Commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity is a core value of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University of Colorado Denver. We celebrate our faculty, staff, and students because of who they are and the experiences they bring. We continue to foster and build an inclusive culture that respects and reflects the diverse voices within our community. As we grow more purposeful and intentional in what we do, CLAS will be a powerful platform for change.
The Association of American Colleges & Universities defines inclusive classrooms as learning spaces where “active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity” occurs “in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathetic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.”
As part of our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity, CLAS is placing inclusive pedagogy at the forefront this academic year. The Inclusive Pedagogy Academy (IPA), a partnership between CLAS and the Center for Faculty Development, was created initially in response to the HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) grant awarded to CU Denver in 2016 to improve student success in key science courses.The basic premise of the IPA is to understand how traditional teaching practices have not served all our students well.The IPA focuses on learner-centered teaching practices that treat all students equitably, advance student success, and develop strong senses of belonging in the classroom, which benefit all students.The first group of faculty members participating in the IPA pilot currently is small. As we move beyond the pilot, the number of faculty involved will increase, making more of our classrooms places where everyone knows they belong.
In parallel with the IPA, the CLAS Council on Diversity and Inclusion is working with the Center for Faculty Development to assemble resources for a website to help faculty make their courses more inclusive. For example, the Council will be able to provide guidance on how to incorporate material by authors who are from groups traditionally underrepresented in the disciplines. All of our students should be able to see themselves accepted into and involved in their fields of study through the integration of material from diverse practitioners and experts. Our courses should be designed to nurture the talents of all students.
CLAS seeks to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable curriculum, which supports our community. It is essential to all of us for our mutual respect, our sense of fairness and justice, and our teaching and learning.