University of North Carolina: School of the Arts​

University of North Carolina: School of the Arts

University of North Carolina: School of the Arts (UNCSA) is a public institution that was founded in 1963. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 890, located in Winston-Salem, and the campus size is 78 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. The enrolled student population at UNCSA is 71.2% White, 9.7% Black, 7% Race Unknown, 6.3% Hispanic/Latino, 2.4% Asian, 2.2% International, and 1% American Indian/Alaskan Native. There are about 50.5% identified female students and 49.5% identified male students. 47.6% of the students are from North Carolina.

Engagement Summary

UNCSA secured resources on campus specifically funded to work directly for students of color. These resources included two positions within Student Affairs that advise Artists of Color, and the funds came from Student Engagement for Artist of Color.

Another action UNCSA took to address mental health as a campus-wide priority was to enroll as a JED Campus.

To improve campus climate for students of color and to increase the diversity of the faculty, they held campus-wide town halls on diversity and inclusivity, training for cabinet and deans, and residential curriculum to address awareness and identity.

The Healthy Minds Survey was used to collect data on student experiences related to mental health on campus. UNCSA made healthy spaces and forums for students, faculty, staff, and community to hold dialogue relating to national and international events. Some of these events included the presidential election, the Unity Project, and a Martin Luther King event covering police brutality.

Programs on campus that encouraged education, engagement, and leadership centered around social justice issues and inter group relations, empathy training, Safe Zone for LGBTQ, and Positive Damage. Clubs and activities on campus that provided inclusivity to students of color were Artist of Color, LatinX Rising, and Spectrum.

Midterm Evaluation Progress-to-Goal Snapshot

UNCSA had a goal to declare the mental health of students of color a campus-wide priority, to hire, train, and hang on to a diverse and culturally competent faculty and staff, and to to offer services on a variety of platforms. 

Highlights include:

  • Workshops with experts were held to hold open dialogue with the entire campus and with students separately. This discussion was centered around addressing the mental health needs in students of color.
  • Laurel spoke with Dr. Alfiee about incidents from last year. They decided to have inclusion workshops during the fall inservice days. This work specifically addressed using “inclusive language” campus-wide. They collaborated with Shayla Edmonds from Wake Forest University to conduct  4 workshops. These workshops were a success with the students, and UNCSA will work with her in an attempt to establish an office of multicultural affairs. During the week of 2/12/20, they did another inservice covering the 8 dimensions of wellness and gave students a space to work on their mindfulness. 
  • Based on the focus groups working through EMHF last year, men of color did not have a counselor to talk to. A male staff member was responsible for creating a support group of all 5 disciplines to assist men of color, and the group was for ten students on Sunday afternoons. Although they have funding for this academic year, it is unsure on how this program will be funded in the future.
  • Provost created a committee and assigned Dr. Horton, a faculty member to create search committees focused on hiring diverse faculty. Since Student Affairs has the most diverse staff on campus, Dr. Horton is working with them to recruit diverse professors.
  • The inservices on inclusion and the support group for men of color were the two programs developed to guide through transitional periods.