those departments. 

Two years of undergrad at PC are spent focusing on the Development of Western Civilization program and learning about Western Civilization and, for many students, taking courses about society and culture may end there. 

Taking the time to learn about cultures different from one’s own and about how our own society has evolved is necessary in order to be a thoughtful member of society. 

One of the most satisfying moments as a student is realizing that what you are learning in class will stick with you forever and genuinely changes the way you see the world. 

Seeing the world through as many different perspectives as possible and learning how to put their understanding into meaningful practice will hopefully lead to students graduating with a unique outlook on the world. 

After all, for many students, that is one of the goals of receiving a college education.  

Students at all liberal arts colleges, not just PC, should continuously be encouraged to take classes outside of their major that focus on important social issues. 

Developing an understanding of the need for diversity and gaining knowledge about culture is extremely beneficial to students, as many social issues seem to be growing more rampant each day. 

While having to take more courses to fulfill the diversity requirement may seem like a nuisance to some students, it may benefit students more than they thought possible in the long run.          

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