Seminole State earns second consecutive national diversity award

SANFORD, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2015) – Seminole State College of Florida is one of only five colleges and universities in Florida honored with a 2015 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 second consecutive year that Seminole State has received the award. Only 92 colleges and universities in the nation were selected.

“Seminole State College faculty, staff members and students create a diverse learning community every day as they explore and understand many cultures,” says Janet Balanoff, the College’s Equity and Diversity/Title IX coordinator. “This award recognizes the College’s concrete results that change students’ lives.”

Balanoff says the College celebrates diversity and inclusion. Here are just a few highlights from 2015:

·         For the first time, based on enrollment during the 2014-15 academic year, Seminole State qualified as a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI). This means Hispanic students make up at least 25 percent of the College’s enrollment, reflecting the continuing diversification of Seminole County.

·         Continuing to rank nationally as a top college for degrees awarded to African-American and Hispanic students. About half of the College’s nearly 30,000 students are ethnic minorities.

·         Earning a Military Friendly School designation for the second consecutive year. Seminole State serves about 1,000 veterans and their dependents each year.

·         The LGBT student organization The Unity Gay Straight Alliance was named the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus 2014-15 Club of the Year.

·         Offering new programs to educate students and employees regarding their Title IX rights and responsibilities.

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.

Florida State University, the University of Florida College of Dentistry, Florida Coastal School of Law and the University of West Florida were the other Florida institutions recognized.

For more information about the 2015 HEED award, visit


Media contact: Joseph Hunter, 407.708.2286,