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Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Equity Institute

We are Student Success Champions

Our mission 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.

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.

In alignment with the College’s 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. 

  • 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 high impact practices that will help the College shift from the traditional focus on access to a broader focus on access and completion.





Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler is a local philanthropist and former longtime educator and elected official in Florida. She made a generous gift to PBSC to start the Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Equity Institute. The institute focuses on addressing issues around increasing access, retention, and completion, which has become a prolific part of the national dialogue in higher education. 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.

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.” 

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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 (Bensimonn, 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).

Student Success

Student Success 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.
  • Conduct action research and craft the most-appropriate strategies within teaching-learning environments.
  • Track and follow cohorts of students to monitor success.
  • Establish precollegiate and mentoring programs.

Palm Beach State College prides itself as an exemplary learning institution committed to nurturing a community of belonging, free from the negative effects of bias, where students and employees are encouraged and empowered to celebrate our differences to continuously improve our culture of inclusion, where all are welcomed and valued.

We at Palm Beach State will embrace the cultural differences in our students' learning styles in our pursuit of achieving parity in student success outcomes. We are committed to offering high-quality education, removing barriers that impede student success and replacing them with intentional opportunities to learn in a rich and culturally responsive academic environment, with the goal of offering equitable access and outcomes.

To serve our student body effectively, we will continue to employ methods to attract and retain a diverse workforce reflective of our student population, especially in terms of faculty and organizational leadership.

Palm Beach State College recognizes that inclusion must be a core component of the institution's structure, operations, and functions if we are to succeed. Equally important is a continuous review of internal practices and policies ensuring alignment with our efforts towards conscious, inclusive excellence. Through these actions, we provide a space that will allow all employees to thrive in the workplace, empower students to serve their community, realize their goals, and become change agents toward a more equitable world.

The Summer Bridge program is a two-week college transition program designed to prepare first-generation college students with a smooth transition from high school to Palm Beach State College. It includes self-assessments, college readiness workshops, fun cultural enrichment activities, and meaningful faculty, staff, and peer networking opportunities.  Learn More


Contact Us

Karline S. Prophete, PhD
Director, Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Equity Institute
Phone: 561-868-3875

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