2023 Student Listening Session Information

In 2023, several YVC staff and faculty members conducted a series of one-on-one student listening sessions, focused on students’ experiences and perceptions of diversity, equity, and inclusion at YVC. The team received a total of 102 entries, from students attending the Yakima or Grandview campuses, responding to the following questions:

  1. From your perspective, in what ways does YVC support a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion?
  2. If you are comfortable sharing, in what ways have you witnessed or experienced prejudice or discrimination at YVC?
  3. What should the college do to improve the climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion at YVC?
  4. To what degree do you agree that your YVC courses provide opportunities for you to learn about cultures, backgrounds, and experiences different from your own?
  5. To what degree do you agree with the statement, “I feel a sense of community at YVC.”?

The team collected no identifying information from students so that they would feel completely comfortable regarding their anonymity.

In general, students feel a sense of community at YVC, and that the college supports and contributes to a diverse and inclusive environment. They refer to the college as a diverse campus, one that is an open and welcoming place, with considerable support for students that is manifested in a variety of ways. While the majority of students reported that they had not experienced or observed an instance of prejudice or discrimination, those who did share such experiences or observations noted those primarily in relation to language, disabilities, and age.

Responses to both the open-ended and multiple-choice questions indicate that the majority of students believe they have opportunities to learn about cultures and experiences that differ from their own at celebrations and events, in clubs and in their courses. But they also suggested that the number and variety of these opportunities should be increased. The students identified a variety of ways for the institution to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment (which are noted below). These are, by far, suggestions to expand or increase the positive things the college is already doing to support DEI.

Survey Results

Two presenters pose for image with YVC Professor in front of the podium at a diversity event.

Things YVC Is Doing Well:

  • On-campus events celebrating different cultures
  • Student clubs: these are important for inclusion
  • Programs and support services like TRIO and CAMP
  • Even if students witness/experience prejudice or discrimination in Yakima and broader community, they have not seen as much at YVC
  • Displays and art that celebrate cultural events and perspectives
  • Courses that teach different cultures and histories (Chicano/a Studies mentioned, specifically)
  • Providing some language accommodations and translators
  • Efforts by some faculty and staff to ask students for their pronouns
  • Diversity in student body: different cultures and age groups – everyone is welcoming

 

YVC student speaks into microphone while addressing conference at YVC.

Areas of Growth for YVC:

  • Some students felt only Hispanic and Black experiences were acknowledged
  • Difficulty in reaching Disability Services when additional support was needed beyond the initial accommodations
  • Need a broader range of courses offered on different cultures or histories
  • Flyers/promo materials are not always translated into Spanish
  • Students need a mental health clinic or center on campus
  • Some students observed discrimination in classes of Running Start students and/or older students
  • Increase sense of belonging in classes and at YVC, in general
  • Advertising: more visibility of DEI activities, resources, celebrations, and anti-bullying policies

95%

Survey respondents that saw YVC as a place that provided opportunities to learn about cultures, backgrounds, and experiences of students different from them.

96%


Survey respondents that felt a sense of community at YVC.

Group of YVC students work on group project during YVC class.

Student Recommendations:

  • Create more opportunities for students to learn and experience different cultures
  • Increase diversity in staff and faculty
  • Improve communication and advertising of available resources and programs
  • Provide scholarships that support students with variety of backgrounds
  • Support/expand student clubs (i.e., LGBTQ and different ethnicities)
  • Offer DEI-focused classes for electives
  • Hire more diverse professors who better reflect student body and community
  • Offer student support resources that are available for more hours and increase advertising about what is available and when available
  • Increase physical accommodations for students with disabilities (i.e., elevators, pathways, etc.)
  • Expand language accommodations and translators available
  • Offer more classes/lessons within classes that cover a broader range of cultures and histories
  • Make efforts to include/recognize ALL students (i.e., ask students for their pronouns)
  • Increase celebrations of different cultures and events to promote inclusion
  • Improve financial aid resources and support for students
VYC staff member works with group of students at a YVC event.

DEI-Related Changes or New Implementations at YVC: (in no particular order)

  • Workforce Diversity work group to address need for diversified faculty and staff
  • Student Engagement work group creating more opportunities for students and employees to connect (Yak Nights)
  • Expansion of American Indian/Indigenous Studies courses and transfer articulation agreement with UW (in process)
  • Professional development for faculty on Universal Design and implementation into various courses to increase equitable learning in the classroom
  • Math sequence redesign for equitable access and success of underrepresented and minoritized students
  • Financial Literacy workshops, events, and other opportunities for students at Yakima and GV campuses
  • Increase in financial aid workshops for families in Yakima and Grandview
  • Increase in on-campus cultural events for students through Diversity Series
  • Hiring of full-time Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Expanded student listening sessions to include both campuses, learning centers, and students in daytime and evening classes/programs and in English and Spanish