Multicultural Student Services on Campus: Building Bridges, Re-visioning Community

Front Cover
Dafina Lazarus Stewart
Stylus Publishing, LLC., Feb 27, 2012 - Education - 288 pages
For new professionals in multicultural student services (MSS), this book constitutes a thorough introduction to the structure, organization, and scope of the services and educational mission of these units. For senior practitioners it offers insights for re-evaluating their strategies, and inspiration to explore new possibilities.

The book discusses the history and philosophy of MSS units; describes their operation; asserts the need for integration and coherence across the multiple facets of their work and how their role is influenced by the character and type of their institutions; and considers the challenges and opportunities ahead.

The theme Building Bridges, Re-Visioning Community reflects the dual role of MSS. They “build bridges” between underrepresented student populations and the broader institutional environment, between different groups of student populations, and across differences in cultural values and traditions. At a time of increasing diversity on campus, their role is also to champion the “re-visioning” or redefinition of what constitutes community in higher education – in other words to reach beyond serving their traditional constituencies to educate for multicultural competence, and advocate for social justice across the campus commons.

This book is organized in four sections moving the reader from the past to the present to the future, and from a service mission to an educational one. Part One reviews the purposes for which MSS were created, and the evolution of their vision, concluding an overview of how units perceive their needs and challenges today.

Part Two addresses a range of issues – such as race/ethnicity, sexual orientation / gender identity, and religion/faith diversity – commonly addressed by MSS, and, in recognizing the tensions inherent in serving such disparate constituencies, advances ideas for bringing greater integration and coherence to their work.

Part Three considers how institutional context influences the structure and organization of MSS, and addresses such questions as: Who are they serving? What kind of support services and educational programming can they provide? How broadly or narrowly should they define their role, and can they extend their influence through alliances with other campus units?

The book concludes by looking at how MSS can re-vision community to ensure their continued relevance to the college or university community.

An ACPA Publication

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Introduction Building Bridges ReVisioning Community
1 Remembering Our Past to Shape Our Future
2 Historical and Philosophical Development of Multicultural Student Services
3 A Demographic Profile of Multicultural Student Services
Part Two Multicultural Student Services Affirming and Integrating Diversity
4 Engaging Race in Multicultural Student Services
5 Engaging Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity in Multicultural Student Services
6 Engaging Religious and Faith Diversity in Multicultural Student Services
11 Multicultural Student Services at MinorityServing Institutions Historically Black Institutions
12 Multicultural Student Services a tMinorityServing Institutions Tribal Colleges
Part Four Building Bridges
13 Negotiating Purpose and Context
14 Developing Collaborations Within Student Affairs
15 Developing Collaborations With Academic Affairs
16 Working With the Majority
17 Preparing Diversity Change Leaders

7 Bridging Integrated Identities to Integrated Services
Part Three Diverse Contexts Similar Goals
8 Multicultural Student Services at Private Liberal Arts Colleges
9 Multicultural Student Services at Public Institutions
10 Multicultural Student Services at Community Colleges
18 Multicultural Competence and Social Justice Advocacy
19 Conclusion ReVisioning the Future of Multicultural Student Services
About the Editor

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Dafina Lazarus Stewart is Associate Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University. Prior to her faculty career, Dr. Stewart served briefly at Kenyon College in multicultural affairs, collaborating with other multicultural affairs professionals at other small, private colleges across the state. Her research and writing about issues of diversity, multiculturalism, and the identity and experiences of African American college students has appeared in the field’s most prestigious publication outlets, including the Journal of Higher Education, the Journal of College Student Development, and About Campus.

Bibliographic information