September 26, 2022

WCU Earns Third Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

heed awarWest Chester was selected for the third consecutive year to receive the 2022 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, 103 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. The University was selected for its demonstrated resolve and innovative initiatives, including:

  • West Chester University will be eliminating student equity gaps by 2030 by co-leading the Moon Shot for Equity mission for the Southeastern Pennsylvania region with Delaware County Community College and education firm EAB. This public-private partnership employs research-based best practices to remove systemic barriers and address equity gaps to ensure more students complete college degrees, especially those most often left behind: low income, first generation, and students of color.
  • West Chester University exponentially grew undergraduate and graduate student membership in Tri-Alpha Honor Society for first-generation college students. Students qualified by earning at least 30 credit hours and a 3.2 or higher GPA. Graduate students completed at least 9 graduate credits and had a 3.5 or higher GPA. Tri-Alpha was established at WCU during the 2020-2021 academic year.

 “The HEED Award demonstrates engagement in an array of best practices, in addition to innovation and a collective commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said WCU Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Tracey Ray Robinson. “We are so proud to receive this national recognition for the third time. Diversity is broadly defined and this award recognizes how the University goes the extra mile.”

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — leadership support for diversity, campus culture and climate, supplier diversity, and many other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

West Chester University and the other award recipients are featured in the November 2022 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion at WCU here.

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