Cleveland State’s Safety, Inclusion Efforts Earns National Award

Cleveland State’s Safety, Inclusion Efforts Earns National Award

Thursday, November 5, 2020 12:00 AM

(Cleveland, Tennessee) – In 2020, Cleveland State Community College has been known for everything from leading the way in transitioning to remote education due to COVID-19 to giving voice to the faculty, staff, and students with the launch of the equality series, “We Hear You: The Voices of Cleveland State.”

Each year, the company EVERFI, a community engagement consulting firm leads a partnership which awards the Campus Prevention Network (CPN) Seal of Prevention. This month, EVERFI, and their partner organization, Parchment, awarded Cleveland State with the prestigious honor.

“Prioritizing each and every student is where it all starts,” said Dr. Bill Seymour, President of Cleveland State Community College. “Then, in a year like 2020, it becomes obvious that we have to continue to do all we can to make sure our students feel safe and feel heard.”

The CPN Seal of Prevention is awarded to institutions of higher education that have demonstrated a commitment to digital prevention programs tied to student safety, well-being, and inclusion. Each recipient of the CPN Seal of Prevention has taken action to create a safer, more inclusive campus through comprehensive, evidence-based digital prevention education on various issues involving the well-being of students. The CPN Seal of Prevention establishes guidelines for discerning quality online prevention education and implementation practices, and positions prevention as central to key institutional outcomes, including: recruitment, student success, retention, and advancement.

In mid-March, the college made efforts to move to a digital mode of education as the nation began to move to a remote way of life. In under two weeks, the college converted its education delivery in order to take the necessary safety precautions in regards to COVID-19. The quick actions of the college’s faculty, staff, and administration moved a mostly on-campus educational experience to an all-online modality to help complete the term as safely as possible.

“This year has presented many challenges. But, we are proud of the steps we’ve taken,” said Willie Thomas, Special Assistant to the President’s Offices on Equity and Inclusion. “We’ve not only spent part of the year helping students and employees work through a pandemic, we have really spent dedicated time to learning how well we listen to the students. Then, we took strides to show that we value each and every thought and word everyone has to share.”

One of the digital efforts leading the way in this process was the college’s special online series, “We Hear You: The Voices of Cleveland State.” The video episodes were recorded and produced on the main campus of the Tennessee Board of Regents institution in Cleveland, Tennessee

“The ‘Voices’ series was all about making sure everyone had the chance to be heard when it came to the intense equality issues being raised nationwide,” said Thomas. “Students, faculty, and staff all played a part in sharing their thoughts.” The series can be found on Cleveland State’s YouTube Channel at


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