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Sunday, December 10, 2023

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SDSU was selected as a "Diversity Champion" by INSIGHT Into Diversity. In the image above, two students strolled along Campanile Walkway. (Photo: Sandy Hufaker) SDSU was selected as a "Diversity Champion" by INSIGHT Into Diversity. In the image above, two students strolled along Campanile Walkway. (Photo: Sandy Hufaker)

SDSU Again Honored as ‘Diversity Champion’ in Higher Education

The university’s commitment to equity and inclusion was recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity.
By Jeff Ristine

San Diego State University was again named a “Diversity Champion” for its commitment and success in supporting students, faculty, administrators and staff from diverse backgrounds.


INSIGHT Into Diversity, a leading website and magazine in higher education, also selected SDSU for its HEED (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) Award for the seventh time since 2013. 


SDSU is among 109 institutions of higher education receiving the 2023 HEED award, which included California State University campuses in San Marcos, Los Angeles and Fresno and is based on information submitted in an application for the award. 


The 2023 Diversity Champion designation is more selective. It is SDSU’s second straight year for this additional distinction, which HEED said goes to colleges and universities that show “an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus communities, across academic programs, and at the highest administrative levels.”


SDSU’s mission statement and its current strategic plan both identify diversity, equity and inclusion as a core value.


"This award is a wonderful recognition of the hard work of so many in our community to create an equitable and inclusive campus, not only for every student but for all faculty and staff as well,’ said Christy Samarkos, interim vice president and chief diversity officer for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity. “San Diego State continues to be a leader in ensuring that we are not just playing lip service to our values but truly integrating equity and inclusion in everything we do."


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. With multiple tutoring and academic support programs, campus resources aimed at helping students navigate from registration to graduation, and intervention programs connecting students in need to assistance, SDSU already has surpassed all of the systemwide graduation rate goals, set in 2016.


For spring 2022, SDSU’s six-year graduation rates were reported as 81.1% for students who are white, 80.4% for Asian Americans and 76.9% for Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders. Among traditionally underrepresented groups, the graduation rates were 73.6% for students who are Hispanic/Latinx, 73.6% for Black students, and 70.6% (combined) for Native American and Alaskan Native students.


SDSU recruits students from historically underrepresented groups and first-generation students through multiple programs as well. They include community-college bridge programs, pre-college early outreach, and a variety of need-based scholarships for financial aid.


Ten 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. Eighteen Employee Resource Groups include a Latina Network, Men of Color Alliance, and Pride, Muslim and Disability ERGs.


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