Inclusive Excellence


In the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU), we recognize that our community's success rests on how the SBE values, engages, and includes the diversity of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We aim to achieve equity in access, student success, and high-quality learning for each of our students. To do so, we know we cannot go it alone, which is why we seek collaboration, partnership, and investment from our community.

A highlight of Inclusive Excellence initiatives in the SBE @ SSU

  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • SBE Entrepreneurship Hub: 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.


Resources for Diversity and Inclusiveness in the Wine Sector

Did you know?

SBE faculty and staff speak 9 different languages.
  • Indonesian
  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Hmong
  • Korean
  • Chinese


21% of our students are first-generation.

Nearly a quarter of our business and economics students are the first in their family to attend college.