The Inclusive Excellence in Education Academy is for institutions that want to curate a campus environment where all students feel welcomed, valued, respected, and heard.
Faculty are on the frontlines with students and, when trained to be proactive advocates for inclusion, they can create a lasting, positive impact on the campus culture, as well as individual students.
The Inclusive Excellence in Education Academy content is designed to provide faculty (and advisors who teach) with the skills they need to (1) create inclusive environments in their classrooms and departments, and (2) take the necessary steps to achieve inclusive excellence at their institutions.
Why inclusive excellence? Because institutions of higher education cannot talk about, foresee, or implement excellence without considering inclusion. Institutions that make excellence inclusive are better positioned to serve all students while simultaneously increasing access and success for all those preparing to lead and serve in an increasingly multicultural society.
The Inclusive Excellence in Education Academy is specifically designed for faculty with little to moderate experience in addressing DEI and issues related to cultural differences in their classrooms.
Each module is two-hours long and will be delivered via Zoom (or in-person if desired, at an additional fee). Modules include short lectures, case studies, skill-builder activities, self-assessments, videos, small-group discussions, and other interactive pedagogy. This will give participants an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during each of the modules.
To best prepare faculty to achieve inclusive excellence, the Inclusive Excellence in Education Academy includes 6 modules as described below.
Modules 1 & 2: The Inclusive Teaching Framework
The same way our society is becoming increasingly more diverse, so are our classrooms.
According to the American Council on Education, each year we are seeing a steady rise in enrollment of students of color. Nontraditional students now make up 75% of the students enrolled in secondary education, and women now outnumber men in undergraduate enrollment for every racial and ethnic group. Nearly 1/3 of all students enrolled are the first in their families to attend college, and the number of international students in the U.S. hit an all-time high in 2018/2019 academic year.
As a faculty, it is your responsibility to create a safe environment in your classroom so all students can thrive.
In modules 1 and 2, faculty will learn:
- What teaching inclusively means and why it matters.
- Why it’s important to infuse social justice into every aspect of teaching and learning.
- The five-part framework for teaching inclusively:
- The Faculty: Understanding who you are and how your beliefs and background influence your teaching.
- The Students: How to create a learning environment that serves the needs of an increasingly diverse student population.
- The curriculum: How to adapt and add to content, materials, and resources you bring to the classroom so you can diversify your curriculum.
- The pedagogy: Teaching methods to proactively support students from different cultures and backgrounds.
- The climate: How to pay attention to and interpret the classroom environment so you can address challenges as they arise.
Module 3: Understanding and Addressing Microaggressions in the Classroom
Many students feel as though they are constantly walking on eggshells; some live in fear that they will say something offensive, albeit unintentionally; others fear their actions or words will be misinterpreted due to their culture or ethnicity.
These situations create a stressful classroom environment and cause poor performance in otherwise fantastic students.
This modules’ topics include:
- How to identify the various types of microaggressions and the messages behind them.
- Frameworks for addressing microaggressions when they occur so you know exactly how to respond.
- Steps and skills to move from a bystander to an ally whenever you witness a microaggression.
- Why micro affirmations are important to creating an environment of inclusion and belonging.
Module 4: The Impact of Unconscious Bias on Student Learning
Every student and faculty have a unique perspective that was shaped from their upbringing, culture, and societal influences. These influences also create blind spots that show up as unconscious biases.
In this module faculty will learn:
- How to uncover their own biases.
- How unconscious biases show up in the classroom.
- Strategies that can help eliminate teacher bias.
Module 5: Facilitating Difficult Conversations in the Classroom
Get a group of people from all walks of life into a room and there is bound to be conflict. Add into that room all of the challenges we have addressed in previous modules, and strategies for facilitating difficult conversations are going to be necessary.
This module will best prepare faculty to facilitate these conversations, specifically:
- How students may view conflict differently and how to respond appropriately in various situations.
- What to do in the moment when a conflict arises, and when to wait for a deeper conversation.
- How to listen for keywords that will help identify what students are truly trying to express or ask for.
- Three types of inquiries that help both sides of a conversation feel seen and heard.
- How to become a more effective listener by engaging fully and with intent.
- A simple framework for facilitating difficult conversations for the best outcome.
Module 6: Navigating Cultural Differences in the Classroom
A necessary part of creating an inclusive classroom is recognizing and validating cultural differences. In order to give your students the best chance to succeed, it is important that faculty take the time to proactively address the cultural differences present in their classrooms.
In this module we will cover topics like:
- How culture impacts behavior and different types of behavior you can expect from students.
- The many different value orientations happening in the classroom and how these differences impact teaching and learning. For example:
- How students of varying backgrounds perceive authority.
- How cultures differ in how they view cooperation and competition in the classroom.
- The different thinking and communication styles students bring into the classroom.
- Why developing cultural competence is a necessary skill for working effectively with a diverse student population.
- Strategies for proactively developing cultural competence skills and applying them in the classroom.
- Difficulties international students experience in the classroom and strategies for addressing them.
Depending on your institution’s needs and vision, we will develop a curriculum that will facilitate the fastest path to achieving your goals.
All modules are delivered through a virtual classroom with Luiza Dreasher and, in addition to teaching, they include time for breakout sessions for discussion, role playing, and questions.
The Inclusive Excellence in Education Academy is committed to create long-standing change and goes deeper than one-and-done training sessions.
For most institutions this training can be completed in 6 weeks or fewer. Full implementation of institution-wide initiatives can take longer but the benefits are long-standing.
The end result will be a culture of inclusion that empowers both students and faculty by creating an environment where everyone can thrive.