Seminole State receives 2018 HEED Award

5th consecutive award for excellence in diversity and inclusion

Monday, September 17, 2018
Written by: Tyrone Law

Seminole State College of Florida has received the 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. This is the fifth consecutive year the College has been named as a HEED Award recipient.

As a recipient of the annual HEED Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, Seminole State will be featured, along with 95 other recipients, in the November 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“The College’s fifth consecutive HEED Award celebrates the College community’s focus of helping to change lives,” said Janet Balanoff, associate vice president for equity and diversity/Title IX coordinator at Seminole State. “Students from all walks of life pursue their dreams here. Faculty and staff dedicate themselves to a challenging curriculum, a clean and safe environment, and a rich and engaging tapestry of activities for involvement. …The culture of inclusion recognizes diversity and extends it to the strong bonds we see formed every day.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Seminole State based on its commitment to foster a campus culture that clearly demonstrates the belief that individual differences enhance the educational and workforce experience as well as the College’s leadership role in the community. 

Here are some highlights of the College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion:

  • Strengthening student persistence and completion rates through diverse programs, including the H.O.P.E Scholars Initiative, the First Generation Freshman (FGF) cohort, the Full Spectrum Support program and Destination Graduation
  • Voluntarily adopting a practice to consider accessibility when faculty committees choose online instructional materials to save College resources for captioning.
  • Engaging in at least 50 acts of kindness in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change’s call to action called MLK50 Forward.
  • Offering a robust schedule of activities to observe Social Justice Week and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, to create a culture of inclusion in student-led clubs and organizations.
  • Earning a national honor for diversity, for the second consecutive year, as a finalist for the 2018 Advancing Diversity Award presented by the American Association for Community Colleges.
  • Earning a national honor from the Chronicle of Higher Education for being a 2018 Great College to Work For, with special mention of diversity as a factor in that honor. 

“The 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, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”

Seminole State is one of only six colleges and universities in Florida to receive a 2018 HEED Award. Florida State University, Miami Dade College, University of Central Florida, University of North Florida and The University of West Florida were the other Florida institutions recognized.

For more information about the 2018 HEED Award, visit

About Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded more than 100,000 credentials, from bachelor's degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. For more about the college, visit
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