Wayne State University

Dealing with a diverse student body

  • Become aware of your own cultural values and beliefs and recognize how they influence your attitudes and behaviors.
  • Become aware of the cultural values and beliefs of others and understand how they influence their attitudes and behaviors.
  • Avoid stereotyping.
  • View each student as an individual, rather than as a representative of a particular culture or country.
  • Appreciate students' value systems and help them understand the learning community and its values.
  • Understand that nonverbal behaviors are not universal in meaning--eye contact, gestures, body positions, space. Do not let varying styles of communication interfere with having a meaningful advising session.
  • Be a good listener and try to understand what students are asking. To improve communication, rephrase their remarks to verify your interpretation.
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    This requires
    • openness to change;
    • acknowledgment of diversity;
    • knowing and respecting the norms of other groups;
    • understanding and accepting those differences;
    • the ability to be nonjudgmental and inclusive.
    Samovar, Larry and Porter, Richard. Communication between Cultures, Chap. 10; 1991 edition, published by Wadsworth Publishing, Belmont, California.