The TRIO Achievement Program helps first-generation and income-eligible Luther students make the most of their college experience and reach their potential. The program positions and empowers participants to thrive at Luther College by providing holistic, individualized support and comprehensive programming that promotes their academic success, personal development, and sense of community.
Luther College is a member of The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation/IINspire (Iowa Illinois Nebraska STEM Partnership for Innovation in Research and Education) Alliance—a group of Midwest schools funded by the National Science Foundation to provide research opportunities, stipends, and mentoring for undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups intending to earn baccalaureate degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering) fields.
Consortium for Faculty Diversity: Luther College is a member of this select association of colleges committed to increasing the diversity of students, faculty members, and curricular offerings at liberal arts colleges, with a particular focus on enhancing the diversity of faculty members and of applicants for faculty positions. Membership enables Luther to offer dissertation fellowships and post-doctoral fellowships to enrich the ethnic and racial diversity of our faculty, maximize the educational benefits of diversity, or increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of students.
ACM-CIC Mellon Faculty Fellowships: On the Associated Colleges of the Midwest website, they state, "At the post-graduate level, ACM-CIC Mellon Faculty Fellowships offer tenure-track appointments at one of the ACM colleges to new Ph.D. or terminal master's degree graduates whose backgrounds and life experiences will enhance diversity on the ACM campuses and who have recently earned their graduate degree, preferably from a CIC institution. There will be 30 Faculty Fellow appointments in the humanities, humanistic social sciences, or the arts over the seven years of the grant." As an ACM institution, Luther College seeks Faculty Fellow appointments "in the humanities, humanistic social sciences, or the arts over the seven years of the grant" with an aim to enhance the diversity of new faculty, while also enhancing the careers of the Fellows and teaching programs of Luther.
Summer Bridge Programs (pre-college): Luther College offers a Summer Science Symposium and Education Seminar, designed to provide an intensive summer experience for students who have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education. Specifically, the program is targeted to ethnic minority students and/or first-generation college students who show great promise for college entrance and eventual service to their professions and communities. The Summer Seminars began in 1995 to provide a challenging experience for students interested in careers in the sciences or business. The intensive six-day program is designed to provide students with hands-on experiences, to work with professors and Luther College students on real research projects, participate in classes and laboratories, and conduct site visits to science or business-related companies.
Connect for Success is a semester-long program designed by the Diversity Center to help orient students to Luther's academic and campus culture, assist students with building relationships and community with other students, faculty and staff, and build bridges between people of different backgrounds. It begins with a three-day workshop before orientation and continues with programming and mentors throughout the first semester.
Friendship Families: The International Student Friendship Family Program is a program that links new international students with individuals or families in the Luther College and Decorah area communities. The goal of the program is to promote international understanding and friendship, develop an appreciation of how others live and view the world, and assist new students in the process of adjustment to Luther College and the United States. Students and their Friendship Families gather in informal settings and learn about life in the U.S. and Iowa, and about the home culture of the student. The friendship that grows between a student and his or her Friendship Family can promote diversity and cultural awareness that will last a lifetime.
Black History Symposium In February 2004, Luther College sponsored the first Midwest Black History Month Conference. Each year, the Luther Diversity (LDC) partners with the Africana Studies Department to host a scholarly conference at Luther focused on a particular aspect of study of the black Diaspora, a concept that links the spread of Africans and people of African descent around the world and allows for comparative and interdisciplinary studies of Black culture and experience.
In Summer 2015, Kunkel (Soc) and Travers (Psych) led 12 faculty and staff participants through the Safe Zone Project training and a webinar on Title IX and LGBTQ issues. As a result, administration is working on gender neutral signage, exploring the potential of collecting data on students, faculty and staff, and celebrating our LGBTQ community at a Fall social.