UC's College of Allied Health Sciences honored with top diversity award for 5th consecutive year
College receives Insight Into Diversity's 2023 HEED award
The University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS) is the recipient of the 2023 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, 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 — UC CAHS will be featured, along with 61 other recipients, in the November/December 2023 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This is the fifth year the College of Allied Health Sciences has been named as a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. UC’s College of Nursing and College of Pharmacy were also honored with the 2023 award, acknowledging the Academic Health Center’s commitment to improving health care outcomes and reducing inequities, starting with preparing students to be culturally sensitive providers.
"The College of Allied Health is pleased to receive the HEED award again," says CAHS Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Larisa Wright. “We strive to provide meaningful and effective initiatives that support an inclusive culture within CAHS and provide our students with the training to be caring health professionals and social workers who perform with cultural humility."
We strive to provide meaningful and effective initiatives that support an inclusive culture within CAHS and provide our students with the training to be caring health professionals and social workers who perform with cultural humility.
Larisa Wright CAHS assistant director of diversity, equity and inclusion
“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.”
- Undergraduate time to degree completion for non-white students decreased by 9.4% over the last year.
- The number of non-white faculty and staff increased 4.3% over the last year.
- The number of non-white applications to undergraduate programs increased by 24% over the last two years.
- The number of male students enrolled in CAHS college increased by 2.7% over the last two years. Males are considered underrepresented in most allied health professions.
- The undergraduate first-generation student retention rate within the CAHS increased by 5.8% over the last year (cohort fall 2020 to 2021 compared with cohort fall 2021 to 2022).
Exemplary initiatives in equity and inclusion at CAHS
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected the College of Allied Health Sciences for its advancement in areas related to diversity, equity and inclusion as well as its commitment to the future through innovative programming and resourcing. “Over the last year, we have expanded development opportunities for our faculty and staff within the college and continue to expand student support and engagement,” says CAHS Interim Dean Charity Accurso, PhD.
One specific initiative introduced this year was the appointment of the Ronay Lyons, student success coach. This role is dedicated to enhancing CAHS retention and improving academic outcomes among underrepresented groups in allied health disciplines during their initial two years. Strategic outreach efforts target five undergraduate segments: first-generation, underrepresented minorities, males, Cincinnati Public School graduates and Pell-eligible students.
Our student success coach will help us create a circle of support and inclusion around our students as they transition through the college.
Charity Accurso, PhD CAHS interim dean
“Our student success coach will help us create a circle of support and inclusion around our students as they transition through the college,” says Accurso.
The success coach is positioned to assist in improving retention and academic performance, which is then expected to bolster graduation rates and play a pivotal role in diversifying professional graduate programs and strengthening the regional allied health workforce.
This year, the College of Allied Health Sciences additionally received an $89,000 Inclusive Leadership grant from the University of Cincinnati. This funding will support multiple initiatives, encompassing faculty and staff training and redesigning a dedicated space within the facility, featuring inclusive content and collaboration opportunities, student engagement events and additional programs.
About INSIGHT Into Diversity
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the leader in advancing best practices in DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) in higher education. Through thought-provoking print and online articles, they share expert advice, valuable resources, in-depth profiles of top DEI programs at colleges and universities, headline news and more to help keep readers informed and empower them to advance DEI initiatives at their institutions. The INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award was created in 2012 to further their mission. The HEED Award — including the more targeted INSIGHT Into Diversity Health Professions, Law School and Community College HEED Awards — is the only national honor to recognize institutions of higher education for their outstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Current, archived and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at insightintodiversity.com.
Featured image at the top: Ronay Lyons (left), Colllege of Allied Health Sciences new success coach, works with at student in the Health Sciences Building during the fall semester.