Diversity

Definition of Diversity

"Diversity at Frederick Community College encompasses respecting and valuing the wide range of cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds, human conditions and beliefs of our students, faculty, staff, and community. Respect for diversity is essential to building community out of our human differences and similarities."

The Office of Diversity provides leadership in the development and maintenance of proactive, campus-wide diversity initiatives and practices that enhance the College community's appreciation for the many dimensions of diversity, promote faculty, staff and student achievement of cultural competence, and support the College's commitment to equal access and opportunity for all.

Diversity Office History

The mission of Frederick Community College is to "prepare students to meet the challenges of a diverse, global society through quality, accessible, innovative, lifelong education. We are a student-centered, community focused college. FCC offers degrees, certificates, and programs for workforce preparation, transfer, and personal enrichment to enhance the quality of life and economic development of our area." The College Strategic Plan, its Vision and Directions flow from the Mission statement. FCC made diversity a college priority, developed a diversity program, hired a Director of Diversity, and has assumed a leadership role in the community related to diversity issues.

A brief chronology follows:

In 1986,
the Middle States site team visiting Frederick Community College stated in their report: "An Affirmative Action Committee needs to be appointed and charged with updating the plan for approval by the President and the Board of Trustees… Given an institutional commitment to internal promotion and affirmative action, the selection process for part-time employees needs review."

In 1996,
the college identified a Director of Diversity as the first priority for a new campus position, and the visiting site team for the next Middle States Accreditation reported: "The College has an affirmative action plan, and it has succeeded in increasing the proportion of female employees but not the percentage of minorities.....Energetic and creative efforts should be seriously considered in improving the percentage of minority employees, particularly among the faculty and administrative staff.....New practices and procedures may have to be employed that can have a measurable impact."

In 1997-1998,
a Faculty Taskforce was appointed and submitted recommendations addressing full and adjunct faculty staffing from a diversity point of view.

In January of 1998,
a new President, with a suitable background in diversity, was appointed by the Board of Trustees and charged with meeting their priority of addressing diversity in light of both the recent accreditation report citation, and on-going changes in the community served by FCC.

The college, also in 1998, approved a definition of diversity, formulated in the span of a year, that all could embrace. That definition is, "Diversity at Frederick Community College encompasses respecting and valuing the wide range of cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds, human conditions and beliefs of our students, faculty, staff, and community. Respect for diversity is essential to building community out of our human differences and similarities."

By spring of 1998,
the Campus Affirmative Action Committee broadened their role to become the Campus Diversity Committee. The new President convened a Community Advisory Committee for Diversity, responding to the one recommendation from the faculty task force that could be accomplished immediately. These community representatives provided input related to diversity for the college "Visioning Day," the first step in development of a College Strategic Plan.

In the fall of 1998,
the College Strategic Plan was completed and approved by the Board of Trustees as the "ends" (or outcomes), according to the language of policy governance, that they wanted the college to achieve. The Vision Statement "To be Frederick County's premier learning community for quality, accessible, innovative, lifelong education," led to an emphasis on diversity in the plan's Directions and Objectives.

By spring 1999,
the search for a Director of Diversity began, in order to address the Strategic Plan' s diversity emphasis. The first search was not successful as the selected candidate chose not to accept the employment offer. The job description and title were revised, and the campus hired a consultant to move forward on diversity. Planning continued with college and community committees as well as campus focus groups while a second search for a Director of Diversity was conducted.

In January of 2000,
a Director of Diversity, who reports directly to the President, was hired. The new Director used the extensive input collected by the consultant from campus focus groups, community contacts and expert observations (A Diversity Strategy for the 21st Century: Proposed Diversity Strategic Implementation Plan, developed by AHG & Associates, LLC) to develop a Diversity Implementation Plan which supports the College Strategic Plan. This implementation plan was reviewed and formally approved by campus affinity groups for faculty, administrative and support staff (Affinity groups represent the faculty, staff, and administrators regarding welfare issues). It was then presented to the Board of Trustees.

In late spring/summer of 2000,
the implementation of the Diversity Plan strategies began after many years of discussion and development.

Contact Information

Thanh Thanh Saint-Johns
Diversity Assistant
301.624.2834

FCC Campus