What happens if a college graduate wanders into the world without having learned about diversity, equity and inclusion? At Illinois State University, they no longer want to find out.
Therefore, the school will now require all students to pass a DEI course in order to qualify for graduation.
As reported by WGLT (NPR from Illinois State), more than one class will be on offer. The choices comprise ISU’s “IDEAS” mandate — that’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access in U.S. Society.
It sounds as if College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Rocio Rivadeneyra — chair of the task force responsible for the IDEAS prerequisite — wants all graduates to know about structural oppression:
“The fact is that majority of our students are going to spend their careers and lives in the U.S. and that it was important for them to understand the history, the structures that influence equity, diversity and inclusion issues here at home.”
In 2016, a Campus Climate Assessment Task Force looked into problems to be solved. Might students think to themselves, “I wish I was forced to take an extra course telling me how I’m supposed to live and where I’ve gone wrong so far”?
Rocio says yes:
“One piece of feedback that we got from student, faculty and staff survey and focus groups was that there was kind of a missing piece in our curriculum for students. That we didn’t really have a class that all students had to take that focused on domestic diversity, the issues we have with diversity here in the U.S.”
Judging by a plethora of recent headlines, such a course would appear redundant; isn’t all of college a DEI course?
Evidence to the affirmative:
Illinois State University is joining a majority of schools: Per the Education Encyclopedia on Multiculturalism in Higher Education, 63% of colleges either have a diversity mandate in place or are developing one.
Roxio says the new requirement will help graduates “put [themselves] in [different peoples’] shoes and come to a better understanding.”
As for students requesting the requirement, it seems the interested parties would simply take such courses without asking to be forced.
Then again, the current college crop doesn’t appear as attracted to options as previous generations:
— Gardner Goldsmith (@gardgoldsmith) March 30, 2022
Rebellion Ain't What It Used to Be: College Students Protest Their Own Freedom to Unmask https://t.co/yVG5VopK7d
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