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Do Diversity Courses Improve College Student Outcomes? A Meta-Analysis

Colleges and universities play a critical role in shaping intergroup dynamics in an era of increasing racial tensions in the United States. Diversity courses may serve as one important approach for preparing college students for participation in an equitable and just society, since this coursework holds a unique position at many institutions to expose college students to issues of difference and inequality. This study synthesizes research on the relationship between university/college instruction explicitly using the word course and the root divers* and student outcomes over the span of 25 years. Within a meta-analytic sample of 355 effect sizes, from 73 publications, and 47 distinct samples representing 116,092 undergraduate students the results indicate an overall small positive association between diversity coursework and various outcomes. Additional results highlighted the ways in which this relationship is moderated by various characteristics of the courses, outcome measures, and study design. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)