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Museus, S. D., & Jayakumar, U. M. (Eds.). (2012). Creating campus cultures: Fostering success among racially diverse student populations. Routledge.

Review by: Wency Priel Villamora, Academic Advisor, Academic Support Center, American University of Sharjah, wvillamora@aus.edu

          

In Creating Campus Cultures: Fostering Success among Racially Diverse Student Populations, Museus and Jayakumar (2012) offers insights into the significance of campus cultures in shaping the experiences and outcomes of a progressively diverse college student populations. Carefully organized and divided into ten chapters, this anthology provides contributions from authors in disparate fields, including but not limited to students’ diversity, social justice and equity within the higher education system. A university’s culture nurtures ideals, beliefs, and assumptions whose principal emphasis is to validate and generate impartial conclusions among undergraduate students from varied upbringings and as a result promote their triumph. Most institutions focus on campus climate as a way of gauging the nature of their culture and its impacts on students’ experience within the learning environments. However, changes in the climate alone do not guarantee a deep and complete institutional transformation. Colleges and universities seek to move beyond the racial climates by creating campus cultures, which addresses the institutionally rooted hindrances educators face as they attempt to change deep-rooted institutional cultures to meet students’ needs. Museus and Jayakumar concentrate on factors that create a favorable environment for triumph: the voice of students, and application of frameworks. Other elements include applicable experiences and new research. Creating Campus Cultures’ main goal is to assist student affairs and higher education practitioners to deliver applied guidance regarding success among racial minority learners and at the same time endorse long-term, all-inclusive modification.      

Creating Campus Cultures presents an outline of the features that create an engaging campus culture. The book explicitly concentrates on the role of campus cultures in shaping the understandings of racially diverse student populations. Campus learners often suffer huge differences in degree attainment and these disparities represent an urgent challenge, which demands an immediate attention from higher education practitioners and policymakers. Creating Campus Cultures can be helpful to advisors as they can gain a better understanding of various approaches for enacting concrete, evidence-based practices to promote equity regardless of the racial background of a student.           

One of the key strengths Musues and Jayakumar (2012) presents is challenging staff, faculty, and administrators to examine and re-examine their responsibilities in the creation of campus culture. Most stakeholders struggle to create a conducive environment for an honest discussion regarding the realities of students of color within the higher education system. Creating Campus Cultures offers guidance in regards to personal prejudice assumed by persons, which limit the empowerment of minority groups by individuals ignorant of their responsibility as architects of comfortable space. For example, when a student experience cultural dissonance, advisors must exhibit cultural competencies in order to facilitate meaningful racial dialog. Without clear understanding of those differing beliefs, values, and perceptions, advisors may unknowingly conform to personal bias and succumb to cultural stereotypes. According to Museus & Jayakumar (2012), the idea is that students problem are often multifaceted and only those educators who consider multiple aspects of students’ lives can more effectively address their needs or connect them with appropriate services (p 19). A second key strength is the comprehensive information presented in the introduction. Academic institutional matters, as well as racial and ethnic disparities are discussed in detail. The book offers a better understanding of the intricacies of campus climate and culture and the narratives linked with creating equity for students of color. The key weakness of Creating Campus Cultures is that it does not provide a detailed description of various cases that illustrate inequity towards the student of color. It should offer more details by comparing the two groups and providing practical case example.   

NACADA core values of academic advising include caring, commitment, empowerment, inclusivity, integrity, professionalism, and respect (NACADA, 2017).  Museus & Jayakumar (2012) emphasize the importance of fully empowering marginalized groups by creating a comfortable environment for all. Additionally, administrators of universities should focus on the concepts of cultural integrity and integration and advise on how to illustrate the potential impacts of ethnic subcultures on campus. Cultural integrity influences institutions’ role in shaping students’ academic success or failure by engaging diverse student backgrounds (NACADA, 2017). The NACADA academic advising core competencies model identifies the broad range of understanding, knowledge, and skills, which support academic advising, promote advising to learner development and success, and guide professional development (NACADA, 2017). For example, Museus & Jayakumar (2012) note that staff and faculty play an important role in offering academic advising, which facilitates professional and personal development. Also, Musues and Jayakumar (2012)  share challenges to effective advising, which entails the creation of a network of coordinated advising centers that rely on the experience and expertise of professional and faculty advisors. Reading the book is of value for an advisor’s time considering the insight it offers in regards to advising and promoting equity among students irrespective of their ethnic background.

 In summary, Creating Campus Cultures: Fostering Success among Racially Diverse Student Populations provides a strategy for empowering marginalized students. The book is a compilation of numerous methods for creating appealing campus values. It applies different aspects of the core values of academic advising. These core values include cultural integrity and empowerment. The text is well-structured and detailed on matters that pertain to equity in colleges and universities irrespective of a learner’s ethnic background. The authors identify the need for higher education institutions to move beyond the racial climates through the creation of conducive campus cultures to address institutionally rooted hindrances faced by administrators and education practitioners.  

 

References

Museus, S. D., & Jayakumar, U. M. (Eds.). (2012). Creating campus cultures: Fostering success among racially diverse student populations. Routledge.

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2017). NACADA academic advising core competencies model. Retrieved from https://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Pillars/CoreCompetencies.aspx

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2017). NACADA core values of academic advising. Retrieved from https://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Pillars/CoreValues.aspx

 

 

 

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