Donations Bolster EWU Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

October 15, 2021 By David Meany

Generous gifts from Providence and Cambia Health Foundation will help Eastern Washington University implement a comprehensive admissions process to build a more diverse student body and advance healthcare workforce diversity.

The ambitious three-year initiative will potentially touch the lives of more than 3,800 historically underrepresented students at EWU, in addition to faculty and staff, through increased training, outreach and programs.

Cambia has awarded Eastern $25,000 to support the effort, while Providence is funding the plan with $45,000 to be disbursed in $15,000 increments during each year of the program. Eastern is also committing $25,000 to the partnership.

“EWU is excited about this opportunity to partner with Providence and Cambia Health Foundation to positively impact student potential and enhance our region’s workforce pipeline,” says Donna Mann, interim dean of the College of Health Science and Public Health. EWU’s other three colleges, as well as its Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, are participating in the initiative.

One of the goals is establish an evidence-based holistic admission process, which looks beyond traditional metrics like standardized test scores to include non-cognitive attributes and life skills that correlate well with college success.

Other highlights of the initiative include enhancing scholarship and student academic success activities/programs; creating more support methods designed to maximize student retention to graduation; and increasing opportunities for historically underrepresented students to have meaningful interactions with diverse faculty and staff – beginning at orientation and continuing throughout the academic year.

The collaborative work will begin this academic year and funding will allow it to continue at least through the 2023-24 academic year.