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Advanced Exploration in DEI - Certification Course

Advanced Courses in DEI is a self-guided exploration of topics related to equity, inclusion, and social justice. The course is conceptualized on the belief that when we address what contributes to feelings of belonging, the potential for personal growth through diverse life experiences increases. This eight-week online learning experience is a collaboration between CMU's Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

The Advanced Exploration in DEI course aims to identify intersectional ways in which marginalization impedes the processes through which relational engagement with people dissimilar from ourselves can occur. The end goal is to create personalized tools that when used can enhance work practices, policies and procedures and maximize intercultural engagement.

Furthermore, this course seeks to offer a safe environment for participants to pursue the learning, tools and supportive feedback needed to help stimulate confident responses regarding issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. This course is structured such that skill development and growth will occur through individual work and cluster sessions. By taking this course participants will:

  • Build awareness of roles that bias, racism and marginalization play in an organization’s ability to explain authentic motivation and engagement with multiple relationships.
  • Create strategies that foster an inclusive environment where diversity of knowledge, exploration and experience are valued and encouraged.
  • Develop self-awareness of opportunities for correction and growth and strategies that align with DEI focused leadership skills development.

We invite you to sign up for a virtual and self-directed advanced exploration in diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice course offered this Fall. This educational opportunity is a pilot and is being offered at no cost to participants. It is made possible through a partnership between Diversity Education, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Support (CIS). Registration begins Fall 2023.

Course structure

This is a 4-module course that will conclude with a certificate of completion based on engagement in all assignments and an ending project. Each session is two hours of course content per week through open discussion and three hours of independent study per week. The weekly time commitment is approximately five hours.

The materials for this course come from a range of resources, namely peer-reviewed journals, original-source documents, non-fiction literature that is culture-centered, and documentaries.

Participants will receive a certification of completion at the conclusion of the fourth session. 

  • All four modules in their entirety must be completed in order to receive a certificate.
  • Participants must complete all sessions in order to fulfill expectations for completion.
  • Individuals can complete a missed module when it is offered again and still earn a certificate upon completion of all topical areas in this series.
Week & ModuleTopic Modality
Module 1
Laying a foundation through critical explorations introduces the common language associated with the justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work models. Synchronous
Module 2
Building beyond implicit bias: Addressing specific barriers to belonging and inclusion creates a framework for understanding socially constructed responses that influence individual accountability for recognizing and responding to institutionalized oppression, whether it applies to race, class, gender, ability or another form of marginalization. Synchronous
Cluster Discussion Groups
Module 3
Reviewing DEI initiatives and mining for missed opportunities critically examines institutional policies, practices and procedures to identify systemic barriers to inclusion and belonging based on demonstrated organizational actions. Synchronous
Cluster Discussion Groups
Module 4 Establishing authentic engagement and dialogue that matters combines reflection on previous work with personal/professional evaluation. Synchronous

Assessment of outcomes

  1. Assessment will occur via pre and post-surveys during Weeks 1 and 4.
  2. Assessment of the ability to apply content will occur through weekly action steps embedded into each module.