Kate Lewis

The College Scoops Podcast

Episode 149: How Universities are Using High-Impact Practices to Launch DEI programs

November 22, 2022

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What are some steps universities are taking to implement DEI programs? How do universities support and help international students acclimate to campus life? Kate Lewis joins us today as she worked at Penn State in student affairs counseling international students and LGBTQA+ students. Kate sheds some light on how higher ed is trying to roll out programs that will support a diverse and ever-changing student population. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Identifying the key stakeholder’s universities need to accommodate (students, staff, professors, parents, etc).
  • Students need to feel represented on campus
  • Create an environment where students feel safe and accepted
  • International students need a community they can reach out to ensure they will thrive as it is such a culture shock when transitioning to college in the US.
  • No singular student is the same. Everyone has different needs from 
  • Ensuring universities offer proper nutrition to the diverse group of students that attend their college.
  • Universities have to deal with assimilation and acclimation for all students on a college campus
  • 1st-year students have a host of different needs rather than 3rd-year students. Orientation programs/1st-year seminars/Undergraduate research programs are created to help with these challenges.
  • Universities are offering high-impact practices to help students get acclimated to college life:
    • How to speak with your professor?
    • How to manage your time?
    • Why are you here?
    • What are your goals?

Important Resources and Links:

College Search Guide

High Impact Practices (HIPS)

 High Impact Practices by Geroge Kuh

The HxA Way

Meet Kate Lewis

Kate Lewis

Kate Lewis is the founder and principal of College Search Guide, LLC, and works with families to maximize student success in college and make the college planning process less stressful.  She earned her Master of Education degree in institutional research and college administration from Penn State University.

Kate is an expert in student-institutional fit, a concept that benefits students by matching their resources, aptitude, and goals to their perfect college or university. Using her skills as an institutional researcher (a data professional specializing in the study of higher education), she provides insight into colleges and universities, graduation rates, and financial data.  

Before founding College Search Guide, LLC, Kate worked as a student affairs professional at Penn State, counseling international students and LGBTQA+ students. While working at Penn State, she created a curriculum-based peer mentor program that supported diversity and inclusion. This program was driven by a five-year grant-supported budget exceeding $100,000.00 and helped students engage on campus.  Kate has also provided contracted services supporting program evaluation and impact functions with the National College Advising Corps, a national non-profit supporting college access for underrepresented student populations. 

When not nerding out over higher education data, she spends her time roller skating and spending time with her family.  

Thank you Kate for taking the time to speak with us today. Colleges and universities are working hard to launch DEI programs that meet the needs of all stakeholders. It is not easy and there will always be challenges. Implementing programs such as the 1st year seminars, freshman orientation, and high-impact practices are several examples of how institutions are trying to meet their goals. 

Episode 149 Full Transcript

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