The purpose of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies is to inspire and serve an expanding population of learners in all stages of life. We are guided by five core values: Access, Learning, Inclusivity, Collaboration, and Excellence.

We are committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive environment in every work and learning space—on campus, online, and in the community—that recognizes and celebrates differences.

We are committed to overcoming systemic barriers and implicit biases to ensure that everyone at CCAPS has the opportunity to thrive.

These commitments require us to:

  • build trust among our students, faculty1, staff, and partners.
  • cultivate a student body, staff, and faculty that reflect a globally inclusive society.
  • remove barriers and create pathways to lifelong learning.
  • weave inclusive practices into all of our shared work.
  • acknowledge our vulnerabilities and empower one another to engage in ongoing conversations.

We recognize that the needs of our community will evolve, and we need to keep evolving, too.

 

1 On these pages, the term "faculty" or "instructors" refer to all those in CCAPS who teach our learners, whether credit, noncredit, or in partner programs.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at CCAPS

The College of Continuing and Professional Studies has one the most diverse student populations in the University system. This can largely be attributed to the career-focused opportunities offered through our various applied and professional degrees and courses. As we began to examine the disparities of our under-represented learner groups, it was obvious that CCAPS needed to make a focused effort to create an equitable and inclusive experience for our students, faculty, and staff. At this time, a variety of initiatives were underway throughout the College. These initiatives were aimed not only at improving the student experience, but the staff and faculty experience as well.

In 2019, the Inclusivity Council was formed with the purpose of creating a more inclusive environment for CCAPS staff through:

  1. Culture: Create an inclusive and welcoming environment that celebrates diverse voices, fosters dialogue and discussion, and encourages everyone to bring their whole selves to work.
  2. Diversity: Increase staff and faculty diversity representation, visible or invisible, broadly defined.
  3. Awareness and Education: Increase awareness of issues around inclusion; identify, promote, and facilitate educational and training opportunities for staff.

The Inclusivity Council laid the groundwork for additional DEI focus in the College and sought to tie together the strands of DEI work already being done in the College, including the INC program for graduate students. To create a more comprehensive structure for the work, the Inclusivity Council recommended developing a College-wide DEI strategic plan. In May 2020, when anti-Black racism and civil unrest shook our community following the murder of George Floyd, CCAPS recognized an urgent need to deepen its commitment to foster an equitable experience for our learners.

The CCAPS Leadership team began the process of expanding on the work already being done, and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council was formed (DEI Council Charter).

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

The CCAPS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council was formed in fall 2021. The Council works to integrate best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion into College policies, programs, and practices. The DEI Council serves as an advisory body to the College of Continuing and Professional Studies Leadership Team.

Objectives

1. The Council will develop a three-year strategic plan as follows:

  • Collect and analyze college data as appropriate.
  • Engage all stakeholders (students, learners, staff, and faculty) to collect additional data.
  • Extend Vision: set goals, strategies, metrics, communication.
  • Establish a timeline for implementation.

2. Regularly monitor progress toward the goals set forth in the strategic plan.

3. Develop recommendations for training, policies, and practices that foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture for students, learners, staff, and faculty.

4. Regularly review College tools, policies, and practices to promote antidiscriminatory behavior within the institution.

CCAPS Compact Priorities FY22–FY25

In 2021, CCAPS committed to College-wide priorities through 2025. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was one area of focus. These commitments included incorporating DEI best practices into all student, faculty, and staff interactions and experiences. Three strategies related to this goal are detailed below; these have guided the work of the DEI Council in crafting the strategic plan.

1. Continue to build a culture of inclusivity in the College

CCAPS is establishing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council that will include faculty, staff, and student representation. The Council will advise the College leadership team and work to integrate best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion in College policies, programs, and practices. We will review and revise our curricula and teaching to improve inclusivity. We will continue to evaluate attainment rates (e.g., degree completion, time to completion) to identify gaps, and develop policies and practices to address those gaps.

System-wide Strategic Plan commitment connections:

  • 1.2 - Increase Retention and Graduation Rates While Closing Gaps
  • 4.1 - Reduce Disparities Among Underrepresented Groups
  • 4.2 - Develop Education and Training to Increase Intercultural Competency and Interactional Diversity

2. Expand recruitment of marginalized learners in professional development programs and assist them in completing the course(s) and certificate(s) that meet their needs

CCAPS professional development programs serve about 5,000 individuals annually. There is opportunity to serve a more diverse audience through targeted recruiting and availability of additional financing options.

System-wide Strategic Plan commitment connections:

  • 4.1 - Recruit Diverse Students, Faculty, and Staff; Retain Diverse Students, Faculty, and Staff

3. Increase representational diversity of staff and instructors

As noted earlier, CCAPS has a very diverse student body. We are renewing efforts to increase the diversity of our staff and instructors, including it as a priority in our development efforts.

System-wide Strategic Plan commitment connections:

  • 4.1 - Recruit Diverse Students, Faculty, and Staff; Retain Diverse Students, Faculty, and Staff

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