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Monday, May 29, 2023

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San Diego State University Named 'Diversity Champion,' Receives National Diversity Award

SDSU was the only university in California to receive both the Champions and the HEED awards
By SDSU News Team

San Diego State University has been named a “Diversity Champion” for its commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout the campus community, academic programs and administration.


INSIGHT Into Diversity, a leading website and magazine in higher education, also selected SDSU for its HEED (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) Award for a sixth time. SDSU was among 16 colleges and universities to receive the 2022 Diversity Champion designation.


“SDSU is proud to be recognized for our success in creating a diverse and inclusive environment,” said J. Luke Wood, vice president of student affairs and campus diversity and chief diversity officer. “This is the result of a concerted effort that reaches every college, school and department and is embodied in our strategic plan, which specifically commits us to ‘equity and inclusion in everything we do,’ including research and community engagement.”


INSIGHT Into Diversity said its Diversity Champions “are institutions that set the standard for thousands of other campus communities striving for diversity and inclusion,” with successful strategies and programs serving “as models of excellence.”


SDSU was the only university in California to receive both the Champions and the HEED awards, based on factors that include student, faculty and leadership demographics; success in closing retention and graduation equity gaps; and diversity resources and programming.


SDSU had a long list of achievements and distinctions to point to, beginning with its designation by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) in 2012, and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) a year ago.


Nine cultural centers -- all with academic support and retention programs -- serve historically underrepresented groups, including the Black Resource Center, the Pride Center, the Native Resource Center and the Women’s Resource Center. The Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center serves veterans, military spouses and dependent children. SDSU also maintains 17 Employee Resource Groups that include women in business, Muslims, Iranian Americans and faculty/staff who have disabilities.


Over the past several years SDSU has greatly narrowed equity gaps between underrepresented minorities and other students in graduation rates, a central goal of the California State University system’s Graduation Initiative 2025. 


For the period submitted to INSIGHT Into Diversity, the six-year graduation rate was 84.5% for Asian Americans and 80.1% for white students, compared with 75.4% for Hispanic/Latinx students and 74.3% for Black students. 


At SDSU, underrepresented minority students are graduating faster than ever before. These rates have improved through college success centers, advising, a mandatory first-year experience program, and multiple free tutoring and support resources, including the residence hall-based STAR Centers and Summer Bridge, run through the Educational Opportunity Program.


In 2021, SDSU was among 10 universities to receive national certification from Excelencia in Education for its commitment to serving Latinx students. This year, it was again selected by Campus Pride Index as one of the “Best of the Best” for LGBTQ students.