Diversity Pillar

Washburn defines diversity broadly to encompass gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation and identity, disability, age, religion and national origin. Since the classroom is foundational to the culture of a university, a valuing of diversity will spill out into other aspects of the Washburn community and create a more welcoming and inclusive campus.

Diverse learning environments attend to social characteristics such as Race/Ethnicity (R/E), Gender (G), Social Class (SC), Ability (A), Sexuality (SX), Culture (C) and Geographic Location (GL), and the intersection among and between various social characteristics. Resources that follow are coded to indicate information on these social characteristics.

Attention to diversity in the process of teaching and learning results in a teaching and learning environment where:

  • students’ diverse learning needs are incorporated into the teaching/learning process;
  • students develop an appreciation for and understanding of the various cultures represented in the classroom;
  • faculty teach to the perspectives and experiences of a diverse society;
  • students learn to be sensitive to issues of power, privilege, and inclusion;
  • faculty, staff, and students learn to recognize and respond to biases they may have developed over time;
  • staff, faculty and students demonstrate sensitivity to evolving, unbiased terminology that refers to specific ethnic and cultural groups;
  • faculty, staff, faculty and students develop intercultural competence that prepares them to live and work in a diverse and global community.

To learn more . . .

The following guides are made available by the Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant and sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning.

Students and faculty identify embody different social characteristics and thus often have perceptions of the university campus that are sometimes not synonymous. A university campus that appreciates diversity seeks to understand experiences students and faculty bring to campus, how diverse groups experience the university community, and how to respond to differences in ways that are positive and inclusive.



Recognizing the impact of all aspects of the campus environment on the success of students is the first step toward ensuring that the campus communities are inviting and supportive of members of the university community. Overt and explicit actions on the part of the campus are often necessary to transform university campuses into open and inclusive spaces to teach and learn.


Faculty in learning communities committed to diversity expand their teaching approaches, in order to address the learning needs of a diverse population of students, and in the process facilitate the persistence and subsequent academic success of increased numbers of students.



Diversity Research and Scholarship


CTEL Lending Library

  • Exploring Race In Predominantly White Classrooms
  • Teaching to Transgress-Education as the Practice of Freedom
  • Intersectionality & Higher Education: Theory, Research, & Praxis


Center for Teaching Excellence & Learning
Morgan Hall room 204
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email

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