Welcome to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion – College Access, Retention, and Engagement Services (EDI CARES)
Complete our EDI CARES interest form to receive more information about EDI CARES programs.
What is EDI CARES?
The EDI CARES, College Access, Retention, and Engagement Services office is brave space focused on empowering students to achieve their academic, professional, and life goals. Our office plays a critical role in fulfilling our college’s most important mission in creating quality educational opportunities for a diverse community of learners to thrive in an evolving world. We are charged with achieving this mission for our most powerful students who have faced various forms of marginalization, equity and economic barriers, and educational barriers.
The Pierce College District is committed to being an anti-racist institution; to truly be anti-racist we must work deliberately to eliminate barriers that have prevented the most promising and capable students from entering and thriving in college. We work to ensure that every student in the Pierce College District feels valued, respected, and inspired to achieve their goals.
Who are we?
EDI CARES staff serve the students of Pierce College through multiple support programs and outreach services. Meet the EDI CARES team and learn more about what we do.
What does our name mean?
- EDI: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
- CARES: College Access, Retention, and Engagement Services
- Wakanda: The name Wakanda comes from the 2018 Disney Film Black Panther; the EDI office mirrors the community of Wakanda. We provide a brave space for Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color (BIPOC) students and staff to seek refuge, and an opportunity for them to cultivate their strengths, intelligence, resilience, and creativity to advance Black and Brown liberation.
What do we do?
The CARES office is a collection of institutional and grant supported programs, that when combined, allow us to empower underserved and underrepresented students from college access to graduation. We offer the following support and opportunities for engagement to all students:
- CA: College Access. We are the gateway to Pierce College. We create access by using our community engagement programs, pathways programs, and grant programs to recruit new students into our wonderful college. We work to eliminate hurdles that prevent many students from starting college.
- R: Retention. We provide holistic student support and retention. We are here to support students academically, professionally, and personally. We work collaboratively with other offices and departments on campus to ensure students have what they need to strive for and achieve excellence.
- E: Engagement. We do all things engagement. We engage our diverse communities outside and inside of our college. We engage our students with endless leadership opportunities to develop themselves personally, academically, and professionally. We believe that intentional engagement is critical to increasing a student’s sense of belonging to the campus environment.
- S: Services. We are a bridge builder helping to connect our students with resources they need to be successful. We have grant focused services and focused affinity support.
Who do we serve?
Every student that needs us. Our services are inclusive, and we believe there is a place for everyone in the EDI CARES office.
Our Humble Beginnings
Since 2001, TRIO Student Support Services program has supported 160 students a year, serving as the lighthouse for our region’s first generation, low-income and students with disabilities. Our vision has always been to serve more promising students who desire social support, and a community where they can showcase and cultivate their identity, personal, academic and personal development. We believe that every student who enters our community is destined for greatness.
With this strong foundation, our College Access and Retention programs have grown from one to nine programs serving over 400 students within the past seven years. The EDI CARES Office is now the home of multicultural student services, student life engagement and an oasis where our most vulnerable students learn in an empowering community, build long lasting relationships, and thrive in their journey to know their purpose in completion of their degrees.
Why must we grow and scale our work?
From our humble beginnings, radical hope and belief, and an institutional commitment to providing equitable learning opportunities to diverse populations has been instrumental in our progress and growth. We’ve learned to constantly push for the impossible, and we know this can be achieved through intentional collective action, accountability in love and service to one’s self, family, and community. We must grow because our students and staff need us to grow.
Student Empowerment Programs
- Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Reaching their Potential through Education (ASPIRE)
- TRIO Student Support Services Legacy Scholars
- TRIO Upward Bound Warriors EDGE
- Vibranium Lab: STEM Programs
- Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
Cultural Affinity Programs
- James Baldwin’s Scholars: Black/African and African American
- Legacy of Indigenous Native Knowledge Program (LINK)
- LATINE/LATINX Student supports
- Legacy of Excellence Student Ambassador’s program
- Student Life and Engagement, Student Government, student activities and clubs
Contact Us Today!
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, College Access, Retention, and Engagement Services
9401 Farwest Drive SW
Lakewood, WA 98498-1999