CAHS honored with 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine

CAHS was the only allied health college to receive the award


INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — CAHS will be featured, along with 50 other recipients, in the December 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. 

“The Health Professions 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 — continued leadership support for diversity, and 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 Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.” 

This year will be the third year in a row that CAHS has been named one of the Health Professions HEED Award recipients and recognized for their diversity and inclusion. Included in the college strategic plan is a goal of fostering a culture of inclusion and community to attract diverse students, faculty and staff, whose knowledge, skill, and perspectives enhance their ability to provide health care, education, and social services.

“Receiving the HEED Award for the third consecutive year is quite gratifying,” says Monica Wilkins, director of diversity initiatives and recruitment for the college. 

It truly acknowledges the collective hard work and commitment shown by this college and this institution towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. It also strengthens our continuing resolve to grow and progress our efforts in this area.

Monica Wilkins CAHS Director of Diversity Initiatives and Recruitment

CAHS works in partnership with university admissions to reach out to students in both urban public and suburban schools with diverse student populations. Programs and events are offered to welcome and engage students at UC. One example of this: The college has offered a medical terminology course to senior students in a health pathways program at a nearby STEM high school. These students are able to obtain college credit for successful completion of the course while achieving a jump-start in college-level coursework in their areas of interest.

In an effort to improve retention and graduation rates for historically underrepresented and first-generation students, the college established the Connections mentorship program which is now in its 11th year.

The CAHS Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council has been particularly focused in 2020/2021 in carrying out the college’s “Call to Action,” which sets CAHS priorities and initiatives following the racial and social unrest of this past summer. The areas of focus are:

  • Embedding more equity and inclusion topics into the curriculum
  • Increased faculty and staff training and development
  • Student-centered engagement
  • Increased communications.
  • Research and scholarly activities in DEI.

In addition, the council recommended and established the development of a diversity program inventory which lists all of the diversity-related programs, research, publications and efforts taking place throughout the college. This inventory will be published and shared in various formats with faculty, staff and students and updated annually.

CAHS is honored to be recognized for its diversity and inclusion efforts, and will continue its commitment in providing inclusive opportunities for all faculty, staff and students, as they continue to grow in the future. 

Learn more aboout Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives at the College of Allied Health Sciences. 

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