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Ohio State University to offer new ‘diversity’ certificate

“Crack the puzzles of institutional racism in the United States.”

Ohio State University’s College of Arts and Sciences will begin offering a 12-hour “interdisciplinary diversity, equity and inclusion” certificate which aims to “give students the skills needed to thrive in diverse workplaces, teams and other social environments.”

It will be available to undergraduates and those with a bachelor’s degree.

The program’s goal, according to The Lantern, is to “create future leaders with an in-depth understanding of contemporary social inequalities.”

Wendy Smooth, who holds the titles of associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer for the College of Arts and Sciences, says the program will appeal to students “interested in ‘cracking the puzzles’ of institutional racism in the United States”:

Our employers want students who understand these backgrounds, so to be able to have that marker on your transcript that you are graduating with a specialized certificate in diversity, equity and inclusion is a real statement to employers that you are ready to engage with some of the 21st-century questions that employers are grappling with.

The program’s creators are sociology professors (surprise!): Reanne Frank, whose research interests include immigration/migration and racial/ethnic inequality, and Townsand Price-Spratlen who studies “community capacity building process” which includes “the role of grassroots organizing in desistance and post-prison reintegration success.”

From the story:

Frank said the idea for the program stemmed from the fact that post-millennial students of today are the most diverse group of students in U.S. history. Consequently, she said, society has begun to open up to conversation about inequality, and it is important to create a program that will help supply students with the necessary tools to tackle these issues.

“Our society is in the midst of opening up on issues of sex-identity, a societal reckoning with sexual harrassment [sic] — there’s increases in income inequality,” she said. “These are all social issues that have captured the nation’s attention and have become a pronounced undercurrent in today’s polarized politics.” …

Frank said that after a long process of curating the program, she is excited to see it come to fruition.

“From the beginning of it, we really believed in this certificate,” she said. “Students and participants, people who are enrolled in the program, are really going to benefit from exposure to this curriculum.”

Smooth added that based on classes students have taken, they “may find out that [they’re] already halfway to this amazing designation [the certificate].”


Read the article.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.