UC San Diego Announces Partnership with Return on Inclusion™

LA JOLLA, Calif. – The UC San Diego athletic department has signed a partnership agreement with Return on Inclusion™ (ROI), an online sport-specific diversity and inclusion education program geared towards collegiate administrators, coaches and staff.

"We are proud to formally announce our partnership with Return on Inclusion," said UC San Diego Athletics Director Earl W. Edwards. "I've come away very impressed with their sustainable approach to equity, diversity, and inclusion and I am confident our staff will become more educated in those areas over the course of this year-long project. I know that completing this coursework will have a major impact on team chemistry and the experience of all our scholar-athletes. This step reinforces Athletics' role as a leader on campus when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. It's another example of Athletics being more than games and competition."

ROI employs a six-module curriculum that provides participants the opportunity to implement ROI at their institution and experience personal and professional growth together as a department. The coursework includes self-reflection exercises, case studies, best practices, knowledge retention quizzes and discussion guides for group participation. Participants will receive instruction on the following topics:

  • Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Foundations
  • Cultural Competence & Managing Relationships
  • Overcoming Bias, Micro-aggressions & Covering
  • Unpacking Racism, Anti-Racism & Privilege
  • LGBTQ+ Inclusion & Gender Stereotypes
  • Inclusive Leadership & Strategic Plan Development

All coursework is facilitated by ROI founder Nevin Caple, a national thought leader on diversity, inclusion and belonging in sport. She has spent the last decade working as a keynote speaker and a consultant helping college athletic programs to develop inclusion strategies and create more inclusive environments for student-athletes.

"We are thrilled to welcome Earl Edwards and his staff at UC San Diego to ROI," Caple said. "Earl has championed and pioneered processes to make the work of inclusion accessible and close the gap between thought and action for decades. My team is honored to support Earl's vision for this partnership by helping UC San Diego coaches, administrators and staff, develop the fundamental skills to lead inclusively."

Edwards has been involved with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and its Affiliate Associations for many years. He served as National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) President in 2002-03. In February 2021, NAADD announced the creation of the Earl Edwards Minority Student-Athlete Development Program. The purpose of the program is to identify talented and driven minority collegiate student-athletes on campuses across the country and expose them to the field of fundraising.

Since its launch in October 2020, ROI has emerged as an industry leader, helping administrators, coaches, and staff at athletics organizations of all levels develop the leadership skills to support student-athletes across social and cultural differences. Participants who complete all six modules earn the ROI Inclusive Leader Certificate.
About UC San Diego Athletics
After two decades as one of the most successful programs in NCAA Division II, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program began a new era in 2020 as a member of the Big West Conference in NCAA Division I. The 23-sport Tritons earned 30 team and nearly 150 individual national championships during its time in Divisions II and III and helped guide 1,400 scholar-athletes to All-America honors. A total of 83 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 38 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. UC San Diego scholar-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent, one of the highest rates among institutions at all divisions.

About Return on Inclusion
Return On Inclusion™ (ROI) is a sport-specific diversity and inclusion education platform dedicated to developing inclusive leaders and fostering a culture of belonging across social and cultural differences. Our self-paced modules standardize learning methods, deepening our commitment to helping every coach and athletic administrator develop the skills and competencies necessary to support student-athletes and achieve inclusive excellence in programs, policies and practices.

In November 2021, ROI and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced a groundbreaking partnership to advance diversity and inclusion in college athletics. NACDA endorsed the ROI platform for individual and department-wide use for NACDA and affiliate members across the country.

For more information, visit roinclusion.com.