As we work to diversify our student body, we need to reflect and adapt commonplace practices to be inclusive of the needs of students from different backgrounds. Today’s Roundup features a study of stresses related to self-beliefs, ethnic identity, and cultural congruency experienced by Native American undergraduates and how we might adapt to better support these students. Among the changes suggested to better support these students are increased access to advising, mentoring by older students, and encouraging joining clubs and other social groups. In the classroom, we can support Native American students by creating improved cultural understanding, a collaborative learning environment, and a communal rather than competitive environment in which students are evaluated on information mastery rather than relative grading dependent upon peer performance. This shift to a “learning community” benefits all students and reduces feelings of isolation and stress, which leads to better outcomes for everyone.
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