Student Diversity Increased by 13 Percent at OHIO’s Patton School of Education

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ATHENS, Oh., Jan. 28, 2016 – Diversity among the student population at Ohio University’s Patton School of Education grew in double-digits since 2011 due to an ambitious campaign by school administrators.

In the 2015-2016 school year, 16 percent of Patton College students are minorities (up from 13 percent in 2011), including 10 percent of undergraduate students (up from 8 percent) and 28 percent of graduate students (up from 21 percent).

“My focus has been on recruiting African American students since our numbers have been low historically,” said Dr. Mona Robinson, associate professor and chair of the Counseling and Higher Education program. “We live in a diverse society, and it's important for our faculty and student-body composition to be reflective of society. Our students benefit by learning in a diverse environment, and they are able to more effectively serve in their communities and globally.”

Attracting minority students was the first step in The Patton’s School’s campaign to increase a diverse study body. The second step will be to retain those students by making them feel welcome once they arrive on campus.

Student Jessica Henry from Cleveland, Ohio said, “I am not sure if I would have been able to complete the program without the support of my fellow classmates and the guidance of the faculty who took the time to mentor me. As soon as I got here, I was immediately connected to faculty who cared about me.”

Student recruiting outside of the United States helped the growth of student diversity, as well. Dr. Mijeong Noh, chair of the Human and Consumer Sciences Department, specifically markets to minority and international students as much as possible. 

“Cultivating global leaders is only possible when we immerse our students in diverse learning environments and thus introduce them to new opportunities and experiences,” said Noh.

“We strive to provide opportunities for our students to be exposed to the diverse populations that they will work with upon graduation,” said Dr. Beth VanDerveer, chair of Recreation and Sport Pedagogy department. “Students are better prepared to work with others and achieve better outcomes for all groups.

Contact: Kimberly Barlag, Patton School of Education communication & design specialist, barlagk@ohio.edu or 740.593.9586.