James Madison University

Diversity Statement

The faculty, students, and staff in the Counseling Programs at James Madison University believe that cultural diversity enriches the learning community and is an essential component of meaningful and relevant educational experiences. Cultural diversity is an evolving concept that includes, but is not limited to, differences based on:

  • Physical ability
  • Age
  • Class
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation.

To maintain a learning community that supports and affirms cultural diversity, we invite you to join the faculty, staff, and other students to:

  • Work to establish an environment of mutual respect, relying on an open exchange of ideas, perspectives, and worldviews. We invite you to engage with us in constructive dialogues regarding the program and curriculum.
  • Participate in curricula that include contributions from diverse individuals and that acknowledge the unique characteristics and needs of culturally diverse populations. Faculty members evaluate their course texts and resources each semester to ensure materials adequately address diversity-related concerns.
  • Ensure that the learning environment is free from harassment and discrimination, such as racism, sexism and homophobia. Your faculty advisor is prepared to work as an ally and advocate for you whenever necessary.
  • Use appropriate support services to realize your potential. Support services include the Counseling and Student Development Center, Center for Multicultural/International Student Services, Women's Resource Center, Reading and Writing Labs, Disability Services, and Student Health Center.
  • Help recruit and retain students, staff, and faculty who are members of underrepresented or marginalized groups. For example, we recruit candidates for faculty positions by advertising for those positions in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education and sending recruitment letters to historically Black institutions in the Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C. area. We also work with the Department of Graduate Psychology Diversity Committee to host the diversity reception each fall, with the intent of assisting minority students and faculty in finding mentors and making connections in the JMU and Harrisonburg community. With the assistance of the Director of the Center for Multicultural/International Student Services, we work to recruit more ethnically diverse students by providing information about the Counseling program to minority undergraduate students at JMU.
  • Share our statement with prospective students in admissions and website materials as well as during screening days.
  • Evaluate coursework and classroom activities in terms of the goals and ideals of the diversity policy.
  • Encourage faculty, students, and staff to take part in the activities sponsored by the Department of Graduate Psychology Diversity Committee and other relevant campus organizations.
  • Include diversity-related competencies in your professional portfolio.
  • Consider how aspects of the diversity policy are incorporated in non-classroom activities, such as in assistantship, practicum, and internship experiences.
  • As you participate in our ongoing program evaluation, make sure to include the diversity policy as a point of discussion.