Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.52
Liaison Megan Varnadore
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Sonoma State University
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Gerald Jones
Senior Director, Center for Academic Access and Student Success
Center for Academic Access and Student Success
"---" 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:

Sonoma State University is part of the 23 campus California State University system and follows all policies and executive orders as published by the Chancellor's Office. EO 1096 and EO 1095 can be found locally on the SSU Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination website. https://ophd.sonoma.edu/policies-definitions
The office of Employee Relations and Compliance posts all legal notices pertaining to harassment and discrimination, https://web.sonoma.edu/hr/erc/discrimination/ and http://web.sonoma.edu/hr/erc/home/legal-posting.html as well as tracking completion of periodic trainings as required by the CSU Chancellor's Office.

Sonoma State University supports an atmosphere free of discrimination and harassment for all staff, faculty and students. Employee Relations and Compliance Services Office provides diversity and non-discrimination training for all members of the campus community. We also provide thorough and timely investigations of complaints of discrimination at the University.
Sonoma State University also has an office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion http://diversity.sonoma.edu/

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:

At Sonoma State, our student, faculty, staff, and third-party affiliates can reports incidents of discrimination to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). OPHD reaches out to all parties who were reportedly impacted by discrimination to review supportive measures they need and inform them of the resolution processes they are able to pursue. OPHD operates in accordance with California State Executive Order 1096 and 1097 to resolve such issues. Reports of bias incidents (or incidents that do not arise to the level outlined in the CSU Executive Orders) are reviewed by OPHD and referred to the appropriate campus resource for resolution.
To report an incident on line:
All Non-Discrimination Policies and Procedures
CSU Systemwide Policies can be found:

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:

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally funded Department of Education TRIO program which aims to support traditionally under-represented current or incoming undergraduate university students who are seeking their first bachelor's degree and need academic assistance and other services to be successful at the University. Two separate offices at Sonoma State University offer these programs.

Through our Center for Academic Access and Student Enrichment (CAASE) we offer two TRIO programs - Multilingual Achievers Program and United for Success.

Pre-Collegiate Programs (PCP) offers the following Trio programs: Upward Bound, Academic Talent Search and TriO training. These programs are "specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups." However, these programs do not recruit specifically for SSU. They provide college readiness services and activities to students from underrepresented groups, who are encouraged to apply to postsecondary programs of their choice. Some (approximately 10-15%) do select SSU.
PCP DOES seek to recruit academic and non-academic staff from underrepresented groups, but that is not what our programs are "designed" to do. It is a priority, however, that we write into our Dept of Education proposals, i.e. to recruit staff who come from backgrounds similar to our students, i.e. low-income and first-generation.
Pre-Collegiate Programs consist of federally-funded programs that aim to recruit and serve students who are low-income and/or first-generation college-bound. The programs provide services and activities to ensure students are ready to enroll and succeed in a postsecondary program. PCP is proactive in building a staff comprised of individuals sensitive to the needs of its participants, and, ideally, who have overcome the disadvantages of circumstances like those of the students served by PCP.

Sonoma State University’s commitment to affirmative action and equal employment opportunity is among its highest priorities. It is the policy of Sonoma State University to recruit well-qualified employees from the most diversified pool of candidates and effort is taken to emphasize the importance of valuing different backgrounds throughout the hiring process for both academic and non-academic staff. Priority is made to ensure use of gender inclusive and non biased language in interview questions, the position description and job announcement. Examples of job boards routinely used to focus on outreach recruiting are:
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
Hispanics in Higher Education.com
Women in Higher Education
Asians in Higher Education
Blacks in Higher Education

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:

In the division of Student Affairs, the Center for Academic Access & Student Enrichment (CAASE) serves as a resource hub for underrepresented and underserved students at Sonoma State University. CAASE is a "one stop shop" comprised of six dynamic departments and support services. Students interested in CAASE can find a variety of support including: migrant education and information, disability services, academic and holistic advising, expert tutoring, community, and much more. Departments within CAASE include the DREAM Center - The Dreamers, Resource, Empowerment, Advocacy, Mentorship (DREAM) Center supports and advances the academic, personal, and professional development of undocumented students and allies by providing a safe, centralized space for services and resources; Disability Services for Students - Disability Services for Students (DSS) ensures equal access to students with disabilities by providing appropriate accommodations and specialized support services; Educational Opportunity Program, (EOP) - EOP provides access, academic support, and transitional services improving the retention of first generation, historically low income, and educationally disadvantaged students; PUERTA Centro -Preparing Underrepresented Educators to Realize their Teaching Ambitions (PUERTA) aims to increase, retain, and graduate Latinx and/or Hispanic students who have an interest in becoming K-12 teachers. Our goal is to create equitable and inclusive classroom environments by enhancing the equity of our future educators through network opportunities, credential program preparation, community engagement, and resources; Seawolf Scholars - providing current and former foster youth with advocacy, academic support, community building, and access to resources for educational success; and two different TRIO Support Services Multilingual Achievers Program, a holistic academic support program geared toward college, career, and life success. Celebrating diversity and multilingualism, our dedicated MAP staff provides multilingual students with free individualized tutorials in math, academic writing, résumés, scholarships, statements of purpose, presentations, exam prep, and so much more. Come in to use our free computer lab, print your essays, relax in our student lounge areas and find out how we can be your partners in success; and United for Success (U4S) which provides a comprehensive array of academic and personal support services for students who are first-generation, low-income and/or students with disabilities. Our professional staff is committed to supporting students in reaching their goal of graduating with a bachelor's degree within 6 years. We offer support in writing, reading, math, budgeting, time management, scholarship searches, graduate school applications, and much more. We provide students with a computer lab, printing, and a space to relax and socialize. as well as campus-wide initiatives to help Sonoma State University meet its CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 goals. An example of the programs funded by the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 is the Male Success Initiative program, which aids in closing the achievement gap for male students who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) reflects Sonoma State University’s commitment to educational, ethical, and administrative leadership on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The Office of DEI provides resources to assist faculty, administrators, students, and staff in their efforts to foster, promote, and sustain an inclusive and diverse campus climate at Sonoma State. Content includes resources related to student success; pedagogy and classroom equity; and policies related to diversity, equity, campus climate, and inclusion.
The Office of DEI houses the multicultural HUB (Honoring-Uniting-Building) Cultural Center, the Center for Community Engagement, and an array of initiatives, programs, and collaborations aimed at fostering a broadly diverse, fully equitable, and universally inclusive campus culture that promotes student engagement and success, and faculty/staff advancement, collegiality, and productivity.
Sonoma State University’s DEI website serves as a campus-wide resource for initiatives and programs, campus events, cultural heritage celebrations, academic resources, training opportunities, and other relevant information.
Through workshops, trainings, and community building activities, campus affinity faculty and staff associations (for example: Alianza for Equity, Asian Pacific Islander American Faculty and Staff Association, Black Faculty & Staff Association, Queer Faculty & Staff Association) also promote professional and social development that foster a more welcoming campus climate.
The Sonoma State University Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is designed to provide professional assistance to all faculty, staff and their families (dependents and permanent household members) in assessing and resolving personal problems that may be affecting well-being or job performance. The EAP offers a wide array of health solutions focused on promoting individual and organizational well-being, providing work/life resources and educational webinars/seminars for employees.

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:

McNair Scholars Program
The McNair Scholars Program was established in memory of the physicist and Challenger Astronaut, Robert E. McNair. It is one of the several TRIO programs funded by the Department of Education supporting the academic achievements of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education. The SSU McNair Scholars Program was established in 2007 as a two year research-based intensive program that prepares undergraduate students in their pursuit of a Ph.D. or graduate program.

The Sally Casanova Scholarship (The California Pre-Doctoral Program)
The Sally Casanova Scholarship is designed to increase diversity within the pool of university faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of students in the CSU. This scholarship is designed to enable current students to explore and prepare to succeed in doctoral programs in their chosen field of study. Awards are based on competitive review of student applications and given to current upper-division or graduate students who, in the judgement of the review panel, demonstrate academic excellence while experiencing economic or educational disadvantage, as well as committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level.

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:

Susan Wandling provided pre-collegiate information
Daniel Malpica provided McNairs and Sally scholarship information
Karen Schneider provided non discrimination and diversity information
Gerald Jones provided TRIO and Dream Center information
Chandra Holte Human Resources information

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.