Diversity Best Practices

A carefully developed Diversity strategy will pave the way for success.

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DiversityNet Toolkit

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Jeff, GMASS

Jeff Nehajowich, Manager of Graduate Programs at Simon Frasier University explains the importance of diversity in his program.







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The challenges in creating a diverse classroom are numerous. Let our Diversity Advisory Group help you address some of them.

The GMAC® Diversity Advisory Group works to identify best practices, tools and resources for increasing the pipeline and enhancing the recruitment and retention of under-represented US minorities. The Diversity Advisory Group suggests the following best practices when targeting diverse groups (for other perspectives, download the Diversity Net Resource Guide):

Think broadly. Diversity is about reaching out to underserved groups, but the principle of inclusion can also be defined more expansively. Many campuses have found that a broader way of thinking about diversity, beyond women or underrepresented minorities, can be more productive than a scope that is too narrow. Consider that factors related to diversity and inclusion intersect in some way with virtually every aspect of university life and culture.

Find the right creative and marketing talent. Creating the right messaging for diversity is critical. Whether you are working with in-house staff or outside resources, make sure that writers, designers, and agencies fully understand the nuances of diversity and inclusion. Make sure they also have in-depth knowledge about the diverse markets you want to reach and that your print and web communication reflect those markets.

Recruit at the grass-roots level. Despite the potential of broadcasting your message widely—in an advertising campaign, for example—experience at many schools shows that, often, traditional marketing goes only so far. You will definitely want to consider grass roots marketing—doing your outreach through community connections, word of mouth and local partnerships.

Go where the candidates are. Don’t be afraid to reach out to undergraduate fraternities and sororities, especially the traditional Greek lettered organizations of African and Hispanic Americans. Explore partnerships with Historically Black and Hispanic Colleges and Universities.

Nurture current student relationships. Your connection with students you have successfully recruited doesn’t end with orientation. Check back often with current students to make sure they are doing well. If necessary, assist them in plugging into support networks that can help ensure their success. Solicit their opinions and recommendations for enhancing the recruitment and student experience for their “unique” group. Use them as Ambassadors. These students will be a KEY resource to helping you recruit the next generation of MBAs. Make sure you engage them in your recruitment efforts while on campus, and also as alumni.

Extend your reach. Your school’s graduates can be an extraordinarily powerful and persuasive network to help you recruit prospective students. You will find that your alumni have ties to every aspect of the community—businesses, schools, churches, NGOs, government, and beyond. Don’t be afraid to tap into this power base. Alumni are often extremely enthusiastic about contributing- whether you seek financial support, help gaining access to key people or organizations, channels to connect with students, or assistance in other ways. You may even want to create an alumni advisory group that can help you generate ideas and gain support among alumni.

Measure success. Statistical metrics can provide leverage with administrators, so remember to embed appropriate metrics in your strategy. When you write your recruiting plan for diversity, delineate what success would look like for each goal. Those benchmarks give you a framework for measuring progress.  You should also benchmark against national data and other relevant measures. For example, you can analyze your enrollment numbers by comparing your program’s experience for a given year to the number of diverse test takers that GMAC reports for the same year.

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