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Most of the current rhetoric regarding higher education's role in society emphasizes the need to prepare the workforce of the twenty-first century. That role is vitally important to colleges and universities, but there must be more to our missions than job and skills training: working together to support and sustain democracy.

Thirty-one colleges and universities are collaborating on the Leading for Change Racial Equity and Justice Institute. Their new handbook provides guidance on the tenets of racial equity in education, racially equitable data and assessment practices, examples of racially equitable student service reforms, and changes to campus policing practices that centralize racial justice.

As assessment methods evolve to become more complex and sophisticated, many colleges and universities struggle with converting all of their raw data into usable information. But this nexus of data and information is where institutional researchers live. This article explores several things to consider as you begin a partnership with the institutional researchers on your campus.

School districts in Iowa provide a Seal of Biliteracy that officially acknowledges K–12 students who attain proficiency in two or more languages (one of which is English) by their high school graduation. World language teachers in the Iowa City Community School District recognize that to truly be “biliterate,” students must go beyond language proficiency by gaining deeper skills and experiences such as intercultural knowledge and engaging with diverse communities to solve local and global issues.

It’s the responsibility of teachers and faculty members to be especially attentive to building a welcoming community among their students. Learning to use their names often and accurately is an important means for bolstering students’ sense of belonging.

Summer Immersion in the Liberal Arts, a summer “bridge” program designed to support student groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, helps new Vassar College students transition from high school, feel a sense of belonging at the college, and engage with the liberal arts.

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