Diversity training becomes requirement for LRCCD employees

Last semester Los Rios Community College District employees began participation in diversity training so that the district’s hiring panel is able to ensure that they employ people without bias.

Starting this fall the diversity training became a requirement, Cosumnes River College’s Dean of College Planning & Research Katherine McLain said.

“The program is designed to inform all employees about the laws and procedures related to diversity and the hiring process, help attendees become aware of their own biases and help attendees understand and be able to assess cultural competence as part of the hiring process,” said McLain.

Training is for employees who will be serving on a hiring panel for intended job selection. Within that panel, the diversity training seeks to make the hiring process unbiased.

All applicants going through the hiring process will be evaluated by employees that have had diversity training.

“The core mission of community colleges is to serve a diverse community of learners,” said Public Information Officer Kristie West. “CRC believes that when you hire diverse people, you set better service, a better educational environment and a stronger community.”

The training is a two-hour session in which McLain, along with the attendees, speak about a wide variety of issues such as age, race, bias and socio-economic background.

“I agree that people should have perspectives, and have an understanding of where other people come from,” said 20-year-old psychology major Kimberly Matthew. “And not just by how they look, but what they stand for.”

Diversity Training is a direct result of Title 5 State Law of the California Code of Regulations which requires each community college district receives diversity training, according to an article from the California Code of Regulations.

All applicants going through the hiring process will be evaluated by employees that have had diversity training.

“It is for all positions that have a defined hiring process, including full and part-time faculty and permanent classified employees.” McLain said.

A “permanent” position such as those previously listed are positions in which the job holder will stay in until he or she decides to retire, McLain said.

“I think it’s pretty cool there trying to gain different aspects [or] outlooks that each diverse race might have,” said 18-year-old undeclared major Michael Uribe.

There are 15 participants who engage in each training session, which are scheduled according to the participants flexibility as well as their time. There are 152 employees in the program overall.

“In any group of people there are differences,” McLain said. “Each one of us is multicultural because we have many different threads that weave together to make up the fabric of who we are. You just go through all the individual threads that make us who we are as individuals, and that’s the broadest diversity that were talking about.”