Every Learner Everywhere
Intentional Futures

Getting Started with Equity: A Guide for Academic Department Leaders

Getting Started With Equity: A Guide for Academic Department Leaders

Getting Started With Equity is a guide designed specifically for academic department leaders in higher education. The guide can help department chairs, course directors, and lead instructors develop and curate an educational environment that is simultaneously justice-centered and equity-advancing.

While the guide offers specific strategies faculty can adopt in the classroom and in curricular development, a systems approach to centering justice — in the interest of equity-advancing work — is the responsibility of the entire campus community, not just individual instructors making choices around their own teaching. Equity-advancing work demands a change in systems and culture, which is a collaborative effort, not an individual one. It calls for the demystification and deconstruction of systemic inequities. This work shapes policies, course offerings, assessments of learning, and curricular content. And finally, it supersedes checklists full of superficial changes.

Getting Started With Equity: A Guide for Academic Department Leaders is not a comprehensive handbook for educators committed to equity-advancing work; there are many worthwhile resources and tools that illuminate and recommend best practices for equity in higher education. Rather, Getting Started With Equity is a resource to start having conversations in academic departments around how we can work toward equity and justice in our curricula and teaching.

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Improving departmental equity using the IMPACT Framework

Improving Departmental Equity Using the IMPACT Framework includes step-by-step instructions and worksheets for experts and novices alike to anticipate, acknowledge, and redress racism perpetuated by academic departmental policies and practices. This resource is meant to accompany Getting Started With Equity: A Guide for Academic Department Leaders, which walks academic department leaders through the process of conducting an equity audit of the department’s teaching practices and policies, lays out evidence-based teaching practices that support educational equity, and outlines inequities and how to redress them in specific academic disciplines. 

This resource will help committed educators develop an anti-racist analytical framework, based on an anti-racist growth mindset — the belief that all people, including educators, have the potential for constant evolution and development of a more thorough understanding and practice of anti-racist behaviors. The exercises and processes outlined here will help you and your team decide how and where to begin in making your academic department a more equitable place for minoritized, first-generation, and poverty-affected students.

Improving equity requires acknowledging where and why inequities exist and actively working to eliminate them. The process outlined in Getting Started With Equity requires intentional steps to identify and analyze policies and practices that may be driving inequitable access, experiences, and outcomes for racially minoritized and poverty-affected students. Improving Departmental Equity Using the IMPACT Framework provides departmental task forces with a process for redressing the inequities identified in the departmental equity audit.

Download Improving Departmental Equity Using the IMPACT Framework


Recommended Citation:

Gable. T., Holiday, T., O’Sullivan, P., & Sims, J.J. (2021 June 1). Getting Started With Equity: A Guide for Academic Department Leaders. Every Learner Everywhere. https://www.everylearnereverywhere.org/resources/.

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