Cultural & Linguistic Competence - IHE

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Higher Education

Institutions of higher education (IHEs) can honor college students’ identities, communicate in ways that make sense to them, and support and promote equitable policies and practices.

Acknowledging and respecting cultural, linguistic, and community identities of students and their families can help optimize educational experiences and attainment for students of all backgrounds. IHEs can bring awareness of diverse cultural identities and an understanding about differences among students to create culturally responsive learning environments. Institutional policies can explicitly build in supports and practices that seek to eliminate disparities and barriers that students may face related to their cultural identities.

Featured Resources

Advancing What Works

This compilation identifies evidence-based programs at the forefront of improving higher educational achievement for Latinos. These programs emphasize cultural responsiveness and take asset-based approaches to intentionally serving Latinos, as well as other post-traditional students, in five key areas.

Race and Economic Mobility

Our latest brief examines economic outcomes for students who complete their degrees at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The analysis finds that graduates from HSIs have similar wages and earnings premiums to their peers at other institutions, despite decades of underinvestment from state and federal policymakers. However, borrowers from HSIs owe an average of 80% of their loan balance, while non-HSI borrowers owe just 69%.

Truths About DEI on College Campuses

The USC Race and Equity Center released a new report in response to politicized attacks on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in higher education. Truths About DEI on College Campuses: Evidence-Based Expert Responses to Politicized Misinformation, the 62-page document, was produced by Shaun Harper, our center’s founder and executive director.

Advancing Black Student Success and Elevating Black Excellence in the California State University: A Call to Action

In fall 2022, Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester charged the CSU leadership to redouble efforts in supporting and advancing Black student success. A strategic workgroup developed both an approach that centered the student experience and voice as well as recommendations that challenge the CSU to think broadly and act boldly. The resulting report articulates 13 systemwide recommendations designed to catalyze the cultural change urgently needed to advance Black student success and create a potential model for other institutions of higher education.

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The contents of the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Web site were assembled under contracts from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools to the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Contract Number  91990021A0020.

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