Students benefit from education that centers community, diversity – UC Berkeley

by | Nov 9, 2022 | Education

In Tuesday’s Campus Conversation, two UC Berkeley vice provosts discussed the importance of building community outside of academic departments and improving overall support for public education. (UC Berkeley video)

The pandemic magnified the profound inequities existing for students on college campuses across the country and forced educators to adjust to daily challenges that may have long-standing impacts on students, staff and faculty.
Ever since March 2020, when COVID-19 prompted the campus to end in-person instruction, UC Berkeley leaders have learned from students’ hardships, and say they hope to build a stronger and more diverse community that represents their mission for this public institution — to “help people achieve their dreams.” 
“I think community is core to all educational spaces to be successful,” said Berkeley’s Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division Lisa García Bedolla. “There are amazing things happening across campus, and often the difficulty is not knowing about all of it.
“So, we’re trying to facilitate those connections so people can find multiple spaces where they can explore different aspects of themselves, and experience the full breadth and depth of the university.”
On Tuesday (Nov. 8), during Berkeley’s third Campus Conversations event of the semester, García Bedolla and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Oliver O’Reilly discussed the different ways the pandemic has changed Berkeley’s approach to supporting student success. 
While the campus community has worked in a synergistic way to address students’ basic needs and access to technology during the pandemic, O’Reilly said, on a campus that offers nearly 6,000 courses per semester, the way Berkeley manages and advertises its curriculum and resources needs to change. 
O’ …

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