Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

UCDS’ Commitment to DEIB

Living in a diverse world presents challenges and joys. We believe each of us is entitled to an equitable and safe environment, which promotes acceptance and appreciation of ourselves as well as others. Our school is a community that strives to lead by example in respecting and affirming the unique qualities of each person. We actively seek individuals from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.

UCDS recognizes that different backgrounds and perspectives can sometimes create tension, but also stimulate growth and new possibilities; we encourage courageous conversation to challenge assumptions and foster greater understanding among people. We value what each of us contributes to the whole and envision our school as a mosaic that reflects the broader community.

DEIB at the Graduate School

The UCDS Graduate School of Education acknowledges that educational programming in the United States has traditionally perpetuated injustices against those who are marginalized or persecuted within our larger society. We commit to an ongoing and active examination of our educational programming to identify and counteract discrimination, prejudice, and more subtle forms of bias. Each course takes steps to support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for our students and for those they will serve in the future.

Over the last two years, faculty have worked to reconsider and operationalize how each course works to meet this commitment. The following are a few examples of how specific courses are taking steps to achieve this.

Examples from Courses

EDU 586 The Democratic Classroom: Student Agency, and Advocacy

Course Description: We will examine the origins of democracy in education as well as what it means currently in the context of inclusion, equity, and social justice. Together we will explore how school curricula and culture can help youth discover the ways they can become active, responsive, and compassionate participants in democratic processes.  We will investigate how social-emotional learning and confidence intersect with academic learning. We will examine strategies to increase student voice and help create thriving learning communities marked by shared understanding, ownership, and mutual respect for diverse voices. 


EDU 581 Individualizing Instruction
This course explores the many variables that influence the learning process. We acknowledge that each individual’s culture, attitude, beliefs and disposition about school shapes their learning process. This course examines the elements in students’ lives that impact how students engage in learning. We consider the many ways the learning goals of students are influenced by their culture, race, gender, neurodiversity and previous life experiences, and the importance of intentional consideration of these factors by the teacher.

EDU 585 Classroom Cultures
In EDU 585 students will learn how to set up their classroom so that all students and families feel welcomed, heard, and valued. Through various activities and strategies they will work to represent those who are and also those who are not in the room as a best teaching practice. Students will practice identifying their own biases and stereotypes and how that influences shaping their values for their classrooms. With collaborative discussions and reflective practices, students will continue to work against their own biases to ensure an inclusive space for all their students. Students will sketch and make models for classroom design that aims to welcome students from diverse backgrounds, identities, and abilities. This class emphasizes creating classroom spaces where students have opportunities for ownership, have a voice & choice through equitable access to resources. We understand that DEI & B is a journey and each of the concepts are evolving. We are committed to continue to reflect on our educational practices to represent our students and the larger community