Inclusivity in education has never been more important or more possible. Use this guide to aid you in developing your courses as well as yourself to achieve more welcoming and effective learning environments.
- Be a learning guide in a relational learning community: Don’t create a climate of power, but rather a climate of collaboration working toward a shared goal of success for everyone. This includes humanizing yourself letting students see that real people become scientists, and it demonstrates your openness to work with them on their uniquely human traits as they navigate your course.
- Intentional Conversations: Be intentional about reaching out to students from visible minorities. Small conversations can lead to mentoring moments, which can play critical roles in the lives of those students. These micro-affirmations (Estrada et al., 2019) are an antidote to the microaggressions those students may be experiencing in other contexts. While we aim to do this with every student, it is appropriate to take extra effort to reach out to a student from a visible minority because the same queues are being used by others to minoritize. It takes effort to counter that minoritized status.
- Support Structures: Be familiar with the landscape of campus support services so that you can refer students to the resources they need to be successful. This includes advisors generally, specific programs like SSD and CAPS, but also what can be provided by general programs like Big Red Resilience, the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, and the First Husker program.
- Advertise Inclusive Campus Resources: For example, make an announcement about Husker Dialogues, or post a Canvas announcement about an upcoming U.N.I.T.E powwow or a speaker being hosted by the Vice-Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion. Echoing these announcements in class increases attendance and indirectly communicates to students the values within your classroom.
Estrada, M., Young, G. R., Nagy, J., Goldstein, E. J., Ben-Zeev, A., Márquez-Magaña, L., & Eroy-Reveles, A. (2019). The Influence of Microaffirmations on Undergraduate Persistence in Science Career Pathways. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 18(3), ar40. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.19-01-0012