Allen College Growing More Diverse

February 20, 2011

WATERLOO, IOWA—Allen College is an increasingly diverse institution.  According to the College’s chancellor, Dr. Jerry Durham, Allen College enrolled greater numbers of minority and international students than at any  time in its history.   Thirty minority students enrolled at Allen College in the spring 2011 semester, almost twice the number of minority students enrolled at the College in 2009-10.   Twelve international students from 10 countries-- Zambia, Tanzania, Sudan, China, Korea, the Philippines, Jordan, Bosnia, Russia, and Canada -- also enrolled at Allen College in the spring term.  Allen College’s May 2011 commencement will mark the first time the institution has graduated an international student.

Allen College has been implementing a plan for the past three years aimed at recruiting and retaining greater numbers of students historically underrepresented at the College and in nursing and allied health professions.  Durham, noting that about 90% of Allen’s students are enrolled in one of the College’s nursing programs, pointed out that minorities comprised about 35% of the U.S. population in 2010 but minorities were only 16.8% of the registered nurse workforce in 2008.  He also noted that minority students currently comprise more than 26% of enrollment in this nation’s entry level Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs; however, in Iowa, according to a report from the state’s Center for Health Workforce Planning,  minorities make up just over 2% of the RN population even though they account for 6.1% of Iowa’s total population.  Durham also noted that minorities comprise an estimated 11.5% of Black Hawk County’s population and 18.4% of the population of Waterloo where Allen College is located.

Durham attributed Allen College’s growing diversity to a number of factors, including outreach efforts by the College’s Office of Diversity Services; the formation of a Diversity Advisory Council to assist the College in becoming more diverse; and a strategic plan that makes diversity a key goal of the College.  According to Durham, as the nation becomes increasing diverse over the next two decades, colleges  and universities producing graduates for the health care workforce must work harder to recruit and retain students who are currently underrepresented in that workforce.  He congratulated the College’s faculty and staff for their success in helping Allen College to become more diverse, but also challenged them to take additional steps to build on this success. 

SEO Iowa