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 AACC Position Statement on Inclusion 

3/31/2001

Community colleges provide access to a broad spectrum of quality educational opportunities and life experiences.  The colleges value diversity as an enhancement of those experiences, in their classrooms, administrative offices, and board rooms.  They are committed to policies that promote fairness and inclusion for all in the life of the college.  As a reflection of the colleges' commitment, the American Association of Community Colleges strives to promote fairness and inclusion in its own policies and practices and urges its members to make these qualities a major emphasis of their mission.    

AACC strongly endorses the continued use of admissions policies and employment practices that promote broad diversity in community colleges. 

The colleges should be free to pursue standards and policies that allow them to fulfill their diversity missions and visions.  The students they educate will help provide tomorrow's leaders, and their college experience must demonstrate the richness and substance of our diverse, multi-cultural and global environment.  The college environment should promote understanding and appreciation of others, while encouraging students to grow as individuals.   

AACC re-affirms its commitment to diversity 

In accord with this philosophy, the Association encourages community colleges to evaluate their hiring, admissions, and financial aid policies to ensure diversity and equal access within their institutions.  The colleges should ensure that the results of these evaluations conform to the concept of open access -- the cornerstone of the community college mission.

AACC believes that diversity is crucial to a democratic society. 

Community colleges are, in effect, microcosms of our greater society.  As such, they should encourage and enhance the fullest understanding of human rights and responsibilities and should teach the skills that allow their students to effectively participate in a democratic society.  The colleges should be responsible for shaping an environment that mirrors the general cultural and creates opportunities for all within the college community to interact with understanding, tolerance, and respect for others.  In this way, diversity in education not only serves as a model for the world at large, but it also helps perpetuate social harmony for the future. 

AACC strongly endorses the adoption of policies and procedures designed to counteract and prevent hate crimes.  

Hate crimes, are defined herein as crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or ethnicity, including where appropriate, the crimes of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, arson, and destruction, damage or vandalism of property.  AACC, furthermore, endorses the systematic reporting of hate crimes by institutions, in order to encourage the implementation of effective intervention measures that will serve to address these challenges on our campuses.  Community awareness and education strategies are additional byproducts of all these efforts. 

Adopted April 1997 and Amended by the Board of Directors April 2001

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