Diversity and Inclusion

Penn State has a vision for a community that is inclusive and welcoming for all. We believe in proactively and passionately building that community by partnering with students, staff, faculty, and other stakeholders in meaningful and impactful ways. Students from all backgrounds are welcome to succeed at Penn State World Campus. We are dedicated to providing resources, support, and engagement opportunities that enhance that success — professionally, personally, and in student course work.

We use the following definitions to define the view we take in developing programming, resources, and other initiatives.

Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences (race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, tribe, caste, socio-economic status, thinking and communication styles, etc.), collectively and as individuals (Ford Foundation).

Inclusion refers to the respectful treatment of all people with recognition for the multiplicity of identities and perspectives present in a diverse community. Inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people (Ford Foundation).

Equity requires attention to disparate impact, differential access and opportunities afforded to various communities, as well as structural and systemic barriers that limit potential and possibilities (Penn State Strategic Plan).

Student Involvement

We appreciate the broad perspectives and lived experiences that all Penn State World Campus students bring to their educational paths. There are a variety of ways you can engage with our Diversity, Inclusion, and Advocacy team within World Campus Student Affairs. By getting involved in these efforts, you can explore and create opportunities for students like you — and students you may think you have nothing in common with — to learn from each other in a supportive, educational setting.

If you are still learning about these topics and want more general information about how you can get involved with social justice, you can educate yourself from trusted sources.

Advocacy Offices

You have access to the programming and resources at the following advocacy offices at Penn State University Park campus. We encourage you to contact them directly to receive more information on their services. You are also welcome to contact Penn State World Campus Student Affairs for guidance on the services available to you.

  • Paul Robeson Cultural Center — hosts a variety of multicultural programs and activities, available to students via livestream or in-person attendance
  • LGBTQA Student Resource Center — provides resources to help students and others interested in LQBTQ support resources, available digitally and in-person
  • Gender Equity Center — offers education, advocacy, referrals, and counseling to students who have been impacted by sexual or relationship violence, stalking, harassment, or other issues
  • Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development — creates programming related to community building and education, providing safe spaces for students to explore their religious/spiritual paths
  • Office of Educational Equity — leads strategic planning for diversity and inclusion at Penn State, and provides a place for students to report incidents of bias
  • Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response/Title IX — ensures compliance with Title IX, a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, and provides support to students who may have been impacted by an incident of sexual harassment or misconduct, dating or domestic violence, stalking, or retaliation for reporting any of these acts
  • Multicultural Resource Center — advocates and provides services for multicultural students to help them succeed within the complex makeup of a large university

Faculty/Staff Support

Staff, instructors, or faculty members who have questions about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and how to apply these principles in their job responsibilities and course work, can consult with the Associate Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Advocacy at Penn State World Campus Student Affairs.

Speak With Student Affairs

You may be uncertain about which resources are best suited to your needs, or have apprehension about discussing your issue. If you would prefer a more personal approach, please  email Penn State World Campus Student Affairs. This office can provide you with guidance based on your specific situation and connect you with the resources you need. You are also welcome to complete our Conduct, Care and Concern form, and we will be in touch and able to discuss your particular situation.