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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.88
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Sept. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Pennsylvania State University
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :
Yes

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

Penn State Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence
:
"The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusive excellence as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission."

The full statement can be found here: http://equity.psu.edu/psu-diversity-statement


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

Penn State has a written protocol for responding to bias, described in "Penn State's Protocol for Responding to Bias Motivated Incidents": http://equity.psu.edu/reportbias/reports/copy2_of_final_protocol.pdf
The document outlines detailed procedures, points of contact, and resources for response by either the targeted individual, or by a campus-designated support person responding on the targeted individual's behalf.

The protocol is posted on a website "Report Bias", managed by the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity. The website provides students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests with a Penn State User ID with a Web form for reporting acts of hate or intolerance that occur at Penn State. Students may use the form to report any act of intolerance they experience themselves or observe directed against anyone else. A Statement of Confidentiality and instructions for alternative means of submitting a report through the Lion Support Help Line are also included. Incidents are reported to the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, the Campus Environment Team, and the MRC Counselor/Diversity Advocate for Students. http://equity.psu.edu/reportbias

Penn State has a formal policy prohibiting intolerance, AD29 Statement on Intolerance. http://guru.psu.edu/policies/AD29.html


Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Penn State supports a number of programs aimed at recruiting students from underrepresented groups. Those targeted at graduate students are described under "Support for Future Faculty". Those for recruiting undergraduates are listed below.

The Student Minority Advisory and Recruitment Team (SMART) was founded in 1988 with the goal of sharing the success of underrepresented students at Penn State and assisting with the recruitment of ethnic minorities.

The Penn State Millennium Scholars Program is open to academically strong high school seniors whose future plans include pursuing a doctoral degree in science or engineering, and to increasing the diversity of researchers in science and engineering. http://www.millennium.psu.edu/

The Comprehensive Studies Program is an equal opportunity higher education program funded by Penn State. The program provides access and retention to Pennsylvania students displaying high academic potential, who also meet economic criteria and who may be the first in their family to attend college.

Penn State also participates in many of the Federal TRIO Programs, which are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate education. These Federal programs are implemented via grants to institutions of higher education and other organizations who, in turn, provide the services for students. In this context, Penn State participates in the following TRIO programs: Educational Opportunity Center; McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement;Talent Search; Upward Bound; Upward Bound Math and Science; and Upward Bound Migrant.

The following relate to Penn State's strategies for recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce:

In response to the need for more diversity-friendly hiring practices, the Office of Human Resources launched Hire Power, which is now being utilized by a number of units. Hire Power training emphasizes strategic hiring practices, identifying the necessary competencies for the job, and keeping staff hiring practices consistent and in alignment with Affirmative Action practices. The University has also joined the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), a national organization that will facilitate Penn State's ability to attract talented, competitive, and diverse individuals from a nationwide pool.

Penn State's Affirmative Action Office has published guidelines for "Recruiting a Diverse Workforce" to assist deans, department heads and search committee members in proactively recruiting applicants from underrepresented groups. The Office's Searches and Recruitment page provides tools to search faculty information forms, applicant pools, search committee presentations, and more. There are also links to recruitment resources and diversity workforce guidelines.

Penn State's Administrative Fellows Program provides professional development opportunities for faculty and staff that are designed to allow the participants to become more effective in their existing positions within the University and to provide a foundation for them to excel in future, higher-level jobs. Women and members of underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. The program has proven valuable in increasing the availability of qualified women and minorities interested in pursuing careers in university administration.

The President's Opportunity Fund supports initiatives that increase new faculty hires from diverse racial/ethnic groups and women faculty.

Finance & Business has its own Strategic Priority Team for Advancing Diversity & Inclusion among staff in F&B; the team is led by the F&B Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.


Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Penn State sponsors a plethora of programs, offices, and centers that support underrepresented groups, in addition to the key coordinating bodies described in the previous Credit PA-4. A list of most of these programs can be found at: http://equity.psu.edu/diversity-resources and http://www.gradsch.psu.edu/index.cfm/diversity/
College Multicultural Programs: Each University Park-based college has a college multicultural office that provides support for underrepresented/underserved students within their college. http://equity.psu.edu/diversity-resources/college-multicultural-programs

FastStart is a mentoring program that helps first-year students from African American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian and Asian/Pacific American backgrounds, as well as those students who simply want to get their college careers off to a fast start. http://alumni.psu.edu/network-mentor/faststart
GradStart is a new mentoring program designed to help underrepresented graduate students make the most of their graduate school career. Students are matched with an alumnus/ alumna and/or a faculty mentor. http://www.gradsch.psu.edu/diversity/gradstart.html
Office for Disability Services provides services to students with disabilities at University Park and acts in an advisory capacity to the Disability Contact Liaisons at other Penn State locations. http://www.equity.psu.edu/ods/
The Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) provides undergraduate students of color at University Park with academic and personal support. Within the MRC are the Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP), Asian American Students In Action (AASIA), Blends of Traditional Heritages (B.O.T.H.), and the Black Male Empowerment Group.
http://equity.psu.edu/mrc
Office of Veterans Programs Office of Veterans Programs is a comprehensive, direct service unit for veterans and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits recipients. http://www.equity.psu.edu/veterans
Ritner Experience is a scholarly and diverse living/learning community, which aims to create a supportive educational and social environment for incoming first-year students while simultaneously promoting diversity in gender, race, and ethnic background. http://science.psu.edu/diversity/ritner-experience/BWPPExperience.htm
The Commission for Adult Learners is composed of faculty, staff, and students from several University locations, dedicated to improving the adult learner experience at Penn State. http://cal.psu.edu/
The Center for Women Students provides advocacy, information, educational programming, services, and referrals for women students. http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/womenscenter/
The Paul Robeson Cultural Center provides programs and services that encourage the appreciation of the diverse perspectives, experiences, and cultures of many under-represented communities that comprise the student, faculty, staff, and community population of University Park and State College, Pennsylvania. http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/cultural/
Sponsored by the Paul Robeson Cultural Center and formerly known as S-Plan, the BLUEprint Program focuses on offering cultural, social, and academic support to students of color, specifically those who are first-year or transfer/change-of-campus students, through peer mentoring. http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/cultural/programs/
The Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs offers a welcoming, safe, inclusive environment for the Penn State community to explore a multitude of faith traditions in a compassionate, open-minded setting. http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/spiritual/
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allies Student Resource Center provides a comprehensive range of programming, education, information, and advocacy services, and works to create and maintain an open, safe, and inclusive environment. http://www.sa.psu.edu/lgbt/
The Minority Undergraduate Laboratory Research Experience gives first-year students, sophomores, and junior students from underrepresented populations a chance to do research for pay while investigating various fields of study. http://pa.spacegrant.org/mure
Individual colleges at the University Park campus also offer programs to support underrepresented groups, for example the Women's Leadership Initiative in the College of Health and Human Development. http://www.hhd.psu.edu/wli
The Senior Faculty Mentor program provides a variety of supportive services to tenure track faculty members belonging to underrepresented racial/ethnic groups to facilitate attainment of tenure and promotion. http://equity.psu.edu/sfm
A variety of programs are supported by the Equal Opportunity Planning Committee (EOPC), whose primary task is overseeing the allocation of institutional funding to Penn State units for developing and implementing programs and activities intended to advance the diversity mission of the University. Programs may receive support from EOPC funds for up to five years.


Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) is an eight-week research program designed to interest talented undergraduate students from underrepresented groups in academic careers and to enhance their preparation for graduate study through intensive research experiences with faculty mentors. http://www.gradsch.psu.edu/diversity/srop.html
The Penn State Sloan Scholars program provides funding for underrepresented students to pursue doctorates in mathematics, science, and engineering. Faculty members who have proven track records in graduating underrepresented students from their doctoral programs are selected each year to mentor incoming fellows. http://www.gradsch.psu.edu/index.cfm/diversity/sloanfellows/
The McNair Scholars Program is designed to help prepare talented undergraduates to enter graduate school and to receive their doctoral degree. http://www.gradsch.psu.edu/diversity/mcnair.html
GradStart is a new mentoring program designed to help underrepresented graduate students make the most of their graduate school career. Students are matched with an alumnus/ alumna and/or a faculty mentor. http://www.gradsch.psu.edu/diversity/gradstart.html
The annual Professional Development and Retention Conference at Penn State provides an opportunity for new and returning graduate students from underrepresented groups to meet faculty and staff. http://www.gradsch.psu.edu/index.cfm/diversity/pdrc/
Penn State is a member of the NSF-funded Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (NEAGEP), which aims to increase the number of domestic students receiving doctoral degrees and entering the professoriate in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The NEAGP is particularly interested in recruiting, supporting and mentoring students of those population groups underrepresented in STEM fields

The Penn State Millennium Scholars Program is open to academically strong high school seniors whose future plans include pursuing a doctoral degree in science or engineering, to increase the diversity of researchers in science and engineering.


Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:
Yes

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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An extensive list of diversity resources at Penn State can be found here: http://equity.psu.edu/diversity-resources/diversity-resources

The "All In at Penn State: A Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion" initiative, launched in October 2016, is an ongoing commitment to spotlight the importance of diversity at Penn State, demonstrate the University’s commitment to inclusivity and inspire all members of the community to take an active role in promoting respect and embracing diversity. More detail about this initiative is provided in IN-27: Innovation Credit D.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.