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May 29, 2024

QCC receives state funding for DEI certificate program aimed at higher ed workers

A brick university building is set back behind a large green lawn with trees and shrubs and a blue sign. Photo | Grant Welker Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester

Quinsigamond Community College has been awarded a $51,968 grant from the Gov. Maura Healey Administration to develop a diversity, equity, and inclusion certificate program for local higher education faculty and staff.

The Worcester community college is one of seven Massachusetts state colleges and universities receiving a combined $1.3 million in funding for their collaborative efforts with other higher education institutions throughout the state to promote racial equity, according to a joint press release Tuesday from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education and Department of Higher Education. 

“I often say that change is a process, not an event, and our Massachusetts colleges and universities are working hard to drive the process of change,” Patrick Tutwiler, Massachusetts secretary of education, said in the release. “We know there are racial disparities in college attainment, and these grants are part of larger efforts to create a public higher education system that serves all students equitably.”

QCC’s non-credit DEI certificate program will aim to deepen faculty and staff awareness and understanding of different student backgrounds, histories, and experiences in order to better support them throughout their higher education experience. The program will be offered to faculty and staff at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Middlesex Community College with campuses in Bedford and Lowell, Worcester State University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, according to the release.

The state grant comes as Quinsigamond looks to apply to be considered a Hispanic Serving Institution, a recognition for eligible higher education institutions with at least 25% of its undergraduate full-time students identifying as Hispanic, according to the ​​U.S. Department of Education’s website.

“Building a more equitable landscape in higher education hinges on cultivating a culture of collaboration, and these systemwide and regional consortia demonstrate how our Commonwealth’s leaders are committed to working together to improve outcomes for students of color,” Noe Ortega, Massachusetts commissioner of higher education, said in the release. “The work of these campuses is crucial to Massachusetts’ efforts to ensure that all students with the talent and drive to complete a higher education have the same opportunity to succeed in doing so.”

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