CSI’s Low Student Success Rates Can Be Tied to Minimal Faculty Diversity

To mirror the diversity of CSI’s student population and promote an inclusive atmosphere, CSI must prioritize diversity among its faculty.

By Shanice Duncan

Being a Black student at the predominantly White College of Staten Island has led me to feel isolated and unsupported—contrasting with the diverse representation and advocacy at my previous CUNY school.

As a student at the College of Staten Island, I have observed a lack of support and familiarity for minority students, which contrasts with my experience at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). 

Online tools for self-advisement and scheduling can create confusion for students, particularly for those without access to proper guidance. 

I believe it is crucial for minority students, like me as a Black/POC female psychology major, to have a permanent and accessible place on campus for support. This could represent a positive change for CSI.

The importance of diverse faculty representation cannot be overstated as it can greatly improve student success, morale, confidence, and grades while positively revising the image of CSI. 

Since CSI has a low graduation rate of 49% and low rankings, according to US News, I wonder if increasing diversity among faculty could improve student achievement and academic program completion. 

The current bi-weekly meetings in temporary student organization rooms are not enough to address the issue. Person of Color student organizations could be more active to increase club membership and student morale.

According to J. Luke Wood, Chief Diversity Officer, and professor of Education at San Diego State University, “most institutions have not made any meaningful progress toward diversity, equity and inclusion” among faculty. 

In contrast, studies, particularly those conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, have shown that a diversified college environment, including a diverse faculty, can greatly benefit students. 

The lack of diverse faculty representation at CSI may contribute to the low graduation rate and school ranking. More needs to be done to increase diversity among faculty to better support students at CSI.

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