Inclusive Excellence Program for Faculty and Staff:
Justice, Equity, and Transformation (JET)
Feedback Report – First [Pilot] Cohort, 2021
Program Dates: January 2020 – December 2021
Content Contributors (listed alphabetically):
- Milagros Castillo-Montoya, ODI
- Jillian Ives, CAHNR
- Anna Marie LaChance, ENGR
- Randi Mendes, ENGR
- Jonelle Reynolds, ODI
- Martina Rosenberg, CETL
- Stephany Santos, ENGR
PARTICIPANTS’ DEPARTMENTAL REPRESENTATION
- Civil & Environmental Engineering X2
- Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering X3
- SOE Undergraduate Programs Advising Team
- Computer Science & Engineering
INDIVIDUAL ACTION PLANS SUBMITTED BY THE FIRST COHORT
Each participant created a brief description of their individual action plans that they worked on throughout the program. Below are the descriptions they provided. In summary, their action plans ranged from creating events for their department communities, to redesigning a course curriculum and class environment.
- Provide a minimum of two events per semester for students, faculty, and staff to come together to improve the sense of community within the CEE department.
- Work with the CEE ACT team to develop and launch an anonymous reporting tool for sharing events related to antiracism, equity, and inclusion.
- The overarching goal of my individual action plan was to create a more inclusive classroom environment by providing feedback on assessments instead of numerical grades.
- To carve out a designated timeframe during advising staff meetings (once per month) to discuss social justice, reflect on our current practice and create one or two measurable goals as a team (i.e. create an advising positionality statement for our website, attending an equity-minded professional development session as a team and reflecting on the session together).
- Recognizing that students face a variety of pressures and challenges, provide opportunities to complete coursework for undergraduate classes in more flexible manner. The goal focuses on incorporating ways to use specification-based grades and provide opportunities to resubmit coursework to emphasize growth in the discipline rather than focuses on collection of individual points. In addition, I am going to include a weekly vignette that emphasizes real world applications of heat and mass transfer. The goal is to show relevance to everyday life, but the selections will focus on sustainability and highlight how engineering can be used to the idea of “service to communities” because data suggests that this can help with retention of underrepresented students in engineering. The examples also will be highlighting URM in engineering to show that STEM is open to all.
- Understand, Communicate and Engage faculty and students in conversation, action and change in CSE including:
- Creating a comprehensive anti-racist message in all marketing material
- Create a portal of information, tools, and resources for faculty to conduct an in-depth review of their teaching
- Modify my syllabus to better reflect student equity
- Design a specifications-based grading strategy
- Create a new example that incorporates social and environmental justice
- Create inclusive learning community for courses
- Record all lectures and share notes
- Fall 2021: all lectures live streamed on https://twitch.tv/cooperrc84
- Spring 2022: all lectures will be streamed via YouTube streaming (Cooper channel)
- Syllabus revision exercise:
- Weeks 1-2 of semester, students reflect on why they are in the course
- Suggest changes to syllabus
- Fall 2021 biggest change: Students were burnt out and fed up with required discussion posts. We revised the syllabus to create a self-assessed participation grade
- Week 7: submit current assessment, Cooper connects you to other students if you feel left out or alone
- Week 14: submit final grade with reasoning
- Record all lectures and share notes
- Provide open access resources to students
- Course reading materials and exercises published under Creative Commons License
- Students can revise and credit the resources, but use as their own portfolio or examples to share with colleagues and potential employers
- Creates ownership of exercises and materials
- Create flexible learning environment
- The pandemic has students unreasonably stressed and uncertain
- I have removed penalties on late submissions
- When students request an extension: I ask
- How much time do you need?
- How can I help with the material?
- In Fall 2021, I was able to connect with students that felt left out or disconnected from the class.
PARTICIPANTS’ COLLECTIVE ACTION PLAN
Create a database of anti-racist resources for teaching purposes.
This was initiated but not completed during the program.