Diversity Intensives

Diversity Intensive courses are essential in liberal arts education for highlighting the centrality of diversity and complexity of difference in contemporary life. At UNC Asheville, the DI requirement helps fulfill our mission in facilitating a truly liberating education while offering opportunities for students and faculty to examine their own experiences and values alongside those of others. Such self-examinations could lead to transformative experiences for participants.

These are the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for Diversity Intensive Courses:

  • Students understand the socially constructed nature of identities.
  • Students understand the significance of individuals’ differing relationships to power.
  • Students understand how individuals, organizations, and institutions create, perpetuate, or challenge inequality.
  • Students understand how multiple identities intersect.
  • Students are better equipped to reevaluate their ideas about diversity and difference.

Diversity Intensive course are offered throughout the curriculum. The list of currently approved DI courses is below. If an instructor’s name appears beside the course, only that instructor’s section has been approved as DI. The semester information listed beside each course indicates the approval period during which the course satisfies the requirements for DI credit. Students who take the course during this time will receive DI credit. To determine when DI courses are offered each semester, refer to the online course schedule.

Note: Courses may not be offered every semester during the approval period.

Policy for the Submission of Student Petitions

Students who completed a course not included on the approved list that they believe meets the SLOs may petition the course for consideration by completing the Petition for Substitution of a Course for the Diversity Intensive Requirement form. This form is available on the Registrar’s website under Forms (see Petitions and Appeal Forms). Petitions should be scanned and emailed to the DI Coordinator, Dr. Tiece Ruffin at truffin@unca.edu.

The DI Committee accepts student petitions for the substitution of the DI requirement throughout the semester. However, student petitions will be reviewed only two times per academic semester (Fall and Spring). All petitions that are submitted by the end of drop/add will be reviewed by the first day of advising that same semester. All petitions that are submitted by the first day of early registration (for the upcoming semester) will be reviewed by the end of exam week that same semester. Petitions that are submitted over the summer will be included with the Fall semester reviews.

Students should plan ahead in submitting their petitions. Petitions that are not submitted by the deadline will be considered in the next time period for review. Only completed petitions will be considered, so be sure to include all requested information with your petition.

Contact Information

  • Coordinator for Diversity Intensive Courses: Dr. Tiece Ruffin, truffin@unca.edu

Approved Diversity Intensive Courses

Currently Approved

View currently approved Diversity Intensive Courses here.

Previously Approved (not current)

View previously approved Diversity Intensive Courses here.

Faculty Information and Forms

To qualify for Diversity Intensive designation, the course should meet the following criteria:

  1. Examines as one of its primary themes, within the context of the course materials, the cultural processes and ideologies of constructing human identities, such as class, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, or religion, as well as the implications of those identities on lived experience.
  2. Examines as its primary subjects individuals’ relationship to power, how privileged and oppressed identities are constructed among and across categories of difference, and how societies use institutions and imbalances of power to create and perpetuate or challenge inequalities.
  3. Examines as a primary consideration of diversity the intersectionality of identities. (multiple layers of identities and the interrelationship between or among these identities, ie., black women’s experiences as blacks, as women, and as black women.)
  4. Course materials relate directly to the issues addressed in the course. Whenever appropriate, course material produced by underrepresented or oppressed group(s) should be included.
  5. Course structure allows participants to examine their experiences and values with course materials, discussion, and projects/assignments that move students beyond their comfort zones, providing opportunities for transformative experiences.

Documents

Courses are approved for a five-year term, and may be approved for a specific instructor or approved for all instructors teaching the course. Faculty teaching a DI course are asked to participate in DI assessment once per 3-year assessment cycle.

Diversity Intensive Vision Statement Guidelines

Below is a detailed set of items that applicants should think about for their vision statement and syllabus.

The vision statement portion of the application to teach a Diversity Intensive (DI) course provides an opportunity for applicants to explain their expectations and their preparation for the course. As such, it needs to include concrete information as to how the course will be taught, and a broad articulation of the applicant’s understanding of the purposes of the DI course and how these purposes can be brought to fruition.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in Diversity Intensive workshops that will cover topics such as: creating DI course syllabi; assignment and class project ideas for DI courses; pedagogical considerations in DI classes; handling difficult situations in the classroom, etc.

Applicants are encouraged to work in collaborative efforts in order to provide the best possible experience for both faculty and students; team teaching and/or peer partnership are especially appropriate for the development of DI courses. A discussion of pedagogy, broadly understood to include all aspects of the course and methods of instruction, is particularly important for these courses, in which participation of all students is crucial.

Applicants should include some discussion of the following in the vision statement:

Course Subject Matter

  • Explains how the subject matter and overall course content are appropriate for a DI course.
  • Articulates how the goals of the course reflect the goals of a DI course, including a specific discussion of the power dynamics that the course will investigate.
  • Indicates what part of the actual course materials are drawn directly from the experience of marginalized individuals and groups or from those groups whose construction of identities are examined in the course. Does the course make human agency a focal point? Does it emphasize the voices of lived experience or delve into questions of representation?
  • Explains how the course will address and/or reflect important intersectionalities. (multiple layers of identities and the interrelationship between or among these identities, ie., black women’s experiences as blacks, as women, and as black women.)

Pedagogy

  • Articulates the applicant’s pedagogical approach for the course.
  • How specific assignments and course activities achieve the goals of the course and create the opportunity for students and faculty to examine their own experiences and values, thus laying the groundwork for transformative experience.
  • How the course will help students develop an understanding of power imbalances and the myriad ways in which humans and cultures construct and respond to diversity and difference.
  • How the course will foster skills desirable in responsible citizens.

Learning Environment of the Course

  • Learning environment provides an atmosphere of respectful and open-minded exchange for all participants. The classroom is experienced as a “safe space.”
  • Vision demonstrates sensitivity to the nature of the course materials and the issues they expound, and to their impact on students.
  • Vision statement articulates an understanding of the range of intellectual and emotional responses that students may encounter both in and out of the classroom. Is the applicant prepared to deal with classes in which tension might be generated among students due to their differences in experience, belief, identity, or politics?
  • Vision statement addresses how a learning environment which supports the possibility of transformative experiences will be created.

Diversity Intensive Resources (curated by the DI Committee)