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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the demographic makeup of Northwest’s faculty and senior leadership reflect its students of color?

Currently, our domestic underrepresented students represent 12 percent of the total student population at Northwest. Our underrepresented faculty represent 9.9 percent, while our staff represents 5.5 percent. Individually, these numbers do not reflect the demographic makeup of our Black students, but Northwest is working to address disparities in recruitment of Black faculty and staff, including publicizing job openings in more national publications and striving to be more competitive for underrepresented faculty and staff. It is our hope that we draw a more ethnically diverse candidate pool with the potential to recruit more candidates of color to Northwest.

How does Northwest mitigate bias in the classroom experience?

We have a fully anonymous online student course evaluation system that allows for student narrative comments. Those evaluations are reviewed by at least two levels of leadership each term.

We rigorously adhere to policies and procedures related to grade appeals and academic integrity. Whether those processes entail bias needs careful review.

How does Northwest assess the campus climate and students’ sense of belonging?

Northwest conducts campus climate surveys annually and has done so since 2010-2011. The campus climate survey is distributed to all underrepresented students on the campus and an equal amount of white students.

According to the results of the campus climate survey conducted during the 2019-2020 academic year, institutional sense of belonging and personal sense of belonging were two of the highest performing factors for domestic underrepresented students. Northwest will continue to conduct campus climate surveys annually to continue analyzing the overall campus climate and sense of belonging of our underrepresented students.  

Northwest also administers the Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction survey to first-time freshmen and juniors. The survey includes questions regarding campus climate. During the most recent Noel Levitz survey in 2019-2020, on questions about the “institution’s commitment to under-represented populations,” Northwest scored 72 percent and 74 percent satisfaction among juniors and freshmen, respectively, while nationally satisfaction was rated at 60 percent on the same questions. 

How can Northwest ensure that Black students receive the necessary support in advising, counseling and other student services?

Students are assigned a professional advisor as part of our holistic student success model for first-year students. As students continue their academic journey, advising duties shift to a faculty advisor in a student's academic department or school. Students who need additional advising assistance are encouraged to contact the Student Success Center, a centralized hub for academic success at Northwest. The SSC supports student learning and contributes to growth and development from orientation to graduation. It focuses on transitioning, advising, supporting and connecting students to maximize their academic potential. For more information, visit: www.nwmissouri.edu/studentsuccess.

When working with underrepresented students, the Wellness Center ensures we address all of the student's needs and offers a variety of resources, depending on the issue discussed. Through training and workshops, we make sure to provide information about diverse resources, such as campus student organizations, support lines that specialize in providing support for underrepresented individuals, and offices and departments on campus that may meet their needs based on their identity.

How is Northwest addressing food and housing insecurity?

Northwest’s Bearcat Food Pantry is accessible from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday when the University is open. The food pantry is located in the J.W. Jones Student Union and offers a variety of food and personal products. For more information, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/studentaffairs/foodpantry/index.htm.

Northwest offers a low-cost housing option for students who have a $0 expected family income as noted on their FAFSA. This option is available for first-year and upperclassman and offers the student a job on campus that can pay for the reduced cost of housing and food. For more information, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/reslife/RS/nccchsng.htm.

How does Northwest engage Black students in co-curricular experiences?

Our campus supports numerous multicultural student organizations as part of their co-curricular experience. In the fall of 2017, Student Senate reorganized to form a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that focuses on the needs of underrepresented students. The following year, Student Senate voted to include five voting positions specifically for underrepresented students and further strengthen the voice of our underrepresented populations.

The Office of Student Involvement has collaborated with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion during the past few years to align and support programming for a variety of history and heritage month events, including speakers, fine and performing arts events and movie nights. Recent examples include a performance by Step Afrika, a lecture by Tarana Burke, a traveling Negro Leagues Baseball Museum exhibit and annual Black History Month events.

What is the relationship between Black students and campus police, local law enforcement and the local community?

The University Police Department (UPD) serves to maintain a safe campus environment. The overall safety of Northwest requires the active cooperation and assistance from all members of campus.

The racial and ethnic diversity of UPD equals 33 percent of its full-time employees (14) and 27 percent of its student employees (52). Members of UPD work closely with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as well as all of the multicultural organizations and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) chapters at Northwest. Several members of UPD advise student organizations and are present at events. In 2016, UPD was awarded the Minority Access National Role Model Award for its members’ mentorship within the My Brother’s Keeper program. University Police members helped found the Minority Men’s Organization, Association of Black Employees, and My Brother’s Keeper. UPD also was awarded the 2019 Staff Diversity Award for its support of diverse students on the Northwest campus. 

UPD has adopted and is committed to a community policing philosophy in its daily operations. UPD is staffed with officers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. UPD works closely with the Office of Residential Life and Wellness Services on a host of programs geared toward teaching safety. UPD works closely with local law enforcement agencies and is a liaison to assist with reporting a crime beyond the campus.