Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date Oct. 20, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pennsylvania State University
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
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Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support 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-5. 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
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/index.cfm/diversity/srop/
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/
Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars) works with undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds to prepare them to pursue advanced studies in the disciplines of their choosing. http://www.gradsch.psu.edu/diversity/mcnair.html
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.
Student Support Services Program (SSSP) provides a variety of services to enhance academic performance and ultimately increase the retention and graduation rates of low-income, first-generation college students and those with disabilities. http://www.equity.psu.edu/sssp
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
The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) is a federally funded program designed to assist first-year college students from migrant and seasonal farm worker families, in their pursuit of higher education. http://equity.psu.edu/camp
Pennypacker 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://www.science.psu.edu/diversity/pennypacker-experience/BWPPExperience.htm
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/
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

The website URL where more information about the support programs for underrepresented groups is available:
Does the institution have a discrimination response policy and/or team (or the equivalent) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response policy, program and/or team:

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.

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

The website URL where more information about the institution’s discrimination response policy, program and/or team is available:
Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

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

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.