SRJC receives Second Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

September 10, 2020, Santa Rosa, CA —Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) received the 2020 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 HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — SRJC will be featured, along with 89 other recipients, in the November 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This is the second year SRJC has been named as a HEED Award recipient.


SRJC President Dr. Frank Chong said that diversity and inclusion are key tenets of SRJC’s overall mission. “While this recognition demonstrates the enormous progress we’ve made, we continue to work every day to build a more diverse and inclusive workplace. The diversity of our employees, students, and community are part of what makes SRJC a great place to work and to learn,” he said.


INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected SRJC partially because of its hiring, outreach, and retention practices, which include:


SRJC receives Second Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

Each candidate for employment at the district must respond to a diversity prompt with their employment application and describe how they have demonstrated sensitivity to, and respect for, diverse populations.


Faculty recruitment programs

“Making Great Teachers” is the adjunct faculty to full-time faculty recruitment program. Workshops, internships and mentoring are provided for adjuncts who aspire to be regular faculty employees.


Recruitment Advertising and Outreach

The district advertises all external recruitments in a wide variety of sources to attract a diverse pool of candidates, including INSIGHT Into Diversity’s job board and Handshake, an online billboard for students and recent graduates. Approximately 150 connections with institutions on Handshake have since been established.

Professional Development Opportunities and Retention Programs

“Embracing a Culture of Inclusion” (ECI) won the California Community College Council for Staff and Organizational Development (4CSD) Outstanding Program in spring 2018. The program was started to provide a welcoming and equitable work environment with opportunity for all cultures and perspectives to thrive. ECI trainings are offered at the district’s Professional Development Activity days, new hire orientations, student government and at SRJC’s Leadership Academy. 

Programs/Initiatives to improve retention and graduation rates for historically underrepresented and first-generation students

Since the Welcome and Connect Center opened in June 2019, 3,632 contacts were made with 42% returning for onboarding assistance, coaching appointments or workshops. "SRJC Ready," the summer bridge program, which started in August 2019, is operating remotely this year and 244 students are scheduled for remote check-ins.


Accommodations for students with disabilities

SRJC has ongoing educational support for students with disabilities from specialists in Adapted Physical Education courses, mobility assistants, specialized tutoring, and a College to Career Program for students diagnosed with autism or intellectual disabilities. There is access to loaned technological equipment and an accommodated testing environment.


For more information about the 2020 HEED Award, visit

For more information about SRJC, visit

About INSIGHT Into Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is well-known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at