Minding the Gap: Creating Success for Underrepresented Populations in Maritime Education

By Elaine Kociolek and Vivienne McClendon.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The California Maritime Academy is a specialized campus of the California State University (CSU). While CSU has become increasingly diverse, the student population of the academy looks much as it did forty years ago. Women and students of color retain at lower rates than their majority counterparts, and they are less likely to report a sense of connection to the campus community. The academy’s Center for Engagement, Teaching, and Learning has created a model designed to empower underrepresented students, engage them as members of learning communities, and educate the on-campus community about issues of diversity. Two pillars of the model are the Leading Lights Mentoring Continuum, a learning community through which underrepresented students both mentor at-risk youth and are mentored by industry professionals, and the Pearls of Power initiative, which provides opportunities for female students to receive guidance and build community throughout the academic year, culminating with an annual conference. Students have reported that these programs have improved civic engagement and had a positive impact on their experiences at the academy. Collaboration across the CSU system will allow for future program expansion.

Keywords: Inclusive Education, High-Impact Practices, Women in Male-Dominated Institutions

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 14, Issue 1, December 2014, pp.17-29. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 238.501KB).

Elaine Kociolek

Early Assessment Coordinator, Center for Engagement, Teaching, and Learning, California State University Maritime Academy, Vallejo, CA, USA

Dr. Vivienne McClendon

Director, Center for Engagement, Teaching, and Learning, California State University Maritime Academy, Vallejo, CA, USA