Texas Woman’s University’s diversity continues to rise and is now nationally ranked for its distinct student body.
Every year U.S. News ranks universities on their ethnic diversity rates. The rankings are on a 0 to 1 scale, so the higher the diversity, the closer to 1 the ranking is. Their conclusions are based on non-Hispanic African American, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian, Asian, non-Hispanic white, and mixed race.
TWU is a primarily minority serving institution with 57.9% of its student body being ethnic minorities. Of that percentage, 27% of students are Hispanic, 18% are Black and about 10% are Asian. The federal government also designates TWU as a Hispanic-serving institution.
“All students like to come to campus and see themselves represented in the student body, the other thing is that our students think that diversity is important at the university,” vice president of student life at TWU Dr. Mendez-Grant said. “They think it prepares them to work in a variety of settings.”
With the record diversity comes the task of truly representing the needs of a diverse student body. Mendez-Grant has been vocal about steps taken to include students in TWU’s decision making, such as efforts by different offices across campus to survey students on their input on various topics. She mentioned a campus climate survey that is taking students’ recommendations into consideration for the upcoming school year. She also touched on the work being done by her team at the office for Student Life, exploring ways to improve the culture at TWU in order to make it meaningful for students.
“Our students define what they want in this community and what their experiences are going to be,” Mendez-Grant said, “and that is something that our students have always reported that they value, the diverse student body and inclusion.”
Additionally, TWU was also ranked among the top 15% of nationally recognized universities with high social mobility. Social mobility is measured by the success of the school’s graduates who received Federal Pell Grants. Mendez-Grant describes high social mobility as one of TWU’s priorities.
TWU continues to expand its social mobility by supporting programs such as TRIO and the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence and encouraging conversations about student debt and financial aid, Mendez-Grant said.
“We really believe in access for all students,” Mendez-Grant said, “and then we also want to look into what kind of activities we can employ to ensure that when we’re looking at access and taking more Texans, and that they stay on track and ultimately graduate.”
Karyme Flores can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.