Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, Justice

The Wayne State University Genetic Counseling Graduate Program (WSUGCP) mission is to train a highly
qualified, competent, and culturally diverse genetic counseling workforce to increase access to genetics
services for the citizens of Detroit, the State of Michigan and beyond. A crucial part of this mission is a
strong commitment to integrating the principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Justice into all
aspects of the program.

This commitment also aligns with the Wayne State University School of Medicine training mission to
educate a diverse student body in an urban setting and within a culture of inclusion, through high quality
education, clinical excellence, pioneering research, local investment in our community and innovative
technology, to prepare physician and biomedical scientific leaders to achieve health and wellness for our

The WSUGCP recently updated its Strategic Plan to include the following Diversity, Equity, Inclusion,
Justice focused initiative:

  • Strategic Initiative I. Increase the diversity of the WSU genetic counseling program applicant pool
    and student body so that it better reflects the diversity of the U.S. population.
    • Objective 1. Create a program culture that supports diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIJ)
    • Objective 2. Participate in additional activities aimed at increasing the diversity of the genetic counseling program applicant pool
      • Identify new outreach activities involving diverse populations of college students. If you or anyone you know would like to partner with us, please contact us at geneticcounseling@med.wayne.edu.
      • Explore and, if feasible, implement a mentor network for under-represented
        students working with existing WSU efforts.
    • Objective 3. Identify and develop strategies to address barriers to applying, matriculating,
      and completing the WSU genetic counseling program.
      • Collect information regarding barriers to admission including information in the medical literature, resources generated from genetic counseling organization efforts (e.g., task force reports), and alumni surveys
      • Create a plan to address the barriers identified
      • Identify appropriate partners to help implement the plan

Program DEIJ Highlights to Date:

  • Integrate training in cultural humility, diversity, inclusive and equitable practice, and justice across
    the curriculum, starting with a first year fall semester course, Introduction to Promoting Health Equity in Genetic Counseling
  • Provide students with abundant opportunities to work with diverse patient populations
  • Involve faculty with diverse backgrounds and perspectives in all aspects of the program
  • Participate in community education to identify the next generation of genetic counselors and improve knowledge about and access to genetics services
  • Provide training to faculty and clinical supervisors in creating an inclusive learning environment
  • Support student research that uses best practices in DEIJ and is focused on DEIJ-related topics
  • Ensure admissions processes support recruitment of a diverse student body
    • Purposely consider diversity and cultural humility in selecting admissions committee members
    • Train admissions committee members in implicit bias
    • Developed and adopted admissions competencies to improve transparency about what we are looking for in applicants
    • Review applications and applicants holistically
    • No longer require the GRE because of potential for bias
    • Conduct interviews virtually to reduce costs to applicants

DEIJ Resources