Core curriculum may soon include DEI courses

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Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) courses could soon be a part of TCU’s Core Curriculum after the Faculty Senate Academic Excellence Committee and DEI Committee proposed the addition Tuesday.

The core curriculum, which hasn’t been changed in 15 years, would not require any additional classes. The DEI committee is proposing to add a new requirement in the essential competencies that will function similarly to writing emphasis and will “double dip” with an existing core class or within a student’s major or minor curriculum.

The proposal, shared Tuesday, is in its beginning stages and aims to enhance and enrich existing core curriculum through the addition of DEI.

“We hope that we will be developing a vision with DEI that represents the whole campus community, said Ayesha Torrey-Sawyer, co-chair of the Office of Inclusion. “This is for faculty, staff and students. These issues are important and we want everyone to be heard.”

Student Body President Abby Widick spoke Tuesday at the Campus conversation meeting regarding student’s desire to add DEI to the Core Curriculum

The panel of discussion leaders served as voices of the community to present what they have gathered over the last year and a half from faculty, students and 18 other peer universities who have implemented DEI in to their core curriculum.

Jane Quesada, representative of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, said we need more impact in terms of helping students understand how to think about themselves, understand differences and engage in meaningful ways.

“If DEI is part of our core values, it has to be in the core curriculum,” said Ariane Balizet, DEI committee member.

Student body president Abbey Widick said that there is a large amount of student support and desire to have DEI in the core curriculum.

“This passed in student government with 82 percent, which is astronomically high,” Widick said. “This is something that students strongly desire to have because they believe that the classroom is the proper place to have the training and experience to be equipped for the workforce.”

Further conversation will take place in faculty senate next week. If approved, the DEI plan would go in to effect for the incoming fall class of 2020.

“Ultimately, it’s the faculty that is in charge of the core curriculum to deliberate and vote on a change should that be the path we go forward,” said Karen Steele, co-chair of the DEI Committee.