The new diversity course requirement, approved by the Academic Senate in March 2004, has engendered a number of questions among students and faculty. You will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below. If you have additional questions please contact one of the following offices: office of Academic Affairs and Diversity, Office of the First-Year Dean, Office of the Dean (CAS or SSBM).
Why is there a diversity course requirement at Loyola University Maryland?
The Core Values Statement of Loyola calls upon the curriculum to prepare students to dedicate themselves to diversity that values the richness of human society as a divine gift and to pursue justice by making an action oriented response to the needs of the world. More, the University has taken as its mission teaching students to “learn, lead, and serve in a diverse and changing world.” In order to prepare students, and to teach from our mission, the faculty have approved an educational requirement that allows students to learn beyond the Western Tradition, to appreciate and value cultures other than their own. According to the diversity course requirement, students are required to successfully complete one designated diversity course as a graduation requirement. The requirement should aid students to more fully engage in other courses when they encounter diversity issues.
What is the diversity course requirement?
The diversity course requirement requires all students to complete one designated diversity course before graduation.
Is the diversity course requirement an addition to the core requirements?
No, the diversity course requirement does not add any additional courses to the core requirements. In fact, a number of the courses that have been designated as diversity courses are core courses. However, courses in students’ majors and minors, and other elective courses, may be designated as diversity courses, too.
What is a “designated diversity course”? What’s the approval process? Is there a calendar or schedule for this process?
- A designated diversity course is one that has been approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Subcommittee on the Diversity Requirement (UCCSD) because it meets criteria set forth in the initial diversity course requirement proposal as approved in March 2004 by the Academic Senate.
- According to the requirement, faculty submit information (syllabi, assignments and other materials) about a course to a four-member faculty committee. These four faculty members are members of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) and each represents a division of the undergraduate college (Humanities, Social Science, Sciences, and Business). The faculty committee reviews the information according to the diversity course requirement criteria. Specifically, the course must have a substantial focus (more than 50%) on one of the three focus issues: global diversity, domestic diversity, or justice. This focus can be achieved through course assignments, papers, readings, etc. When the course meets the criteria, it is approved and designated a diversity course. Diversity course can be found among core courses, major and minor courses, and electives.
- Applications for the Summer and Fall 2013 semesters must be submitted by November 6, 2012.
- Applications for the Spring 2014 semesters must be submitted by April 30, 2013.
How long does the diversity course approval last for?
The approval of diversity course designation lasts for five years. Each course must be reapproved prior to the end of this time for the designation to reaming in force.
Can you define the three focus areas?
The focus areas are defined as follows:
- Global Awareness – Concentrates on cultures that fall outside of the boundaries of a liberal arts education in the Western intellectual tradition, including, but not limited to, those in Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, Central/Latin America, and Australia/New Zealand. Global awareness courses may also address the interaction between these cultures and Western cultures.
- Justice Awareness – Fosters the ability to think in a sophisticated manner about the distinctive life and thought of those subject to injustice, and/or addresses issues of injustice through the examination of oppression, discrimination, prejudice, stigmatization, and privilege.
- Domestic Diversity Awareness – Considers the political, cultural, economic, and social significance of class, gender, sexuality, religion, disability, age, or race, or ethnicity, and explores the process by which distinctive American cultures have been created and either are or are not sustained.
Suppose I want to include on all three focus areas in my course. Does my course still count as a diversity course?
An approved diversity course must concentrate on one of the focus areas, and at least 50% of the course content must address that focus area. Certainly, a course can consider all three focus areas since the three are not mutually exclusive and the overlap provides rich opportunity for learning and teaching. Nonetheless, the faculty review committee must see a focus in one area that constitutes a global, domestic diversity, or justice emphasis.
Who must fulfill the diversity course requirement? How long does a student have to fulfill the requirement?
Students in the Class of 2010 and all subsequent classes must fulfill the requirement before graduation. Since this is a graduation requirement, students will not be eligible for graduation unless they fulfill the requirement.
What must students do to fulfill the requirement?
Students must complete one designated diversity course. Students can fulfill the diversity course requirement with a core, major, or elective course that carries the “D” designation. For example a section of History 101 might be HS101.20 (not a diversity section), or HS101D.12 (a diversity section). By completing HS101D.12, a student will have fulfilled the diversity course requirement.
When must a student fulfill the diversity course requirement?
Students must fulfill the minimum requirement by the time they graduate. The course appears on the degree audit under the DCR heading.
What advice should I give a student about the diversity course requirement?
- Students should be advised to complete the requirement earlier rather than later in their studies.
- Students are invited to take more than the one-course graduation requirement, and should consider taking courses in their major or minor that fulfill the requirement.
Where can I find the courses that meet the requirement? How do I know when the courses are scheduled and students can register for them?
- Students should look for information regarding the requirement and designated courses on the University website. To view the courses, students should look to the left side menu and select the corresponding semester for diversity courses.
- Beginning with courses for Summer 2007, diversity courses will be designated with the ‘D’ designation in the printed course schedule books as well as on Web Advisor (HS 101D.12). The course schedule will indicate when courses are offered for the upcoming semester.
As an advisor, how will I know whether a student has already fulfilled the diversity course requirement?
Whether or not a student has fulfilled the diversity course requirement will be indicated on the student’s degree audit. When reading the degree audit through Web Advisor, the advisor will see a course number listed underneath the diversity requirement. The diversity requirement is listed at the end of the core requirements.
Can students receive credit for a course that is now designated as a diversity course, but was not designated as a diversity course when they took the course in a previous semester?
- Students cannot fulfill the diversity course requirement through “grandfathering.” That is, they cannot fulfill the requirement by demonstrating that a course without the diversity designation that they completed in a previous semester is now designated as a diversity course. Courses approved to meet the diversity requirement do so because they have undergone faculty review and met a set of approved criteria that may have required some (significant) change in the course assignments, presentations, and other requirements.
- Additionally, because the requirement has been instituted for the Class of 2010 and subsequent classes, students enrolled under the requirements for their graduation class must fulfill the graduation requirements that apply to all members of their class.