CONCORD, N.C. – Cabarrus College of Health Sciences has been dedicated to increasing access to underrepresented populations, having a positive impact on the communities we serve, and providing a sense of belonging for all. As a result, this spring semester, Cabarrus College welcomed the most diverse group of students in its 82-year history.

As Cabarrus College celebrates its growth and achievements, it also recognizes the importance of representation and inclusivity in its academic programs and campus culture. Representation matters to Cabarrus College because it reflects the college's mission to provide excellent education to a diverse population of students, to foster a sense of belonging and community among all members of the college, and to prepare graduates for serving the health care needs of a diverse society.

One of Cabarrus College’s strategic goals through 2027 is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion as core principles of its mission, vision, and values. “We recognize that in North Carolina there is a gap in diversity and representation in higher education, as well as with health care professionals and the patients they serve. We are committed to changing that,” said Dr. Cam Cruickshank, Cabarrus College president.

To meet this strategic goal, Cabarrus College improved its campus climate by increasing the diversity of faculty and students and provided greater access for students to attend the institution. Approximately 45 percent of all undergraduate students identify as being of a race or ethnicity other than white, up from 31 percent a year ago. The institution exceeded its aim of having their student body composition reflect the diversity of Cabarrus County, which had a 32 percent population of people of color as of July 1, 2023.

Cabarrus College is continuing to invest in its students and improve access and affordability with a significant expansion of its scholarship program. In 2022, Cabarrus College established several institutional scholarships for new and transfer students. In the second year of the program, the amount of aid distributed and the number of students receiving awards grew by more than one thousand percent.

Cabarrus College also partnered with local organizations to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the community. For example, Cabarrus College collaborated with the Cabarrus County Schools and Atrium Health to create the Cabarrus Health Sciences Institute, an early college designed to expand students' opportunities for educational and career success in the health sciences. The early college is designed for any student interested in an accelerated high school program, especially first-generation college students.

“Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is rooted in ensuring all students, faculty, and staff have access to equitable work and education in an inclusive and supporting environment where they feel welcomed, respected, valued, and have an opportunity to pursue their goals,” said Dr. Cruickshank. By pursuing these strategies, Cabarrus College hopes to continue to increase the diversity of its student body and prepare them for the diverse and dynamic health care environment they will encounter after graduation.

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences welcomed a record spring class of 122 new students. This incoming class is also part of the largest spring enrollment in history, setting a new milestone for total enrollment of 771 students on the first day of classes.