October 11, 2023

WCU Named a Four-time HEED Award Recipient

diversity conference on campusFor the fourth year, West Chester University has received the 2023 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The HEED Award is the only national honor to recognize institutions of higher education for their outstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

West Chester joins Millersville University as one of only seven Pennsylvania colleges selected for this honor this year.

“The HEED Award demonstrates engagement in a wide array of best practices, in addition to innovation and a collective commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This award is all about what we do, not just what we say.” said Tracey Robinson, WCU Vice President for the Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “We are so proud to receive this national recognition for the fourth time. Diversity is broadly defined and this award recognizes how the University goes the extra mile.”

WCU was selected for these initiatives:

  • WCU’s Student Parent Task Force developed programming and plans in consultation with the statewide Pennsylvania Parent Pathways program to improve both recruitment and retention of pregnant and parenting students. Efforts focused on the identification of resources and systems to support parenting students, development of a listserv of 448 parenting students, and an educational series of six community-building events. The online resource repository is available 24/7 and accessible through D2L.
  • The Center for STEM Inclusion (CSI) in the College of Science and Mathematics was established in 2021. CSI actively works to increase access to STEM careers for a diverse body of students, with programming conducted by a large and enthusiastic faculty committee. CSI has four pillars: Outreach, Access, Persistence, and Career Readiness. Each pillar represents a range of activities to support diverse STEM students and strengthen the STEM pipeline. The Outreach pillar encompasses K-12 engagement and includes two major one-day hands-on events: Super Science Saturday and the Science Saturday Expo.
  • During the 2022-2023 academic year, WCU hosted workshops and programming on Antisemitism and Islamophobia, as well as funded an Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion Grant: WCU Interfaith, Meaning-Making, and Spirituality Project.

WCU will be featured along with the 108 other recipients in the November/December 2023 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“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 look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

Click here to visit WCU’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

For more information about the 2023 HEED Award, visit insightintodiversity.com.

students working on a lab

students at a conference

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