The Institute for Cultural Competence & Inclusive Excellence
The Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is pleased to announce the Institute for Cultural Competence & Inclusive Excellence, a personal and professional development certificate program available to all WCU students, faculty, and staff. The certificate program, referred to as “the Institute” herein, reflects WCU’s commitment to create a learning culture that values diversity, equity and inclusion. The Institute consists of a combination of training and education workshops, self-study readings, books, on-demand video presentations, and a capstone project. Participants develop cultural competencies and are offered the tools necessary for linking diversity and inclusion to organizational and work performance. Programs and workshops are offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters to provide a full range of required and elective workshops.
Institute applications are currently open until February 10, 2021 (Deadline). Stay tuned as space will be limited in future cohorts. You can find out more by visiting our website.
WCU Receives the Higher Education Excellence In Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine
West Chester University was selected for the second consecutive year to receive the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. WCU earned this honor for the first time in 2020, along with 89 other recipients. This year, 101 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada were selected. The HEED award measures an institution's level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs, and outreach; student recruitment, retention, and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff. West Chester and other award recipients are featured in the November 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
While racism is among America's greatest social problems, issues of race remain an uncomfortable topic for most people to discuss. News outlets reporting on racial incidents on college campuses across the United States have continued to grow over the last decade. During the Spring 2019 semester, all undergraduate students at West Chester University were invited to participate in a national racial climate survey. Student voices were heard! You may view the 2019 Racial Climate Survey Executive Summary here or for a quick overview about the Racial Climate Survey and its findings, view the Racial Climate Survey Results Quick Intro video.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs and activities, including academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic and other programs/activities of the University. This prohibition includes discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. At West Chester University, any form of sex discrimination is prohibited. If you have been harassed or discriminated related to your pregnancy, you can submit a report online or contact the Title IX Coordinator at 114 W. Rosedale Avenue, 610-436-2433.
Also, although pregnancy itself is not a disability, pregnant persons may have impairments related to their pregnancies that qualify as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). It is the procedure of WCU to provide individualized reasonable accommodations to students who have a pregnancy-related disability, including recovery from childbirth. To receive these accommodations, students must be in contact with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD). WCU has a right to request documentation of the temporary disability, and it is the student's responsibility to work with their private physician prior to the provision of services. This is determined on a case-by-case basis and is based on professional medical documentation provided by the student.
Pregnant Students & Faculty with Pregnant Students in their course
The most effective way to ensure a successful semester during pregnancy is by having open communication between pregnant students and faculty. Upon request, the Title IX Coordinator can send a letter to faculty at the request of pregnant students. This letter serves as an opening for conversation in which the student and each individual faculty can discuss course obligations and options. The letter also provides a reminder about the protections afforded to pregnant students under Title IX.
FACULTY: If you receive a pregnancy notification, please work with the student to plan a successful way for the student to complete the semester. Please contact the Title IX and ADA Coordinator to consult about complicated matters.
What protections do pregnant students have?
- Students should work with their professors and OSSD to make up course work missed due to pregnancy, child birth, or any related conditions.
- The benefits and services provided to pregnant students are no less than those provided to students with temporary medical conditions.
Do I need to notify West Chester University that I am pregnant or parenting?
- No, you do not need to not notify any University official that you are pregnant. However, you are encouraged to communicate with each of your faculty members about your plans and contact OSSD about any accommodations that you may need.
I feel like my faculty member is not accommodating my requests. Who should I contact?
- If you have provided the professor with an accommodations letter from OSSD and you are not receiving the accommodations, please call 610-436-2433 or complete this form and you will be put in contact with the Title IX and ADA Coordinator.
I had a pregnancy related complication. Can I request accommodations?
- In certain situations, a pregnancy-related complication may be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), entitling the student to a reasonable accommodation. Please contact OSSD for medical related accommodations resulting from pregnancy.
I am a student athlete and I am pregnant or parenting. Do I need to quit the team?
- No, you do not need to quit the team. Pregnant student-athletes can continue to participate in a limited manner on the team, including all team-related activities, unless the student-athlete’s physician or other medical caregiver certifies that partial participation is not medically safe. Know your right as a student athlete.
How can I best support a pregnant student?
- When a pregnancy is disclosed to you, start by asking the student what they would require to be successful during the semester. Creating an open line of communication is the best way to support your pregnant students. Encourage the student to contact OSSD.
My student did not inform me of their pregnancy and now they are requesting accommodations. Am I still required to provide accommodations without prior notice?
- You may provide accommodations without notice from OSSD. However, students should be encouraged to contact OSSD so that accommodations are consistent across classes.
- Pregnant Student Accommodations Example
- WCU Lactation Spaces Website
- Furniture Request Form (for students and employees)
- Accessible Shuttle Bus Website
- WCU Caregiving Website
- Pregnant and Parenting Students' Rights for College and Graduate Students from the National Women's Law Center
- Pregnant or Parenting? Title IX Protects You from Discrimination at School from U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
- Pregnant and Parenting Students Infographic
Use this online form to make the University aware of incidents of harassment, discrimination, hate or bias. After you submit this report, it will be reviewed by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to assess next steps to ensure the safety of individuals and property. This assessment may or may not involved immediate intervention by staff in the office and/or WCU Public Safety based on the nature of the report.
Report Sexual Misconduct
If you or someone you know has shared with you they have been a victim of sexual misconduct, use this link to file a report and/or get more information and resources. The report goes to a few staff members in the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The complainant will receive outreach from the office to provide resources, supportive measures, and to review all options for resolution. The information in this form will be kept as private as possible and only shared with those who need to know.
Report a Student Conduct Incident
The Office of Student Conduct processes these reports of on- and off-campus violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
Report a Group Organization Incident
Please use this to report a violation of organizational, ethical, hazing, harassment, and/or group Code of Conduct violation. The information will be sent to the Office of Student Conduct. The team will assess next steps based on concerns for the people involved and concerns for the safety of the community. The students involved may be contacted to assess needs for resources and the accused organization will be contacted if and when an investigation has been approved. The information in this form will be kept as confidential as possible and only shared with those who need to know.
Report an Academic Integrity Incident
Academic violations include cheating, plagiarism or falsifying official records related to the University. General classroom misbehavior is considered a non-academic violation. If you have questions about whether a behavior is considered academic misconduct, please contact the Office of the Vice Provost. Learn more about Academic Integrity here.
Faculty and Staff Members:
Report Concerning Incident/Behavior
Concerning, strange, or disruptive or substantially destructive behavior that potentially impedes student’s ability to function successfully or safely should be reported here. The Assistant Vice President for Identity, Health, and Wellness in conjunction with the CARE Team provides outreach to students when concerns for their health, welfare and safety are identified. Learn more about Concerning Incident/Behavior here.