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Office of IDEAS

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Classroom

A student with a prosthetic leg and a faculty member in conversation in a classroom

Hearing the terms diversity, equity, and inclusion are very commonplace today many of us have read an article, watched a video, or listened to a podcast about issues related to the terminology. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are best understood through action.

For many students the bulk of their live interaction on campus happens within the classroom. Their experience within spaces facilitated by instructors is essential to their inclusion on campus. Learning outcomes in the course are essential to addressing inequities at our institution

diversity is a fact, inclusion is an act

What Does Diversity look like in the classroom?

We encouarge faculty to consider that although we may be “diverse” as an institution we may not have equitable representation in the classroom. Students from historically oppressed groups may not have adequate access to spaces where you teach. How might you change that? Are you aware of how outreach is conducted for your major? Could you take a larger role? 

Find out more about the demographic breakdown of our University here. 

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What does Inclusion look like in the classroom?

Inclusion involves including the different assets each student brings with them into a course while being responsive to redesigning classroom elements that serve as barrirers for historically oppressed groups. What is the demographic breakdown of authors referenced in your course? How do you ensure every student feels confident to give voice to the material live in class? What skills, tools, and knowledge do your students bring into the classroom and how does that change instruction? Do late policies account for students who work and have familial obligations never considered in higher education’s original design? We provide Communitities of Practice, Faculty Learning Communities, and Individual consultations to help you create an inclusive classroom. 

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What does Equity look like in the classroom?

Equity is the process of eliminating disparities based on marginalized identities and improving the outcomes for everyone. Equity is the intentional practice of being responsive to the instituional barriers and cultural context of students in the classroom. How might grading policies impact studens? Which of my students have the advantage of pre-requisite knowledge or experience? What access issues exist within my clasroom? Do material costs place an unequal burden on students?

Find out more about training and development opportunities related to addressing equity in the classroom.

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