When you’re thinking about what makes a university great, you might have a list of criteria like small class sizes, outstanding faculty, a beautiful campus, or recognized excellence in a particular field.
These are all important factors.
You likely have a few more in mind that reflect your personal ideals for a higher education experience. However, have you considered the importance of diversity?
St. Thomas University is one of the best universities in Florida when it comes to diversity. We’d like to share why that distinction should matter to you as a student and how we’ve earned a great reputation for our commitment to diversity.
How Diversity Benefits University Students
Exposes You to More Perspectives
Many high school students have limited experiences with people different from themselves. And we’re not just talking about race or ethnicities. How often do you interact with people who grew up in a different living environment (urban vs. rural), were raised within another religious tradition, have less (or more) money than you do, or have physical disabilities?
Yes, but you might be thinking, what about the internet? We’re exposed to lots of different people that way. However, algorithms (like the kind used by Facebook) often steer us toward articles that reflect our own ideological preferences, and search results usually echo what we already know and like. It can often cement stereotypes and create divisiveness.
College offers an ideal opportunity to engage, face-to-face, with a diverse range of classmates and friends. The more diversity on your university campus, the more chances you have to hear first-hand experiences from people with completely different upbringings.
Prepares You for Work in a Global Society
According to US News & World Report, the percentage of America’s working-age population comprised of minority groups will increase from 34 percent to 55 percent by 2050. By choosing a university with a diverse campus, you have plenty of opportunities to listen, adapt, and be respectful of human differences. These soft skills are at the top of the list for job recruiters. They’ll be invaluable as you enter the global workforce.
In addition to casual classroom interactions, you’ll have a chance to simulate a modern workplace by completing an internship, participating in national competitions, volunteering with local Miami nonprofits, and even choosing to study abroad for a semester. St. Thomas University encourages these opportunities, so students feel completely prepared for their place in our global society.
Enhances Your Self-Awareness
No matter where you go, your college experience will change you. Being part of a diverse student body will challenge your existing beliefs. You’ll ultimately feel stronger in your convictions based on the process of questioning and debate.
In other words, considering other opinions will bring you to a stronger understanding of why you believe what you believe. Being surrounded by those with different viewpoints is critical during this time of exploration.
Why St. Thomas University is One of the Best Universities in Florida for Diversity
It Starts with Our Mission
A commitment to diversity is firmly embedded into the fabric of our culture, starting with our mission statement:
St. Thomas is a Catholic university with rich cultural and international diversity committed to the academic and professional success of its students who become ethical leaders in our global community.
This mission drives our decisions about how we select faculty, build curriculum, partner with community organizations, and allocate resources for new programs and services.
A Historical Precedent
The University traces its roots to the Universidad de Santo Tomas de Villanueva, founded in 1946 in Havana, Cuba. When the Castro government expelled the Augustinians from Cuba in 1961, several of the American Augustinians came to Miami where they founded Biscayne College (now St. Thomas). Given their experience in Cuba, the University’s founders, and specifically its first president, were intimately familiar with teaching students from different backgrounds. That commitment to student diversity continues strongly today.
Miami – Gateway to the Americas
St. Thomas offers a truly global academic experience, offering programs that take advantage of Miami’s unique location as the Gateway to the Americas, and that celebrate the many cultures and heritages of its students. The overall culture of Miami is heavily influenced by its large population of ethnic Latin Americans and cultures from the Caribbean islands.
However, the Miami area is also home to large French, French Canadian, German, Italian, and Russian communities. The communities have grown to a prominent place in Miami and its suburbs, creating ethnic enclave neighborhoods such as Little Haiti, Little Havana, Little Managua, Little Brazil, Little Moscow, and Little San Juan.
National Recognition for Diversity
- St. Thomas ranks third on US News & World Report’s list of most international students at a regional university and seventh for campus ethnic diversity.
- In the 2018 edition of The Princeton Review – Best Law Schools, St. Thomas University School of Law maintained its Top 10 national ranking for having the “Greatest Resources for Minority Students” and the “Most Diverse Faculty.”
- St. Thomas Law also earned a top ranking in preLaw Magazine, where we are nationally ranked Top 5 “Best School for Hispanics.” We are one of only two Florida law schools to be highlighted for our diversity.
- For the second time in five years, a team of MBA students at St. Thomas University’s School of Business won first place honors in the 15th Annual 2019 KeyBank Foundation Minority MBA Case Competition at KeyBank headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio.
Hopefully, we’ve given you enough compelling reasons to consider diversity when selecting a university. We’re proud of the fact that St. Thomas University is one of the best universities in Florida when it comes to diversity.
We believe it’s a critical element for an enriching, even life-changing, college experience. Want to learn more? Request information from our admissions team and we’d be glad to answer your questions.