Welcome to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI)! ODI is a collaborative leader and initiator of transformative change at CIIS, working closely with students, staff, and faculty to advance diversity and student success, create an inclusive academic environment, and incorporate the principles of diversity and inclusive excellence into the classroom and curriculum.

ODI enjoys offering and supporting a variety of CIIS experiences, including the Bridge Program for incoming first-year students, diversity workshops, extracurricular events and conversations, Student Ambassadors for Diversity and Inclusion (SADI), film screenings, and academic program orientations.

SADI group at Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu

2017 Bridge cohort

Through these events and the resources ODI offers, it strives to work with the CIIS community to engage the entire institution in meaningful dialogues and actions that lead to introspection and change, affecting not only the academic environment and student experience at CIIS, but the community beyond. ODI also hopes to challenge students to enhance their writing, research, and overall education during their time at CIIS, while supporting faculty and staff in creating diverse, inclusive, and equitable classrooms and curriculums.

ODI's open door policy welcomes all students, staff, and faculty to drop in to chat about ways to get involved, learn more about diversity resources, or simply say hello!

The ODI is on the fourth floor of CIIS' Mission campus in offices 406A and 407



A diverse academic community offers a rich and dynamic perspective to CIIS's intellectual environment. Diversity is broader than the traditional categories of age, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, and sexual orientation. It also encompasses disability, socioeconomic status, family background, language, the level of academic preparedness, learning style, and even different communities with which our students, faculty, and staff are associated.

As a result of intentional engagement with our own identities and the work of diversity, we uncover our similarities through our differences, thus allowing us to celebrate and honor our shared humanity.


Inclusion is respecting and embracing those distinctive characteristics each member of the CIIS community adds to the institution. It goes beyond numerical diversity. Inclusion is the creation of a climate where all feel valued and appreciated-where there is substantive interaction between and within groups, such that the very space becomes renewed by those included and all are willing to be challenged and enriched by the introduction of ideas, ways of knowing, and perspectives that were not originally centered. This inclusive environment best allows students, faculty, and staff to thrive as individuals and as a community.


Student Ambassadors for Diversity and Inclusion (SADI)

SADI is a student group led by Dean Denise Boston and assisted by ODI Program Assistant Kate Olson. The group was established in fall 2017. Students involved in SADI seek to increase self-awareness so they have better understandings of personal identity, privilege, oppression, intersectionality, deep listening, and allyship. SADI members volunteer their time to read diversity literature, engage in scholarly writing and discussion, and attend regular meetings because they have a passion and zeal for diversity, inclusion, and social justice. SADI members also have opportunities to attend additional CIIS and community events together; 2017-18 events included conversations with Eduardo Duran, Shelly Tochluk, Tim Wise, and Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu.

SADI witnessed a successful inaugural year. As SADI prepares to move forward into its second year, there is a hunger for deeper and more active work; SADI is looking to a future of leadership development, challenging and stretching their skills to expand the reach of SADI throughout CIIS and beyond. SADI has an exciting future ahead! For more information, please contact SADI coordinator Kate Olson at kolson@ciis.edu.

Bridge Program

The Bridge program is a resource and support network for first-year students to promote academic confidence; foster meaningful connections with other students, faculty, and staff; and create a sense of community as students begin their studies at CIIS. The program begins in the summer before the fall semester starts, offering Bridge students writing workshops and social mixers. Throughout the school year, students continue to connect with each other, peer mentors, and advisors through workshops, social events, and field trips around San Francisco. Bridge aims to cultivate a supportive, diverse, and thriving community for incoming students at CIIS. For more information, please visit the Bridge Program page.

International Student Services

The international student advisor is dedicated to supporting international students throughout their education at the University. International students are offered orientation, the Summer Bridge Academic Writing program, immigration and visa advising, informational workshops, English-language tutors, and social events. Students are encouraged to participate in the development of the international student community by assisting with the planning of social and educational events through the campus group International Students & Friends.

The international student advisor is available for consultation and the processing of nonimmigrant paperwork in areas related to travel, visa application, employment authorization, and program extension. Additional information and forms may be found under the Student Affairs tab, International Students page on MyCIIS.

International students are also encouraged to participate in the international student listserv. The international student advisor uses this email list to communicate important information regarding immigration regulations and University policies. The international student page of the MyCIIS, under the Student Life tab, serves as a reference and a place to download important forms.

CIIS is committed to promoting diversity and cross-cultural exchange. The international student advisor acts as an advocate for international students, and students are encouraged to bring their questions and concerns to the international student advisor. You can learn more by visiting www.ciis.edu/international

Student Disability Services

Students who request accommodation for a disability should contact Student Disability Services at sds@ciis.edu. Students will be guided through the registration procedures for accommodation. Any questions, requests for accommodation or access, or concerns regarding services for students or applicants with a disability as defined by law should be addressed to the University disability officer, who is also the Dean of Students. More information can be found on the Student Disability Services page of MyCIIS, under the Student Affairs tab.

Veteran Student Services

The University's academic programs of study are approved by the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education, Department of Veterans Affairs for enrollment of persons eligible to receive educational benefits under Title 38 and Title 10, U.S. Code. If you qualify for these benefits, you may use them toward your tuition. The V.A. School Certifying Official at CIIS is the registrar, who works with Financial Aid in administering these benefits. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to initiate the certification of your CIIS enrollment to the V.A.

Scholarship Resources

As part of CIIS' commitment to diversity, we offer several scholarships each year to incoming students. Scholarships are based on three criteria: financial need is a primary consideration, racial and ethnic background of the student, and CIIS academic program recommendation. View a list of available scholarships.

In addition to the institutional scholarships that CIIS offers to promote diversity, there are many additional scholarship resources available in support of diversity. Please download this document for a listing of some of these resources.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter and Social Media

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

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