Post Classifieds

Diversity in Curriculum

By Devon Hall
On April 4, 2018

Photo by: Devon Hall

“Promoting and nurturing a learning environment in which students, faculty and staff are encouraged to understand the challenges, accomplishments, heritage and perspectives of all peoples in order to gain a fuller and more mature understanding who we are as well as others. Teaching ourselves and others to engage in constructive dialogue as a way to reach out to those who may think or act differently than we do.”

This quote comes from the online Ottawa University Diversity Statement.

The actions from the university are opposite than the image they project on paper and online. How does an administration that claims to advocate for diversity in the classroom, as stated in the Diversity Statement, leave diversity out of their curriculum?

Ottawa University does not offer a women’s gender studies course or any course that teaches specifically about people of color. Such classes like African-American studies or Latin-American literature can be found on many campuses across the nation, but not ours.

Diversity in curriculum is lacking, which surprises me most that our university is named after the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma, but lacks the teachings of tribe history.

Luckily, some things have been going on behind the scenes and a task force may be assembled shortly. The task force will consist of students, faculty and staff looking to help develop a cultural curriculum and choose instructors to head this new direction.

The goal is also to have classes available by fall 2018.

Campus Provost Terry Haines is already on board with the idea of adding these courses to our curriculum options to choose from. However, the projects’ success and longevity now relies on how much interest is gathered from you, the students.

Intersectionality is in our University’s Mission and Vision. I encourage you to sign up and learn about other people’s types of culture, way of life and development. Signing up for these classes will do just that, which is to match what Ottawa’s mission is to accomplish.

 

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