SPUR 2022: A Scoping Review of Anti-Racism Training in Higher Education: Implications for Transforming Organizational Culture

Background

In the United States, higher education systems often fail to meet the needs of today’s diverse students and faculty. Students from historically underrepresented groups seeking higher education are more likely to experience poverty as well as housing and food insecurity (Diamond, & Stebleton, 2017;), potentially making opportunities for academic success more challenging. Furthermore, faculty from historically underrepresented groups commonly experience inequalities in work demands. For example, “the growing number of students of color and the continued underrepresentation of nonwhites as tenure-track faculty in higher education means that nonwhite faculty must respond to much greater student demands for mentoring, role modeling and counseling than their white colleagues do -- particularly around issues of race and racism on campuses " (Rucks-Ahidiana, 2019 p. 1). Although racial equity has finally entered the discourse in higher education, there has been little progress in developing and implementing sustainable anti-racist practices nationally that facilitate improved organizational outcomes for faculty and students of color as well as the preparation of all students to successfully interact in diverse workplaces and social settings. Organizational opportunities to facilitate anti-racism in higher education include inclusive curricula, faculty development protocols (hiring, retention, promotion and tenure, funding, pay equity, pedagogical strategies), and equity-minded student development strategies (recruitment, retention, scholarships/funding).

Student Role

Very little is currently known about how anti-racism trainings improve outcomes in higher education settings. A scoping review can be an effective strategy as its design represents a methodology that allows for assessment of emerging evidence. Further, scoping reviews represent a complex methodological approach. It is useful in mapping current evidence, identifying gaps in the literature and making important assessments about future research needs (Munn, 2018). The student selected to participate in the study will have the opportunity to garner research development and grant writing skills and serve as co-author for peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Research Skill Development:

Student will work closely with the faculty mentor in developing the skills to conduct a scoping review. These include:

  • Working with the mentor to detail inclusion and exclusion criteria for the study;
  • Conduct reference list scanning;
  • Conduct grey literature searching of unpublished studies in consultation with library staff;
  • Work with a small team of researchers under the leadership of the faculty mentor to screen titles and abstracts of the identified sources that meet inclusion criteria for the study; and
  • Keep a record of the characteristics of the included studies and the key information relevant to the research question(s) and stud.

Grant Writing and Publication Opportunities

  • Research grant writing opportunities and assist with grant writing regarding anti-racism training in higher education and other closely allied areas;
  • Research scope and focus of social work and higher education journals that potentially fit the research project;
  • Assist with writing up study results which could lead to co-authored publication.

Student Learning Outcomes & Benefits

Student Benefits

The student selected to participate in the study will have the opportunity to garner research development skills, professional development opportunities, grant writing skills as well as opportunities to submit co-authored publications in peer-reviewed social science journals.

Student Outcomes

  • Demonstrate increased confidence in their ability to conduct research, and to contribute to the knowledge base of social work, higher education and/or a similar field;
  • Develop collegial working relationship with a faculty member with over twenty years of teaching, research and mentoring experience;
  • Enhance written and oral communication and information retrieval skills;
  • Engage in and appreciate the importance of professional development.

Tiffany Baffour
Associate Professor

College of Social Work

I feel that mentoring students is an important aspect of my role as a faculty member. My mentoring philosophy asserts that mentoring a collaborative process where both the mentor and mentee can experience rewarding opportunities for growth and development through the professional relationship. Students can expect for me to serve as role model, advisor regarding professional development and career advancement as well as mentor in the development of important research and grant writing skills that can help further students’ preparation for Graduate School. I strive to set achievable expectations for students that will help them challenge themselves and realize their full potential. I also exhibit care, patience and concern about my students' overall well-being and encourage them to prioritize self-care and wellness. I also seek for the mentoring relationship to be a fun and fulfilling experience for students.

Mentoring activities will include:

  • Regularly scheduled meetings with mentor and mentee (planned for two one hour meetings per week)
  • Planned professional development activities developed for student (research training, workshops, webinars, etc.) developed collaboratively in consideration of student interests and mentor needs to achieve research goals
  • Regularly work with student to prepare presentation at SPUR Summer Symposium and publishing an abstract in the University of Utah Undergraduate Research Journal based on research project within the framework of assigned program deadlines.