Q: How should diversity play a role in my college selection?
When selecting a college and an athletic program, you should look at several variables if diversity is one of your top priorities.
College is a perfect time to truly learn about others and their cultures. We recruited players that were originally from Guatemala, Gambia, Mexico, Norway and Germany. These players were mixed in with other athletes that had different religious beliefs, political beliefs and ethnic backgrounds.
Q: How can I investigate diversity at a college?
It is important for you to feel comfortable on campus. You can investigate a college to determine the importance of diversity on campus and on sports teams.
Start by asking the admissions director and/or the coach for percentages on the diversity breakdown of the student body and the team.
Many high school athletes like to browse through the team pictures and rosters to gain more information, instead of asking a coach.
Find out graduation and retention rates for minority students over the past several recruiting classes for your sport and others.
Another option is to sit in on some classes and watch how the professors interact with the students. You can get a feel for the true social interaction/environment if you spend a weekend on campus with the team.
Chris Bianchi is president of Red Penguin Athletics (www.redpenguinathletics.com), an athlete placement service in upstate New York.