Graduate Catalog

Equity Certificate for School Leaders

The Equity Certificate for School Leaders is a yearlong program that prepares teams of educators to engage and develop together as equity leaders in their schools and districts. The program focuses on developing culturally responsive and anti-racist teaching and leadership practices. The program challenges educators to commit to creating equitable and inclusive school environments, especially for students and families who have been historically marginalized. Working together in a learning community, teachers, counselors, classified staff, and administrators gain knowledge and skills to lead collectively for equitable systemic change.

This certificate is offered in partnership with the Center for Equity and Inclusion and is available only to students enrolled as a district-sponsored cohort.

Certificate Requirements

8 semester hours, distributed as follows:

EDAD 670A Foundation for Racial Equity2
EDAD 671Understanding Cultural Frameworks and De-Centering Dominant Culture2
EDAD 672Facilitating Learning in Diverse Communities 1
EDAD 673Engaging and Empowering Families1
EDAD 675Leading for Equity-Building Inclusive School Systems & Creating Syst Change2

Course Descriptions

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EDAD 670 A Foundation for Racial Equity

Content: This course will establish the framework for year-long equity work for a community of learners. Students will closely examine the personal, institutional, cultural, and structural conditions that perpetuate racial inequities in education and the broader community. Participants will also connect with the program purpose, agreements, working definitions, and overall approach to learning in a cross-cultural environment. Additionally, participants will begin to develop the passion, urgency, and skills necessary to lead for equity in their buildings and communities while deepening their understanding of their own racial and cultural experiences, filters, and biases.
Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

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EDAD 671 Understanding Cultural Frameworks and De-Centering Dominant Culture

Content: In this course, we explore the personal orientation necessary to work effectively in cross-cultural learning environments. We dissect dominant culture through unpacking the cultural values, beliefs, communication style, learning orientation, and cultural preferences that often remain unconsciously perpetuated or privileged in educational institutions. Then we will continue to explore the historical creation of a racial hierarchy via policies, systems, institutions, and laws and the legacy of discrimination, bias, and white privilege it creates today. Lastly, we explore nondominant cultural beliefs, communication styles, and learning styles as well as the basic tenets of culturally responsive teaching in order to begin de-centering dominant culture in schools and classrooms to truly create inclusive learning environments.
Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

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EDAD 672 Facilitating Learning in Diverse Communities

Content: This course will focus on the actual culturally inclusive facilitation skills needed to situate both students and adults as learners in diverse communities. In addition to concrete facilitation skill development, participants will explore the value and role of community in non-dominant learning as well as specific ways to enhance an authentic community orientation in schools today both for students and educators. Participants will also develop an approach to observing and offering feedback to one another as part of a learning community as well as create a facilitation plan for adult professional development. Participants will choose a focus area to target their community learning process on over the course of the school year.
Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 1 semester hour.

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EDAD 673 Engaging and Empowering Families

Content: In this course participants explore the role of family in the education of children in school systems today and delve into the often painful realities nondominant families’ experiences in schools. Students explore how to create inclusive, empowering, and authentic partnerships with students, families, and communities and learn how to draw upon students’ home worlds to create rigorous and relevant curriculum and instruction. Lastly, participants learn how to empower families to advocate effectively for their children in schools.
Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 1 semester hour.

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EDAD 675 Leading for Equity-Building Inclusive School Systems & Creating Syst Change

Content: During this course, teacher leaders, aspiring administrators, and current building and district administrators will explore themes and concepts of leadership and management essential to creating and sustaining equitable systemic change in today’s diverse school buildings. This culminating course will build on a strong conceptual and experiential knowledge base of equity and explicitly develop the leadership lens and skills critical to inspiring and empowering others to join in creating equitable, lasting change that improves the academic achievement of all students, especially students of color who continue to be underserved by our educational system. This course honors that while this work is a moral imperative, leading for equity at the building and district level is deeply challenging and requires unrelenting passion as well as a deep leadership skill set and conceptual understandings.
Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 2 semester hours.