Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 49.48
Liaison William Clancey
Submission Date Jan. 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

Durham College
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 3.00 Allison Hector- Alexander
Manager, Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion & Transitions
Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Transitions
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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

Durham College is committed to maintaining an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment. The Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions investigates complaints of discrimination and harassment based on:

Ancestry, colour, race
Ethnic origin
Place of origin
Family status
Marital status
Gender identity, gender expression
Receipt of public assistance
Record of offences
Sexual orientation.

Durham College’s Discrimination & Harassment policy can be found here.


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team)?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:

Complaints of discrimination and harassment can be made formally or informally.
Informal complaint: Information complaints are usually managed through discussion or mediation with the diversity officer.
Formal complaint: Formal complaints require a written complaint by the student and will result in a higher level of investigation.
In-person visits may be made at the Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions located in Room SSB 211-D of the Student Services building. Consultations are confidential and informal complaints are managed with your input.
The Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions offers a safe, respectful environment for the informal discussion of discrimination concerns and quick, confidential resolution.


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

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

Does the institution have programs designed specifically to recruit non-academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

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

-RISE program: https://durhamcollege.ca/student-life/student-services/rise
outreach and access for students who identify as having many layered barriers to success.

Ontario Post-secondary Access and Inclusion program:

The Student Access and Inclusion program is designed to encourage and support participants who have disclosed multiple barriers that would prevent them from considering, applying, or being successful in the postsecondary environment. Proactively identifying at-risk students and extending appropriate support mechanisms is critically important for helping those students persist through college (The Hanover Research Council, 2010). The three (3) pillars, outreach, access & transitions, and retention will create a path for those participants identified as “at-risk” to be supported with barrier exploration, general college information, key transitions education, as well as information on how to access available supports and resources to be successful once they are Durham College students.

The objectives of this program are to:
1. Introduce and explore postsecondary education and its benefits. This will include regular visits to existing programs at identified locations highlighting the many opportunities at Durham College. This will also include customized, planned programming delivered at the College for prospective students to experience while being on site. Examples include but are not limited to: hands-on experiences within the culinary program, creating simple projects while experiencing the trades, exploring photography through activities with upper year students, and developing an E portfolio through a LinkedIn workshop.

2. Share and highlight the many services that are available at the College to support student success, including but not limited to: financial aid, academic supports, recreation, wellness coaching, and career development coaching.

3. Assist students in the application process through the Ontario College Application system and identify options for financial supports through this process.

4. Develop transition programs for unique groups of students in addition to the College’s general transitions and orientation activities. These transition programs would include enhanced support in getting prepared for success. Activities include but are not limited to: support in navigating the learning management system, developing success plans, and ensuring that there is a strong financial support base in place depending on the student’s needs.

5. Support students’ success through regularly scheduled coaching meetings geared towards students who have been targeted through the OPAIP initiative. Along with the coaching supports there will be activities throughout the year focused on well-being, time management, skills development, and stress relief. These supports will be planned strategically to support students during more challenging times during the academic calendar supported by the Student Success Coach, peer coaches, and peer tutors.

We can also speak to the external financial supports for our Indigenous students.

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

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

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

A brief description of the institution’s programs designed specifically to support students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

The Women's Centre at Durham College is a safe and fun place for all genders to meet and dialogue, learn about women's issues and empower one another. The resource library offers a wide variety of brochures, books, journals, magazines, research articles and films.
The centre co-ordinates gender-specific programming related to equality issues and violence against women. This includes women’s wellness sessions, an International Women’s Day celebration, and awareness campaigns in recognition of Woman Abuse Awareness Month.
A number of wellness recreation programs are also offered through the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre, geared specifically to women and those who identify as women.

Persons with exceptionalities -accessibility coordinating council
At Durham College, we are committed to creating a culture where individuals with exceptionalities receive an excellent college education on a campus free of barriers. We are committed to providing friendly, accessible and confidential services, and are focused on meeting the needs of all students and employees with exceptionalities.
With that commitment in mind, an accessibility policy was created in September 2015. The purpose of this policy is to establish standards for ensuring that everyone at Durham College experiences an optimal and accessible working and learning environment.

Members of visible minorities
At Durham College, our approach is to be inclusive and ensure we recognize, celebrate and embrace the richness of diversity in our campus community and beyond. Employees and students who identify as members of a visible minority have become diversity ambassadors who then work together to create awareness campaigns and events that continually expose our campus to different cultures. In 2019, we celebrated Aboriginal Awareness Day, Black History Month, Pangaea, Chinese New Year, Nowruz, Holi, Eid, Ramadan, Mother Language Festival and Vaisakhi. The college has also incorporated major cultural and religious celebration dates in a calendar on both the diversity section of our public website and the main page of the Information Centre for Employees (ICE).

Indigenous Students
Durham College’s First People's Indigenous Centre embraces teachings from all First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples, and we strive to recognize and support employees and students through various activities and teachings with the assistance of Elders from all backgrounds.
Our commitment to indigenize the campus was evident with the signing of the Indigenous Education Protocol in October 2015. Durham College became one of 18 Ontario colleges, and 44 colleges in Canada to commit to more intentional support of indigenous learning. The protocol highlights the importance of structures and approaches required to address Indigenous Peoples’ learning needs and support self-determination and socio-economic development of Indigenous communities.

Indigenization Statement
Developed by Durham College’s (DC) Indigenization Council, under the guidance of Indigenous coaches Julie Pigeon and Peggy Forbes, and in consultation with our Indigenous Advisory Circle, the DC Indigenization statement is a declaration of our commitment and intentions in connection with Indigenization on campus.

Durham College (DC) recognizes that Indigenization is a continuous process requiring each member of our campus community to actively commit to reconciliation, with the goal of building respectful, reciprocal relationships that will contribute to better educational outcomes for all students. Inherent among this commitment is our pledge to uphold the seven principles of the Indigenous Education Protocol for Colleges and Institutes, of which DC is a proud signatory.

The Seven Principles are:
Commit to making Indigenous education a priority.
Ensure governance structures recognize and respect Indigenous peoples.
Implement intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples through curriculum and learning approaches relevant to learners and communities.
Support students and employees to increase understanding and reciprocity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
Commit to increasing the number of Indigenous employees with ongoing appointments throughout the institution, including Indigenous senior administrators.
Establish Indigenous-centred holistic services and learning environments for learner success.
Build relationships and be accountable to Indigenous communities in support of self-determination through education, training and applied research.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Two-Spirited and Queer (LGBTQ)
With the principles of inclusivity and community at its core, the DC Pride Collective represents LGBTQIA students and staff on campus. Belonging is a key component of the college experience and the Pride Collective exists to nurture and help LGBTQIA students feel safe, express themselves and most importantly, belong to a community of like-minded individuals. Along with a variety of bimonthly events such as ‘gay bar nights’ and outreach based workshops, the Pride Collective also runs a successful queer radio show on the campus broadcast ‘Riot Radio’ in partnership with DCSI. Moreover, a variety of resources from LGBTQIA graphic novels, wellness coaches and safe sex kits are also available for students.

There are a number of religious groups on campus who collaborate on a number of events and educational opportunities. Groups include Chinese Christian Fellowship, Association for Baha’I Studies, Coptic Orthodox, Campus Church, Campus Catholics, Muslim Group, and the Sikh Network.
Many awareness and celebration events are held throughout the year to recognize and celebrate the different religions on campus, and annual events include Diwali, Ramadan, Eid, Easter, Holi, Vaisakhi and Rosh Hashanah. One of the more popular religious events held every year is Faith Mosaic, which sees representatives from many faiths work in partnership to inform and educate our campus community about key elements of their religion. There is also a multi-faith calendar posted on the Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions’ webpage to inform the community of upcoming major holy days with brief explanations on the significance of those religious observances.

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?:

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

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

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

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.