Diversity & Inclusion in the Classroom
Inclusive learning environments are those in which all students feel valued and respected. As an institution, Cal Poly is working to increase the diversity of its faculty, staff, and student populations as well as to create a more inclusive campus climate. Educators play a key role in ensuring all students have an equitable chance of succeeding academically and feel a sense of belonging in our classrooms and on our campus. See the pages listed on the menu at the right for ideas and strategies on how to create and maintain inclusive and diverse classrooms. Below is a listing of various programs and services.
Student Pronouns and Preferred Names
Consistently using personal pronouns and preferred names is key for creating a more inclusive campus culture.
Since March 2019, students, staff, and faculty have had the option to be listed in the Cal Poly directory under their preferred name.
Canvas users can now indicate their personal pronouns in their user settings. To learn more, visit What's New in Canvas.
To support faculty and staff in using personal pronouns and preferred names, the CTLT has prepared:
Fostering Inclusion In The Classroom Culture
One of the important ways that Cal Poly educators can help all students to be successful is to foster a class environment that is conducive to learning by establishing core commitments to inclusion and support of diversity. One effective way for faculty do this is by conveying their personal and professional values for diversity and inclusion directly and clearly to students through a syllabus Diversity & Inclusion statement.
The page linked below provides guidance, resources and examples of Diversity & Inclusion statements. The statement language can also be useful whenever faculty recognize the need to restate their personal and professional support for Diversity & Inclusion when incidents in class, on campus, or elsewhere undermine students' sense of inclusion and belonging at Cal Poly.
You may also find it useful to give you students this document to guide their participation in synchronous Zoom class sessions: "Recommendations for Students in Virtual Learning Environments."
"Teaching for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity" (TIDE)
Creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus is the responsibility of all campus community members, including faculty. This professional development opportunity is designed for Cal Poly educators who seek to incorporate inclusive teaching practices and infuse diversity principles into their teaching consistent with the campus’s Diversity Learning Objectives (DLOs). The program contributes to progress on two of Cal Poly’s university-wide diversity imperatives: (1) “enhance [the] campus climate” and (2) “exemplify inclusive excellence in Learn by Doing, scholarship, teaching, and learning.” Faculty participation in this program can help departments and colleges make progress on their diversity, equity and inclusion goals and contribute to a more inclusive campus community. This is the fifth year for this program, which launched in 2016 as a collaboration of the CTLT and the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion (OUDI).
Book Circles on Diversity and Inclusion
CTLT regularly sponsors (and co-sponsors) book circles on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics during the academic year and over summer. They are open to all campus educators: faculty at all ranks and staff with an educational role. These are designed to prompt informed discussions within the campus community and to stimulate valuable insights that can Cal Poly to become a more inclusive campus. Visit the CTLT's Book Circles page to see offerings for an upcoming quarter. If you are interested in co-facilitating a book circle or recommending a book, please contact Sarah Macdonald, Inclusive Excellence Instruction Specialist. Recent titles include:
- Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope (bell hooks)
- Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom (bell hooks)
- Writing Beyond Race: Living Theory & Practice (bell hooks)
- Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy and Civic Courage (Paulo Freire)
- What Blood Won’t Tell: A History Of Race On Trial In America (Ariela Gross)
- Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (Claude Steele)
- Internationalizing The Curriculum (Betty Leask)
- Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates)
- Colorblind (Tim Wise)
- Dear White America (Tim Wise)
- White Like Me (Tim Wise)
- Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America (Lani Guinier)
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)
- Underground Undergrads: UCLA Undocumented Immigrant Students Speak Out
- The Militarization of Indian Country (Winona LaDuke)
- White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism (Robin DiAngelo)
- Black Prophetic Fire (Cornel West)
- The Culturally Inclusive Educator: Preparing for a Multicultural World (Dena R. Samuels)
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race (Beverly Daniel Tatum)
- Teaching Inclusivity: Quick Tips [pdf] (Sarah Blunt, Katie Hsia, Alicia Rocha, Doug Shea)
- American Council on Education: Campus Diversity and Inclusion
- Association of American Colleges and Universities: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusive Excellence
- U.S. Department of Education: Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education