UIC rewarded for its commitment to diversity


Newswise – The University of Illinois at Chicago was recognized for its efforts in diversity by receiving the HEED (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) award from Insight into Diversity magazine for the sixth year.

UIC is one of 101 institutions featured in the November issue of Insight into Diversity, the oldest and largest publication dedicated to diversity in higher education. Each year, the publication recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate exceptional commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The university received the award for its level of achievement and the intensity of its commitment to expanding diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach, according to the publication. In addition, UIC’s efforts to increase student recruitment, retention and completion – as well as faculty hiring practices – have also been honored, said Amalia Pallares, Associate Chancellor and Vice-Rector. diversity at UIC.

The university is an Institution Serving Pacific Islanders of Asian and Native American Descent (AANAPISI) and an Institution Serving Hispanics (HSI), designated by the United States Department of Education.

UIC is one of 16 HSI 1 research institutions nationwide, and the majority of its undergraduate students are eligible to receive Federal Pell Grants. This year, all UIC registrations a recording for the highest number of registrations in its history for the seventh consecutive year.

UIC’s efforts to increase diversity were reinforced by the new freshman class this fall. Of the 4,177 new freshmen at UIC, the number of black freshmen jumped 25%, the largest percentage increase among ethnic groups this year. Latin American freshmen were up 19.5% from the previous year, the largest overall campus-wide increase.

“UIC’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts have helped make it one of the most diverse higher education institutions in the country, providing students with access to one of the few 1 HSI research establishments nationwide and at the only public research university in Chicago, ”Pallares said.

Among the inclusion efforts highlighted was the UIC [email protected] Network Access Program for the Advancement of Science ([email protected] GANAS), which created a learning community of approximately 45 Hispanic / Latino university researchers with transition coaching, peer mentoring and support. The effort led to better grades and better retention, according to Pallares.

Additionally, the implementation of iAdvise, a centralized academic advice sharing system for undergraduates, has helped provide support to new and former students. In order to increase diversity in STEM fields of study, the campus recently started the DuSable researchers program to attract and support black and Latino students in STEM.

UIC’s holistic approach to its admissions process targets communities with talented but marginalized students, offering transition coaching to assist students with college applications and funding in high schools with large populations of students. latino and black students.

UIC automatically accepts the highest 4% of all high school students in Illinois as part of its Admissions Via Excellence program, and in an effort to recruit Native American students, UIC offers Native American students from outside state tuition fees in the state if they are from recognized tribal nations

Several initiatives were also highlighted to support efforts to diversify the ranks of faculty at UIC.

UIC’s Bridge-to-Faculty program aims to recruit under-represented minority postdoctoral researchers to have the opportunity to be offered a junior professor position in departments with few or no under-represented professors within two years. . This includes support to departments that recruit and mentor postdoctoral fellows through a cohort program structure. The UIC Pipeline to an Inclusive Faculty Program recruits and supports outstanding under-represented graduate students interested in pursuing careers as faculty members. The Under-Represented Faculty Recruitment Program helps recruit diverse faculty by providing additional research support.

“Each of these programs offers peer mentoring with other professors in the department, inter-campus networking and skills support through individual trainings and group workshops,” according to UIC’s request.

For the first time this year, magazine officials asked how COVID-19 has impacted diversity efforts on campuses.

UIC’s diversity officers have played an active role as members of the university’s COVID-19 response and planning team. Officials listed several steps they have taken to help students, including offering additional mental health support, ensuring that food insecure students receive free food, and ensuring that all students have access to computers and the Internet for e-learning; and ensuring that e-learning is accessible to students with disabilities.

Additional funds and resources have been provided for students, faculty and staff to switch to distance and blended learning and provide a safe working environment, officials said.

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