Inclusive Excellence


The mission of School of Business at Sonoma State University is to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students, and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond.

Inclusive Excellence is the School of Business' guiding principle for access, student success, and high-quality learning. We seek to address diversity, inclusion, and equity as critical to the well-being of a democratic culture.

In the School of Business, we recognize our community's success rests on how the SBE values, engages, and includes our diverse students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We aim to create an inclusive, supportive space where our community is inspired to action through business and economics for positive professional and community impact.

In pursuit of this inclusive excellence initiative, the School of Business has adopted the Association of American Colleges & University's Making Excellence Inclusive core principles of diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Read the School of Business Inclusive Excellence Task Force's Mission Statement

A highlight of Inclusive Excellence initiatives in the School of Business @ SSU

  • SB Ambassadors Network: A peer mentor program that connects upper classmen with first generation, first year business students.
  • Wine Industry Scholars Program (WISP): This scholarship program is dedicated to supporting the access, retention, and graduation of first-generation students from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. WISP offers approximately $150,000 in scholarships annually to students who are children of vineyard and winery workers. 
  • Rodney Strong Pathways Program: This program aims to bring a broad range of talented students to SSU, and provide them with a better educational experience to foster their academic career and life success. The Rodney Strong Pathways Program augments existing support services of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), which recruits students who are the first in their families to attend college, or who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, by engaging all EOP students during each of their years on campus, providing co-curricular training in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, career guidance, and leadership. This program aims to positively impact more than 600 students each year.
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation: With generous support from the Kalmanovitz Foundation, the SB provides support for students, particularly those who are first-generation and of underserved populations, who want to start their own business, by turning their ideas into a viable opportunity. 
  • Diversity and Inclusion Workshops: Each semester, the SB partners with organizations across campus, like the SSU HUB, to provide diversity and inclusion training for all faculty and staff. In addition, the School of Business partnered with the SSU Faculty Center, to offer training workshops on various topics, including evidence-based teaching practices, testing what you teach without teaching to the test, measuring teaching effectiveness, and classroom management. These workshops are intended to provide faculty with opportunities for continuous teaching development. 
  • Student Success Workshops: Series focused on training and equipping faculty with toolkits for effective teaching and engagement with diverse student populations.
  • Upward Bound: SB faculty, staff, and administrators engage with eighth-grade and high school students to help them explore potential majors offered in college and start thinking about potential career paths. 
  • Education Opportunity Program (EOP): We partner with EOP to connect with first-year freshmen, particularly undeclared students when they are making the critical decision of choosing a major. Faculty, staff, and administrators meet with students to help students determine the best path forward. 

Resources for Diversity and Inclusiveness in the Wine Sector

Did you know?

SB faculty and staff speak 9 different languages.
  • Indonesian
  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Hmong
  • Korean
  • Chinese


21% of our students are first-generation.

Nearly a quarter of our business students are the first in their family to attend college.