Equity and Diversity in Higher Education

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON 1:00 - 4:00 pm SZB 3.222


This is a College of Education course, cross-listed with the Law School.

In this course, we focus on foundational and current issues related to research-based knowledge on equity and diversity in higher education. This course is organized into three major areas and levels of analysis: (1) an understanding of inequality and the framing of equity in research and practice; (2) the diversity frame in research and practice; and (3) research-based strategies for transformation. We will explore the concept of equity from different theoretical perspectives and an understanding of inequality from a structural, organizational, and individual level. In the second part, we will explore what the diversity frame is in research and practice, what its limitations are, and its relation to legal developments and affirmative action. The third part will focus on action, with specific research-based strategies for transformational change toward greater equity and meaningful diversity in higher education. We will consider various types of equity and diversity, but will give special attention to the complexity of race because the educational system in the U.S., including institutions of higher education, have played and continue to play a central role in creating racial segregation and inequities in U. S. society. Students who successfully complete this class will be equipped to engage in their work (research, practice, etc.) with professional competence around issues of diversity and equity. 

Learning Objectives

  • (1) Understand and critically analyze frameworks for considering equity and diversity in higher education;
  • (2) Identify your own assumptions about equity and diversity in higher education;
  • (3) Assess proposed and emerging research-based solutions for transformational change in higher education;
  • (4) Build skills in active listening, developing persuasive arguments, and critical thinking;
  • (5) Build skills in developing and designing an original and compelling research study;
  • (6) Critically analyze social science research related to the topics of the class.

 As a doctoral seminar, we will read intensively, engage in candid and structured discussions, and both critique and design research studies of our own. I expect a high level of reflection and analysis.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

No materials required


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