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Seminole State receives national award for excellence in diversity

Students interact between classes at the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus. Nearly half of the College's 31,000 students are ethnic minorities.

Seminole State College of Florida is one of only three colleges and universities in Florida honored with a 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The national honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is the first year that Seminole State has been named as a HEED Award recipient. Only 83 colleges and universities were selected for the award.

“We are proud to be recognized for this award, which is an honor earned and shared by each individual at Seminole State College who enriches the culture and stands for a diverse learning community,” said Janet Balanoff, associate vice president, Equity and Diversity/Title lX coordinator for Seminole State. “Diversity is a thread woven throughout our curriculum and employee development, and our commitment to these efforts is demonstrated in our national top-tier ranking for enrollment of African-American and Hispanic students.”

Nearly half of the college’s 31,000 students are ethnic minorities. The College also serves more than 1,000 veterans and their dependents each year.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Seminole State College based on its exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the ability to embrace a broad definition of campus diversity that encompasses gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, first-generation college students and those who speak English as a second language.

Among the initiatives cited at Seminole State are employee and student workshops, the Seminole State Speaker Series and a day-long student celebration called Diversity Rocks!

Florida State University and the University of North Florida were the other two Florida institutions recognized.

For more information about the 2014 HEED award, visit

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