In the last few years, Wheaton College has undertaken a significant amount of work to retool our approach to equity, accessibility, belonging, inclusion and social justice.
- In 2016, a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force was created. The campus-wide task force worked throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.
- In 2016, Wheaton created the First-Gen Task Force.
- In 2017, a Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan was created by the Task Force. This plan was endorsed by the President’s Council and the Board of Trustees.
- In the Spring of 2018, Wheaton secured the competitive $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to support inclusive excellence in STEM.
- The Board of Trustees developed and published a statement on community, diversity, equity, and inclusion (pdf) to guide their oversight.
- In Spring 2018, Wheaton administered a campus climate survey asking critical questions about perceptions of diversity, equity and inclusion on campus. Wheaton invited campus-wide conversations about the results of the campus climate survey (pdf) in Spring 2019.
- In the Fall of 2018, Wheaton undertook a compensation study to ensure equitable compensation and updated Wheaton’s staff performance management tool to include a measure of DEI competency.
- In Fall 2018, Wheaton took the step to offer Implicit Bias trainings for faculty search committees
- In Fall 2018, Wheaton established DEAL (Diversity, Equity and Access Leadership), a coordinating structure with representation from across campus and three co-chairs to support and offer leadership. DEAL fosters widespread institutional capacity and engagement around matters of DEI.
- In Spring 2019, Wheaton inaugurated its Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning to support the development of Wheaton faculty and staff to build a rigorous and culturally diverse learning community that advances a transformative student education.
- In Spring 2019, Wheaton College became one of 12 institutions across the country that has been selected to participate in the new Excellence in Academic Advising (EAA) initiative—a program designed to establish aspirational standards for evaluating and improving academic advising and to promote student success in college and beyond.
- In Spring 2020, Wheaton finalized updates to its bias response protocols available on the Bias Incident Policy & Reporting website.
- In Spring 2020, Wheaton created a standing Bias Incident Response Team with students, staff, and faculty members.
- In Spring 2020, Wheaton College crafted a diversity, equity and inclusion mission and vision statement that was endorsed by President’s Council and the Board of Trustees.
- In Fall 2020, Wheaton launched the Compass Curriculum that reflects Wheaton’s core principles of intellectual curiosity, global citizenship, experiential learning, social justice, diversity and inclusion, and collaborative community.
- In Fall 2020, DEAL formulated and shared “10 Steps toward Racial Justice” for the college that was endorsed by President’s Council, and shared with the campus.
- In Fall 2020, Wheaton shared public guidelines to help support gender inclusion across campus, and is working to update the formal policy for the trans and gender non-conforming community on campus.
- In Spring 2021, Wheaton was designated as a First-gen Forward Institution.
- In Spring 2021, Wheaton established its new Office for Institutional Equity and Belonging.
Wheaton’s history of commitment to DEIB goes back centuries. Since our founding in 1834, Wheaton has focused on expanding who has access to a rigorous liberal arts education. It began with offering women an education equal to that provided to men, and has continued, for example, with initiatives like our over 20-year partnership with the Posse Foundation. These are changemaking acts that are emblematic for us as an institution.