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Diversity and Inclusion in University Advising

Diversity Action Plan 2021-2025

Our commitments toward building a more inclusive and just Cal Poly:

University Advising has embarked on an exciting journey to build on and expand our long-standing commitment to diversity and ensure that every member of the Cal Poly community feels safe and empowered through their relationships with staff and by-way of engagement with inclusive advising, transfer support, and retention programming. Inspired by a strong base of relationships and programs developed through the years, our staff has enacted a formalized system to embed cross-cultural sensitivity and a clear, unequivocal regard for all students into the very fabric of our unit. This commitment is strongly aligned with Cal Poly's University Strategic Plan Priority 3 to "Enrich the campus culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion" as well as recommendations developed by the 2018 Collective Impact Strategy Group.


Goal 1 - Explicit Commitment

Make explicit our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout communication, programming, and physical spaces.

Sub-goal 1: Develop a University Advising Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion statement as part of our values and goals that clearly espouse these core values.

Sub-goal 2: Display Inclusive Excellence statement prominently on our agendas, website, job postings, and other pertinent materials.

Sub-goal 3: Audit and implement changes to ensure spaces are accessible and resources are inclusive for individuals from various cultures and identities.

Sub-goal 4: Recognize, in waiting spaces, presentations, and other locations as appropriate, that the institution is on indigenous land.

Sub-goal 5: Develop and implement a UA DEI Student, Staff, and Faculty Advisory Board to inform and establish a mechanism of accountability for more inclusive implementation of policies and procedures.


  • Developed University Advising DEI Statement
  • Developed University Advising Values


Goal 2 - Data and Relationship-Informed Practices

Provide targeted services in support of students historically marginalized at Cal Poly across University Advising, including Athletic Advising, Retention, the Transfer Center, the Mustang Success Center, and Cal Poly Scholars advising.

Sub-goal 1: Cultivate, strengthen, and maintain partnerships with affinity-based programs and services within both Academic and Student Affairs to intentionally remove barriers and, in a joint effort, create and maximize targeted programs so that students who have been marginalized by our institution can realize their full potential.

Sub-goal 2: Use student data collected by the CSU, University Advising, and other campus entities to identify, remove, or advocate for the removal of barriers within academic policies, practices, and procedures contributing to our graduation equity gaps.

Sub-goal 3: Use student data collected by the CSU, University Advising, and other campus entities to support improvement of existing programs and/or implementation of new programs specifically targeting identified equity gaps and risk factors.

Sub-goal 4: Maximize opportunities for student engagement and ensure University Advising is aware of and addressing the advising, transfer support, and retention needs of students across cultures and identities. Develop proactive and on-going connections with and amplify the voices of affinity-based student organizations.


  • Completed Academic Probation and Disqualification (APDQ) report revealing opportunities for improving support for students on AP and DQ status 
  • Conducted targeted outreach to all continuing Black, Hispanic/Latinx and Native American and/or First-Generation students not yet enrolled between first and second round fall registration
  • Advocated for Cal Poly Financial Aid to adopt Federal SAP threshold reducing percent of required units earned per academic year from 75% to 67%
  • Worked with Cal Poly Admissions to eliminate the $70 charge for returning applicants, easing the process of continuing one’s degree for students unable to pay fees 


Goal 3 - Accessible and Affirming Advising

Increase cultural competence and cultural humility across the advising community via training and education in order to create a more accessible and affirming advising experience for students historically marginalized by Cal Poly.

Sub-goal 1: Provide UA-funded DEI training opportunities annually for the campus-wide academic advising community and work with Center supervisors to encourage participation.

Sub-goal 2: Provide a minimum of two DEI training opportunities annually for UA staff in addition to supporting staff participation in available campus DEI trainings and events.

Sub-goal 3: Provide time at monthly staff meetings to reflect and share knowledge learned in DEI trainings/events. Discuss application of new knowledge to UA delivery of services.


  • Sought input from OUDI, academic advising community, Associate Deans and the CTLT to create new DEI Professional Education for Academic Advising program
  • Developed advising-based goals and learning outcomes to guide session structure and topic selection
  • Launched program for advising community via monthly DEI discussions and educational sessions led by experts on and off campus

Goal 4 - Accountability

Clarify and document policies and practices valuing cultural competence in recruitment, on-boarding, and on-going training/development of professional and student staff.

Sub-goal 1: Ensure skills, knowledge, and abilities (SKAs), interview questions, and presentation prompts provide multiple opportunities to evaluate knowledge of DEI and specialized skills related to cultural competence in recruitment of all position types.

Sub-goal 2: Partner with Human Resources to implement practices and techniques that reduce search committee bias.

Sub-goal 3: Select inclusive search committee members whose voices represent many perspectives.

Sub-goal 4: Provide transparent documentation in an annual University Advising DEI report outlining progress made in all outlined areas including staff participation in DEI training and professional development.


  • University Advising Retention, Mustang Success Center, and Transfer Center staff participated in DEI professional development
  • Monthly DEI trainings and professional development is offered through University Advising 


University Advising DEI Action Plan - PDF

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