This is the fifth year in a row the College of Nursing has won the HEED Award.
The college uses extensive recruitment efforts to increase the number of underrepresented and first-generation nursing students. It also works to implement lasting, sustainable initiatives that are expanded over time to increase educational opportunities for talented and diverse students in order to graduate a health care workforce that reflects the diversity of the population in the local urban community. It has established partnerships with several local high schools that serve a large percentage of underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities, economically disadvantaged and rural individuals.
“Our ultimate goal is to improve health care outcomes, reduce health disparities and increase the diversity in the health care workforce,” says Greer Glazer, who has served as dean since 2012. “As the only nursing college to receive this award five times, we are as committed as ever to leading the way in diversity and inclusion within nursing and health care education.”
Under Glazer’s leadership, the college adopted holistic admissions strategies that incorporate personal student characteristics and attributes to augment grade point average and test scores for admissions decisions. The process values intellect, life experiences, motivation and character, which exemplify the core values of the college. Candidates are selected using broad-based admission criteria to create a diverse student body.
Admissions data show that using the holistic admissions process increased ethnicity/race and gender diversity, as well as first-generation college offers. Of applicants who were accepted under the holistic admissions review process, 28 percent would not have received an offer had admissions decisions considered only quantitative data. And the quality metrics for the college remain sound—the average GPA for admitted first-year students is 4.01, while the average ACT score is 26.
The college recently implemented multiple mini interviews as part of its admissions strategies. Multiple mini interviews consist of a series of short, structured interview stations used to assess non-cognitive attributes important for professional success, including ethics, self-awareness, diversity, self-directed learning, communication, collaboration, leadership, critical thinking and situational awareness. This large undertaking involved faculty, staff and community members as raters of over 200 applicants.
The College of Nursing also supports a wide variety of diversity and inclusion efforts outside of the admissions process as well. A Committee for Equity and Inclusive Excellence within the college sponsors several events throughout the year providing awareness and a platform for discussion among college faculty, staff, students and alumni. In addition, the college’s pipeline diversification efforts are represented by such programs as Leadership 2.0 and HealthPath Summer Bridge, which are designed to support underrepresented individuals throughout their education.
The college has among its strategic priorities the effort to “Promote Diversity and Inclusion” in alignment with its vision statement: “Through creative leveraging of technology, innovation and inclusive excellence, the UC College of Nursing will lead the transformation of health care in partnership informed by the people we serve.”
The diversity plan includes goals for increasing the diversity and retention of faculty, staff and students; ensuring cultural competency as a construct throughout the curriculum; and increasing scholarship activities on concerns related to diversity, cultural competence and health disparities.