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Diversity (D) designation

Diversity Graduation Requirement

Students seeking a B.S., B.Mus., or B.F.A. degree at Western Oregon University satisfy this requirement by successfully completing 6 hours of course work from within any portion of the student’s degree plan which emphasizes a topic or subject dealing with diversity. Diversity courses used to complete this requirement carry a special ‘D’ designation and are listed in the catalog and the online Schedule of Classes.

Goal of Diversity Requirement

The Diversity graduation requirement is part of the overall General Education program at WOU. Diversity courses are designed to develop students’ understanding of and sensitivity to one or more groups that have been marginalized on the basis of racism, sexism, classism, linguicism, ableism, ageism, heterosexism, religious intolerance, and xenophobia. Diversity courses are also designed to broaden students’ horizons with regard to differences in culture which stem from differences in ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, and/or religion. Such courses should enhance students’ skills for active citizenship, lifelong learning, and independent thought and action. These goals are accomplished by exposing students to basic knowledge of social, cultural, or value systems different from their own.

Learning Outcomes of Diversity (D) courses

The Learning Outcomes of a Diversity (D) course should include specific aspects of one or more of the following:

  • Develops students’ understanding of and sensitivity to one or more groups that have been marginalized on the basis of racism, sexism, classism, linguicism, ableism, ageism, heterosexism, religious intolerance, and/or xenophobia.
  • Describes a clearly formulated social, ethical, historical, economic, political, or scientific topic associated with a difference of race, ethnicity, cultural value, and/or other sub-cultural difference.
  • Considers differences in practices, whether personal or institutional, on the basis of variations in ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, class, language, ability, age, sexual orientation and/or religion.
  • Applies the methodology of an academic discipline to study a clearly formulated topic which involves differences of ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, class, language, ability, age, sexual orientation and/or religion.
  • Teaches methods and strategies for addressing issues of diversity in the classroom.

Guidelines for D approval

Courses with the Diversity (D) designation must afford students multiple opportunities to discuss, write about, and formulate carefully thought out positions relating to diversity concepts.

  1. The diversity content should relate in a meaningful way to the discipline and should further the student’s knowledge both in the discipline and help structure a broader world-view.
  2. One of the following must apply:
    • The primary focus of the class should be the diversity content (i.e., the percent of the course grade based on diversity concepts is at least 75%) OR
    • The student is required to complete a major project involving diversity concepts AND at least 33% of the course grade is based on the diversity component of the class

Process for obtaining D designation for a course

The Faculty Senate’s General Education Committee recommends to the Curriculum Committee the D designation for courses based on statements and syllabi submitted by individuals or departments. A completed D form should be attached to the e-form curricular request. Include a syllabus and supporting documents to facilitate the process and help the committee determine the level of diversity content and percent of course grade dependent on diversity. Supporting documents include copies of exams, the table of content of books used in the course, detailed project guidelines and scoring rubrics, etc.

D Designation form

Diversity form to include with curricular e-form (see facultysenate/curriculum/ for general guidelines)