“Inclusive Excellence” is the AAC&U’s framework for leveraging the strengths of diversity to support student learning and promote institutional excellence.

Inclusive Excellence has four components (AAC&U, 2005):

  • A focus on student intellectual and social development
  • A purposeful development and utilization of organizational resources to enhance student learning
  • Attention to the cultural differences learners bring to the educational experience and that enhance the enterprise
  • A welcoming community that engages all of its diversity in the service of student and organizational learning

Inclusion is an active process that values and engages every individual as co-creators and co-owners of our Hope College culture.

An inclusive culture of excellence means that we embrace the richness of the diversity God created and that we carry the 59 “one another” scriptures with us throughout our Hope community and beyond.

Inclusive excellence is central to our mission, which calls us to “educate students for lives of leadership and service in a global society... in the context of the historic Christian faith.”

“Hospitality is a hallmark of the Christian faith. Hope seeks to be a community that affirms the dignity of all persons as bearers of God’s image.”
Hope’s Christian Aspirations

What We're Doing

The college is committed to:

  • Responding to the Racial Equity Steering Committee recommendations regarding inclusive excellence submitted in 2021
  • Living into the standalone space for cultural engagement and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Facilitating a culture of belonging through campus-wide Culture Action Team (CAT) efforts and events

In fall 2020, Hope College was accepted as an AAC&U Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center (TRHT). Hope’s TRHT core team includes staff, faculty, administrators, students and community partners.

Overview of Previous and Ongoing Work
  • Facilitated a culture of belonging through campus-wide culture action teams (2020)
  • Dedicated a standalone space for cultural engagement and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (2020)
  • Created a Racial Equity Steering Committee to receive and respond to community suggestions and concerns and address inclusive excellence across campus (2020)
  • NCAA Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Designee (ADID, 2020) 
  • Higher Learning Commission Quality Initiative: Culture and Inclusion Unit Champions (2020)
  • AAC&U Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Institute (summer 2020)
  • NetVUE Grant: Vocational Exploration for Every Student (2019)
  • Student Congress Culture & Inclusion Committee (2019)
  • Higher Learning Commission 1.C. Working Group (2019)
  • Newcomers events (2019)
  • Culture Action Team (2020–21)
  • Culture Task Force (2019–20)
  • Pulse Survey data sharing (2019)
  • Shalom Global Fellows (2019)
  • Advanced IGD facilitation for faith-based institutions (summer 2019)
  • Intergroup Dialogue Institute (summer 2019)
  • Hope Faculty Fellows program (2019)
  • Culture and diversity items added to annual performance evaluations (2019)
  • Board of Trustees Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion sessions (2019)
  • Campus Climate Survey data sharing (2018)
  • Retention, Equity, and Access – drop-in lunch series (2018)
  • Pre-College Conference – Accessibility is for Everyone: Equity, Access and Inclusion (2018)
  • Accessibility Ambassadors Training (2018)
  • Student Congress Chief of Culture and Inclusion & Elect positions (2018)
  • New employee orientation Culture, Inclusion, and Applied Response to Bias Session (2018)
  • Safe Colleges online professional development: Discrimination Awareness in the Workplace (available through Human Resources, 2018)
  • DEI sessions at staff Pro-Dev Day (hosted by Human Resources, 2018)
  • Institutional priorities: diversity, culture and inclusion (2018–19 and 2019–20)
  • Chief Officer for Culture and Inclusion position created in the President’s Office (2018)
  • Internationalization Audit (2017)
  • ADA Accessibility Assessment (2017)
  • Center for Diversity and Inclusion Diversity Institute (2017)
  • Implemented training on diverse hiring practices and implicit bias in hiring (2017)
  • Implementing new active recruitment, hiring and search committee procedures to recruit diverse applicant pools (2017)
  • Equity Resolution Panel (ERP) – reviews nondiscrimination policy allegations (2017)
  • Nondiscrimination Policy Revision (including Title IX and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, disability, age, etc., to move to a civil rights policy model, 2017)
  • Development of workplace culture statement and values (2016)
  • Special Assistant to the President for Culture and Inclusion position (2015–2018)
  • Great Place to Work®️ Trust Index Survey©️ data sharing and listening sessions (2015 & 2017)

Where We Are Right Now

Retention rates

  • Underrepresented groups: 86%
  • International students: 100%

4-year graduation rates

  • Underrepresented groups: 53%
  • International students: 79%

2020 Fall Enrollment

  • The incoming 2020 class is 19.7% AHANA (African, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian, Native American and multiracial descent)
  • Second most diverse class in Hope's history (2014 incoming class was 20.1% AHANA)

Strategic Plan: Hope for the World 2025

Goal 4: Community:
Hope College will be a community unified by its inspiring mission, strengthened by its diversity, and committed to the flourishing of every individual as one created and loved by God.

Student population stats

  • Approximately 18% students from underrepresented backgrounds (domestic and international)
  • Students from more than 30 countries study at Hope

Employee population stats

  • 29% of tenure-track faculty are from historically underrepresented backgrounds

Board of Trustees

  • 22% of trustees are from historically underrepresented backgrounds (2019–2020)

Workplace Culture

  • Hope College has again been selected in 2020 as one of “West Michigan’s 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For”! This will be the 15th year that Hope College has been honored with this award.
  • In 2017, Hope was recognized as a certified Great Place to Work®️

On-Campus Resources

Student Programs & Services
Student Groups & Organizations
Academic Programs
Faith Formation
Employee Services
Community Involvement