The mission of School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University is to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students, and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond.
Inclusive Excellence is the School of Business and Economics' guiding principle for access, student success, and high-quality learning. We seek to address diversity, inclusion, and equity as critical to the well-being of a democratic culture.
In the School of Business and Economics, we recognize our community's success rests on how the SBE values, engages, and includes our diverse students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We aim to create an inclusive, supportive space where our community is inspired to action through business and economics for positive professional and community impact.
In pursuit of this inclusive excellence initiative, the School of Business and Economics has adopted the Association of American Colleges & University's Making Excellence Inclusive core principles of diversity, inclusion, and equity (https://www.aacu.org/making-excellence-inclusive).
A highlight of DEI initiatives in the SBE @ SSU
- SBE Ambassadors Network: A peer mentor program that connects upper classmen with first generation, first year business and economics students.
- Wine Industry Scholars Program (WISP): This scholarship program is dedicated to supporting the access, retention, and graduation of first-generation students from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. WISP offers approximately $150,000 in scholarships annually to students who are children of vineyard and winery workers.
- Rodney Strong Pathways Program: This program aims to bring a broad range of talented students to SSU, and provide them with a better educational experience to foster their academic career and life success. The Rodney Strong Pathways Program augments existing support services of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), which recruits students who are the first in their families to attend college, or who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, by engaging all EOP students during each of their years on campus, providing co-curricular training in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, career guidance, and leadership. This program aims to positively impact more than 600 students each year.
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation: With generous support from the Kalmanovitz Foundation, the SBE provides support for students, particularly those who are first-generation and of underserved populations, who want to start their own business, by turning their ideas into a viable opportunity.
- Diversity and Inclusion Workshops: Each semester, the SBE partners with organizations across campus, like the SSU HUB, to provide diversity and inclusion training for all faculty and staff. In addition, the SBE partnered with the SSU Faculty Center, to offer training workshops on various topics, including evidence-based teaching practices, testing what you teach without teaching to the test, measuring teaching effectiveness, and classroom management. These workshops are intended to provide faculty with opportunities for continuous teaching development.
- Student Success Workshops: Series focused on training and equipping faculty with toolkits for effective teaching and engagement with diverse student populations.
- Upward Bound: SBE faculty, staff, and administrators engage with eighth-grade and high school students to help them explore potential majors offered in college and start thinking about potential career paths.
- Education Opportunity Program (EOP): We partner with EOP to connect with first-year freshmen, particularly undeclared students when they are making the critical decision of choosing a major. Faculty, staff, and administrators meet with students to help students determine the best path forward.
Resources for Diversity and Inclusiveness in the Wine Sector
- Women of the Vine
- POC Wine Lovers
- Black Female Project
- Von Vino
- McBride Sisters
- Julia Coney
- AAA Vintners
- Wine Industry Advisor
- Diversity in Wine and Spirits
- Meet Patrice Balmer
- Vine Pair
- Willamette Valley Wine
Did you know?
Nearly a quarter of our business and economics students are the first in their family to attend college.