Pikes Peak State College believes that cultural and social diversity contributes to the richness and vitality of the educational and employment experience of the college community. This belief is exemplified by the composition of our student body, by our workforce, and by the many programs and activities that are annually offered by our institution. In spite of all that we do to cultivate a diverse and healthy organizational culture, our diversity is best understood in general terms and in relation to the business necessity for maintaining and continually improving our diverse working environment.
When people talk about diversity and diversity programs, often times they think that diversity is concerned with Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity programs. In fact, the philosophical and practical foundations of diversity and Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity programs are very different. Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity programs are government mandated initiatives specifically designed to correct past discrimination and combat prejudicial hiring practices. Further, they both promote the assimilation of those who have traditionally been underrepresented into the larger organizational community.
However, diversity programs differ in several significant ways. First of all, they go beyond setting hiring goals to include an emphasis on building a more inclusive environment where differences are accepted, respected and utilized as a source of added value to the College. Second, diversity initiatives help employees from diverse backgrounds work together more effectively. Finally, diversity programs attempt to increase productivity and program quality as well as prevent current and future discrimination. Therefore, diversity programs are broader based, more performance-focused and results-oriented than Affirmative Action and EEOC programs.
People also tend to think that discussions of diversity are only related to race and gender. In fact, diversity extends beyond simply race and gender. Our workforce is diverse with respect to age, physical abilities, educational attainments, talents, personalities and preference, affiliations, intelligence, experiences, lifestyles, sexual orientations, geographic origins, time at the college, exempt or nonexempt status, and status as a member of management or non-management. In short, when we look at diversity, we must look beyond our own race and gender and take a broader view that encompasses those things that make up the whole person and make us all unique.
Often times, when the topic of diversity is broached, some of us become uncomfortable when asked to speak on the subject. To some, diversity means a looming change that they perceive may disadvantage them in particular. To others, diversity means having to consider the prospect of dealing with people unlike themselves. Still others believe that any organization that talks about diversity must be experiencing some type of problem in the workplace. However, when we as an organization talk about diversity, it is not because we are experiencing problems, but rather, it is because we are seeking opportunities to become more inclusive, more competitive, and more attentive to creating an environment that continually produces a positive experience for our students and employees.
Why should we care about diversity? Well, as unique individuals, we want to be appreciated for those things mentioned above that we all bring to the workforce. We all want to be treated with the respect and dignity that we afford others and expect in return. Also, as employees who care about our College and those associated with it, we all want to provide an environment that is productive, retains the best people, allows us to engage in creative thinking, and furthers the goals of our mission and strategic plan. In other words, diversity is not only important to us as individuals, it is important to the College as an educational institution.
So what is the specific institutional case for diversity? First, diversity brings creative power to our workforce that benefits each of us and the organization as a whole. Second, a diverse college is going to attract the best people. And having the best people working here will make the College successful. After all, being successful is our goal and there is a benefit for everyone when we are working together in creative and productive ways. Third, diversity challenges stereotyped preconceptions; it encourages critical thinking; and, it helps us learn to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds. Research indicates that diverse organizations which effectively manage that diversity tend to be more effective at problem-solving, decision-making, communication and negotiation than their mono-cultural counterparts. Finally, diversity enriches the occupational and educational experience. We learn from those whose experiences, beliefs, and perspectives are different from our own, and these lessons can be taught best in a richly diverse intellectual and social environment. In turn, a diverse faculty and staff are important to fulfilling our primary mission: attracting a diverse student population and providing them with a quality education.
Each of us is different, that is what we have in common. Therefore, I am not different from you, I am different like you. Thinking outside the box does not just apply to practice and procedure. Is also should mean re-examining how we view people who we consider unlike ourselves. Embracing diversity means committing to looking beyond those unlike us.
At Pikes Peak State College, we are committed to serving our diverse employees... employees, who are different, like you and me.
Pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Pikes Peak State College’s Human Resource Services has a prescribed protocol for in-taking and processing all employment related ADA accommodation requests for regular and student employees. A Reasonable Accommodation Panel is charged with reviewing all documentation submitted by the requestor, conducting an in-person interactive session with the requestor, and making a disposition recommendation to the Vice President for Human Resource Services who ultimately makes the final determination.
Any and all allegations of ADA discrimination (whether employment or educational) are required to be reported to the Vice President for Human Resource Services. The Vice President for Human Resource Services, as the institution’s EEOC/ADA Officer, is responsible for investigating all claims of discrimination by students and employees of the College.
The college also has an Access Committee comprised of various members (both abled and differently-abled) of the college community. The Committee meets to discuss and implement strategies for each campus that help make PPSC more accessible for students, staff and campus visitors.
Please contact Human Resource Services at 719.502.2600 if you have any questions regarding the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Individuals affiliated with Pikes Peak State College shall not be subjected to unlawful discrimination and/or harassment on the basis of sex/gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran or military status, pregnancy status, religion, genetic information, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other protected category under applicable local, state, or federal law (also known as “civil rights laws”), including protections against retaliation and for those opposing discrimination or participating in any grievance process on campus or within the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or other human rights agencies, in its employment practices or educational programs and activities.
The College has designated Mr. Carlton Brooks, Vice President for Human Resource Services, as its Affirmative Action Officer/Equal Opportunity Coordinator/Title IX Coordinator with the responsibility to coordinate its civil rights compliance activities and grievance procedures under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. For information, contact Mr. Carlton Brooks, Vice President for Human Resource Services, at 5675 South Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 or at (719) 502.2600.
You may also contact the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Region VIII, Federal Office Building, 1244 North Speer Boulevard, Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204, telephone (303) 844-3417.
The Federal Clery Act (The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990) requires all institutions of higher learning to make available to prospective employees our agency’s Annual Security Report. A paper copy of this report can also be obtained at the Office of Human Resource Services upon request. This report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning crimes that occurred on campus or on property controlled or owned by Pikes Peak State College, as well as public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, our campuses. You can also find institutional policies concerning the annual security report as well as policies governing sexual assault, access to the facilities, etc.