UCF honored with 7th prize for excellence in higher education in diversity

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For the seventh year in a row, UCF has received the HEED (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) award, recognition of the university’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion.

UCF is one of 100 colleges and universities to win the national award for DIVERSITY OVERVIEW magazine, the oldest and largest publication focused on diversity in higher education. UCF was selected because of its commitment to the recruitment, retention and completion of inclusive students; programming, initiatives and awareness; and hiring practices.

This accolade underscores the university’s efforts to ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to affordable, high-quality education, including those who come from disadvantaged families or are first generation students.

In fall 2020, UCF set new diversity records: 48.5% of students identify as a non-white race or ethnicity, including 27.5% who identify as Hispanic / latina / o / x.

“The fact that UCF has won the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for seven years in a row speaks volumes about this university’s commitment to helping students from all walks of life achieve their dreams of get a university degree, ”said Andrea Guzmán, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “When we foster an inclusive environment of excellence that values ​​diversity, it is good for our students, our economy and our society.

The HEED award comes as UCF continues its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month through October 15, big gains in its national social mobility rankings, and gears up for the start of Diversity Week on October 18.

Social mobility

American News and World ReportThe 2022 best colleges ranking places UCF in the Top Performers on Social Mobility category, ranking the university 51st in the nation. Over the past two years, UCF’s social mobility ranking has increased by 19 places, up from 62sd in 2021 and 70e in 2020.

The category, which measures the number of Pell-eligible students who enroll and graduate, is important to student success in college and beyond. Graduation rates correlate with obtaining a stable job and better income, two important factors for social mobility. For more than a decade, UCF has worked to ensure that students of all backgrounds, including those of the first generation and those from disadvantaged families, have access to a quality university degree and the resources and tools necessary to to succeed. It creates a powerful ripple effect in transforming the future for generations to come.

UCF offers a number of programs designed to increase graduation rates and other measures of student success, including:

  • DirectConnect to UCF, which guarantees admission for students who complete a two-year degree at one of the six partner state colleges in our region.
  • The new Transfer Connect program, which provides support, engagement and resources to potential and registered transfer students.
  • The first generation program, where students who are the first in their families to attend university receive advice and guidance from faculty, staff and their student peers.
  • The TRiO Center, which provides academic support services, opportunities and resources to first generation, low income and / or students with documented disabilities.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Events celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at UCF continue through October 15, including panel discussions, student voices and more to honor the culture of Hispanics and Latin Americans. For the first time, this year’s event is led by the Puerto Rico Research Hub at UCF, which was established by sociology professor Fernando Rivera.

Activities range from a discussion of the impact of climate change on Latinos to a Latin American / LatinX film festival featuring six films.

In 2019, UCF was named Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the US Department of Education, recognizing that Hispanic students make up more than a quarter of the university’s undergraduate enrollment. The designation made UCF eligible for federal funding to strengthen student success initiatives. The National Science Foundation of the United States awarded a grant to UCF HSI in 2020 to improve the quality of undergraduate STEM education for Hispanic students, reflecting a commitment to a more scientific and technical workforce. diverse and more competent.

Diversity week

The 29the UCF’s Diversity Week kicks off next month and runs October 18-22. This year’s celebration of the university’s diverse community is themed “Changing the Narrative,” which encourages us to explore the many facets of diversity, equity and inclusion and to take intentional steps to build an inclusive campus of excellence.


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