Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.87
Liaison Julie Hopper
Submission Date July 29, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Southern California
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.33 / 3.00 Elias Platte-Bermeo
Sustainability Program Assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

The University prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), creed, sex, age (40 years and over), marital status, national origin, citizenship status, employment status, income status, ancestry, military status, partnership status, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), pregnancy (including childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), disability, political belief or affiliation, domestic violence victim status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance (Protected Characteristics), and their implementing regulations, in any of its education programs and activities, in employment and application for employment, in admission and application of admission, and in all other University programs and activities, in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; Executive Order 11246 of 1965, as amended by Executive Order 11357 of 1967; the California Fair Employment and Housing Act; and other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination.

https://careers.usc.edu/employers/guidelines-and-policies/usc-career-center-non-discrimination-and-sexual-harassment-guidelines/ or similar

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:

The USC Bias Assessment Response and Support Team receives reports of bias and hate incidents, assesses the incidents, and coordinates the response to the incidents for the University community. The response includes supporting those impacted within the community and informing the community about the nature of the incidents. The team generates an annual summary of bias incidents and regularly reviews incident summaries to best understand University climate and identify opportunities for proactive anti-bias education.


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:


1) Trojan Guardian Scholars Program
The program is committed to supporting ambitious, college-bound students exiting the foster care system. The goals of the program are to assist students in attaining a bachelor’s degree, and to promote career development and self-sufficiency. The program is comprehensive and contributes to the quality and depth of the student’s university experience. Some of the support and services provided include: financial aid assistance and counseling; potential year-round on-campus housing; supplemental academic and professional mentoring; referrals to appropriate on-campus resources; health and counseling services; admission and enrollment assistance; and student programming, including cohort events and holiday dinners.

2) USC SACNAS Chapter
The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in the Sciences (SACNAS) is focused on increasing the number of Chicanos, Native Americans and other underrepresented students pursuing graduate degrees in the sciences.

More info on programs for undergraduate students: https://dornsife.usc.edu/undergraduate-programs/


1) Pathways to the PhD - DIA JumpStart Program
USC's Graduate Initiative for Diversity, Inclusion, and Access (DIA) aims to increase the pool of diverse PhD applicants by providing academic and financial support and professional development opportunities. DIA JumpStart works with USC schools and programs to invite diverse candidates from outside institutions to apply for 10-week summer research opportunities in various PhD disciplines. Available opportunities range from lab-based research to mentored participation in other types of faculty projects

More info on programs for graduate students: http://graduateschool.usc.edu/dia/

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:

USC offers a number of programs including:
- The Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBCSA) is a department that works toward creating an optimal learning environment for students of African descent and the Trojan family at large.

- The LGBT Resource Center (LGBTRC) (est. 2005) provides support, education, and advocacy for LGBT and Ally undergraduate and graduate students. LGBTRC works with diverse campus undergraduate, graduate, and faculty/staff and alumni organizations along with campus departments to address the LGBT student experiences.

- The Annenberg Latino Student Association is committed to promoting career and academic opportunities for Latino students in the fields of communication, journalism, and public relations. The organization is also designed to provide a social network outside of the classroom, and provides students the opportunity to volunteer in the community through its various outreach field trips. ALSA hosts bi-weekly meetings with guest speakers, workshops, and networking mixers focused on supporting and advancing the career of Latino media students.

- Founded at USC in 1991, Chicanos for Progressive Education is an organization that is committed to the education and retention of underrepresented minority students. Their purpose is to increase the number of minority students, especially Latinos, at USC and in colleges around the country by touring Los Angeles High Schools in order to motivate and answer questions about university life, academics, and financial aid. They also provide mentoring to high school students as well as informal mentoring between their members. They maintain a scholarship fund to help supplement the financial needs of one qualified freshman or transfer student who has shown commitment and dedication to CPE and their cause.

- The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) provides the Hispanic community more college scholarships and outreach support than any other organization in the country. In its 35 years, the HSF has awarded over 90,000 scholarships worth more than $250 million to students in need. HSF's mission is to strengthen America by advancing the college education of Hispanic Americans. As one of their many programs to achieve their mission, HSF initiated the Scholar Chapter Network in 2001 that exists to promote the advancement of Hispanic students, while encouraging them to serve as role models and leaders in their communities.

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:

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program is the centerpiece of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's initiative to increase the commitment to diversity in the faculty ranks of colleges and universities. The University of Southern California's MMUF program is a partnership between the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences and the Office of the Provost.

More information: https://dornsife.usc.edu/mmuf

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:

Additional information:
On November 16, 2015, Provost Michael Quick released USC’s response to a national call to improve the campus climate for issues of diversity and inclusion. Provost Quick emphasized, “Universities should be spaces committed to showing the promise of diversity and helping everyone recognize, appreciate, and respect differences. USC has long strived toward this goal, teaching students that part of being a member of the Trojan community is learning what it means to be a good citizen in a global context – a person appreciative of all cultures; a person committed to fairness, respect, and equality for all.” Ten action items including the Provost’s Diversity Task Force, a series of open forums, a symposium series, additional funding for Vision and Voices and student programming, and instructions to include diversity education in residential education and the strategic plan are outlined in the memorandum.

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.