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Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility

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Our Commitment to Diversity

In an effort to provide flexible education and a supportive environment, Blackhawk Technical College aspires to create a climate in which all students, employees and community members feel welcomed, valued and included. To that end, the College strives to use inclusive and accessible practices to create a community of diverse ideas, abilities, cultures and lifestyles.

The IDEA Charge

During the Fall 2020 semester, Blackhawk formed the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee, a cross-section of staff, faculty and students charged to:

“create an environment that values human diversity and respects the experiences and contributions of all by directing and operationalizing accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives of the College with responsibility to ensure that all of our activities support the mission at the College and ensure our culture values diversity and seeks to foster equity and inclusion in a welcoming, safe, and respectful community.”

Since its formation, the committee and the College as a whole have worked to cultivate an on-campus culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility through deliberate and ongoing work and continuous dialogue both inside and outside the classroom.

Initiatives & Activities

Blackhawk Equity Access & Motivation (BEAM) program was developed at the Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) plan built at Blackhawk. As Blackhawk reviewed institutional data, including the local equity report, dual enrollment data, and persistence/graduation rates, equity gaps were identified. BEAM is a board initiative that encompasses many aspects of intentional outreach, support and services to help close the equity gaps.

The IDEAL Opportunity Scholarship is an intentional effort to increase access to education and transform the lives of persons of color who are low-income and maybe first-generation college students, entering the following programs: Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Electromechanical Technology, Automotive Systems Technology, Nuclear Technology or Criminal Justice.

Scholarship recipients will receive a scholarship for tuition, fees and required materials, as well as a cost of living stipend. The recipients also will be engaged with a paid internship within their related field of study and receive support from a college faculty mentor.

Potential scholarship applicants can be referred for the IDEAL Opportunity Scholarship through a community-based organization referral. Once a referral is made, the individual referred must complete a scholarship application and submit it to the Blackhawk Foundation Office. More information is available at blackhawk.edu/foundation.

Blackhawk recognizes that many members of its community use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. This may include – but aren’t limited to – individuals who use their middle name instead of their first name, individuals who use nicknames, and individuals who use a name that affirms their gender identity.

The College adapted the Preferred Name Policy (E-240) and the Pronouns and Gender Identify Policy (E-230) in August of 2021. Under the Preferred Name Policy, preferred names will be used in college systems, communications and informational material except where a legal name is required for business or legal reasons. Under the Pronouns and Gender Identity Policy, students and employees may designate their gender identity and preferred pronouns separate from their legal gender. The college will work to use gender identity and preferred pronouns in college systems, communications and informational materials except where legal gender is required.

Blackhawk will soon begin work on a land acknowledgement statement to honor and recognize the Indigenous people who historically were the stewards on the lands on which Blackhawk now stands. Tribal groups associated with the Janesville region include the Ho-Chunk, Sauk, Meskwaki, Kickapoo and Potawatomi, according to Wisconsin First Nations, a resource from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Blackhawk Technical College does take its name from Chief Black Hawk, the leader of the Sauk tribe. In 1767, he was born in the village of Saukenuk, Illinois, along the Rock River near modern Rock Island. Chief Black Hawk led the Sauk tribe in the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War.

In February 2022, the IDEA Committee and the Executive Council added a sixth value - inclusive - to the College’s core values, which play into the College’s Mission and Vision statements. This decision was made to enforce the College’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility.

Our Values

  • Responsive: Meeting students when and where they learn best, providing supportive services empowering them to succeed.
  • Collaborative: Creating critical partnerships, adapting to community needs.
  • Empowering: Building an inclusive, aligned, and supportive culture, allowing students and employees to develop, grow and succeed.
  • Strategic: Optimizing college resources to meet the needs of learners and employers through data-informed decisions and innovative solutions.
  • Process-driven: Developing transparent, consistent, aligned, and repeatable processes and procedures, focusing on efficiency, accountability, and excellence.
  • Inclusive: Cultivating a climate in which all students and employees feel welcomed, valued, and included.

View Our Mission & Vision

The Multi-Cultural Alliance (MCA) promotes campus diversity initiatives and activities at Blackhawk. Members promote goodwill, grow leadership skills, and develop professional skills for social and racial justice. MCA has participated in tours to the Milton House, art museum visits, and various cultural programming including Soul Food Luncheon, Black History Month, Veterans Day, Native American History, and Holocaust Remembrance.

  • Safe haven for students to be themselves
  • Space for clubs to have their meetings
  • Assist with diversity-related programming

For more than 20 years, the Blackhawk Technical College Foundation has hosted the Soul Food Luncheon. With food made by Blackhawk culinary students, all proceeds from the luncheon supports scholarships for minority students.

 
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