A Peer-to-Peer Initiative to Foster Inclusion and Belonging of All Students on a Diverse University Campus

By: Agnes Gottlieb  

When an ugly racist incident threatened to derail the semester, Seton Hall University took a pro-active approach to calm fears and to educate. Among our many responses was a peer-to-peer training program to foster inclusion and belonging among all students on our already diverse campus. We recruited upper-class student leaders to lead discussions about racism and discrimination in all its forms in our freshman-level University Life course, which is a core course required of all new students. In this session, we describe how we secured buy-in for our initiative from current students. The discussion will provide a blueprint for the step-by-step process in which we planned our program, recruited our upper-class discussion leaders, trained them to lead these difficult discussions, and then monitored the success of the conversations that took place in sixty+ small class settings. A discussion about our desired outcomes and how we assessed the program through pre-testing and post-testing of the student leaders, the planners, and the new students is also included.

Diversity, Inclusive Education
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Focused Discussion

Agnes Gottlieb

Vice President, Student Services, Seton Hall University, United States
NJ, United States