college campus
© J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images / Getty ImagesA report by Speech First found that two-thirds of colleges and universities have DEI courses as requirements for students to graduate.
A new report released Thursday by the group Speech First finds that nearly two-thirds of colleges and universities reviewed have requirements for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) courses to satisfy graduation requirements.

The report, titled "No Graduation Without Indoctrination: The DEI Course Mandate," investigated 248 colleges from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and found that 67% of the institutions reviewed mandate DEI courses to satisfy general education requirements. Of the 165 institutions identified that enforce DEI requirements, 59% were taxpayer-funded public institutions and 41% were private institutions.

Speech First Executive Director Cherise Trump โ€” no relation to the former president โ€” spoke with FOX Business' Lydia Hu about the report and said that the idea to look into DEI graduation requirements came about through conversations with college students.

"We had heard about some of the trainings through freshman orientations and some of the online modules," she explained. "But we had not heard that you have to take full semester-long courses in order to graduate, so we wanted to look more into this and that's when we started digging."

The investigation by Speech First, an organization that was founded as a nationwide community of those who support free speech on college campuses, found that the curriculum of DEI courses required for graduation often advocates far-left ideological perspectives and can also encourage students to engage in political activism on those issues.

"Looking at some of the courses that the students are required to take in order to satisfy these requirements, we realized that this is actually going to take a lot more effort by the states to actually disentangle DEI from campus," Trump told FOX Business.

"However, once we take them off campus, you're turning the spigot off, but you're not essentially disentangling all of what they've been building for the last decade or so since they've been on there pushing this with millions of dollars of funding."

Trump added that while states may succeed in enacting anti-DEI legislation aimed at rooting out requirements on college campuses, lawmakers have to ensure that colleges fully comply with the law by auditing courses and policies to verify that such requirements have been removed.

"It's really a matter of states, once they pass these laws, to really stay on top of the schools, properly investigate them, properly audit their policies, and just understand that they can't simply pass the law and just leave it at that," she explained. "They actually have to enforce the laws."

Trump noted that despite Florida's broad-reaching laws on DEI at public campuses, Speech First still found "five universities in Florida that require, to some extent, a DEI course or DEI elective in order to graduate."

"Granted, some of these universities may not have updated their websites since the law just recently went into effect this year. But ultimately, if it is the case that they're trying to circumvent and dodge these policies, Florida needs to go in and really hold them accountable," she explained.

Trump said that students she has talked to about required DEI courses on their campuses have generally either expressed a grudging willingness to sit through courses to satisfy the degree requirement, or in some cases skip the classes despite spending tuition dollars on them.