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Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Cross-Cultural Equity Institute


We are Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Change Agents

Our work has generational impact, we aim to change the trajectory of our students, faculty, staff and community lives through research, conversations, activism, empowerment and leadership.


Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler is a local philanthropist and former longtime educator and elected official in Florida. Recently Dr. Carey-Shuler made a generous gift to Palm Beach State College to implement the Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Cross-Cultural Equity Institute (CCEI). The institute will be focused on addressing issues around diversity, equity and inclusion which has become a prolific part of the national dialogue in higher education.

As Dr. Carey-Shuler indicated, “I want Palm Beach State College to be a leader in this area because this is not only happening at the College, but it is something you can find around the nation.” Equity for all students is also a focus of the College’s Strategic Plan and Guided Pathways. The achievement rates in retention and completion of Black and Hispanic males lag significantly behind any other group of students. Improving outcomes and closing the gaps will be a focus of this institute.

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The mission of the Equity Institute is to empower global change-agents to execute on aspirational goals through teaching and learning to reverse the trajectory of the underresourced, underserved, and underrepresented from deficiency to power

Our Goals | We Advance Skills

In alignment with the College’s 2023 Panther Strong Strategic Plan, the Equity Institute leads the institution in research, development, and implementation of culturally relevant pedagogies and high impact practices supporting successful outcomes for all students. 

The Equity Institute’s work is guided by three principles, with the intent of fully affecting change and developing an equity mindset in pedagogy, service, and leadership.

  • Engage: Proactively conduct and utilize equity-driven research and data analysis that drives the direction and best practices leading to institutional change that results in equitable outcomes for students
  • Excel: Intentionally design diverse programs, empower students through their own learning, and partner with students to meet their academic, personal, and professional goals
  • Expand: Authentically integrate culturally relevant pedagogies and implement inclusive engagement practices that will help the College shift from the traditional focus on access to a broader focus on access and completion.

We believe that equality and equity are not equal. An equitable education means opportunities for academic excellence for all students and the promise of a quality education beyond all else. We believe that:

  • All students are ready for college, no matter their pathway to our doors (McNair, 2016).
  • Equity is defined as the point at which a specific group’s representation across all majors, programs, honors, and more at the institution, is equal to the group’s representation in the student body. Therefore, if first-generation college students make up 25% of the student body, they should also make up 25% of the Dean’s List (Bensimon, 2012).
  • Equal is still not enough. All students can thrive and achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals when institutions deliberately create an inclusive environment, proactively engage in equity-driven data analysis, and intentionally design programming to support all students (Astin, 1991).
Our Focus | We Transform Lives

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Cultural diversity is a cornerstone of the Institute, featuring prominently in the activities, strategic planning and series of events hosted by the Institute.  

A central home for college-wide programs, the Institute provides essential academic and personal guidance that targets, supports, and impacts individuals and groups demonstrating deficits in retention and graduation rates. We seek to identify the potential causes of the disparity in achievement and create interventions to increase the achievement of all students. Through the implementation of culturally responsive pedagogy and high impact practices, the Equity Institute strives to:

  • Increase the rates of retention and graduation
  • Provide specialized training for faculty and staff
  • Track and follow cohorts of students to monitor success
  • Establish precollegiate and mentoring programs 




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