Bringing Racial Diversity to an All-White Campus

The University of Wisconsin at Platteville is located in the rural southwestern corner of Wisconsin near the Iowa state line. The population of the region is almost all white so it is not surprising that only one percent of the student body at the university is black.

But administrators at the university have devised a unique plan to bring more racial diversity to campus. The university has entered into a partnership with Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena. At this historically black university, 94 percent of the student body is African American.

The universities participate in an exchange program for both students and faculty. Students in the majors of criminal justice, education, and the fine arts can spend a semester at the other university and earn credits toward their major. Other students participating in the exchange program can take only elective courses.

Faculty can also choose to teach a semester at the partner university. There are also cultural exchange programs where choirs and other groups travel to the other university for performances.