For the third year in a row, the University of Houston College of Nursing has been awarded the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
“The award underscores our continual commitment to diversity in nursing,” said Kathryn Tart, dean of the college. “I am deeply appreciative of our team’s vision and leadership for educating culturally competent nurses for the care of all patients.”
In 2016 the University of Houston, the UH Law Center and the UH School of Nursing all won the diversity award, marking the first time an institution earned three HEED awards in a single year.
The HEED Award is given annually to U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. It measures an institution’s “level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs, and outreach; student recruitment, retention, and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.”
One of the things that sets the UH College of Nursing apart is the work done to increase the number of Hispanic students, now up to 24 percent of college enrollment.
“We have done this in a number of ways, including hiring Hispanic staff, offering beginning medical Spanish courses, and being mindful of our marketing, advising students how the nursing degree can be affordable through scholarships and working with the financial aid officer,” said Tart.
"The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees -- and best practices for both; continued leadership support for diversity; and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion," said Lenore Pearlstein, co-publisher of INSIGHT into Diversity magazine.
The magazine reports a record number of Health Professions HEED Award applicants each year.