Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
As members of the Collaborative for STEM Education and Outreach, we strive towards continual improvement in implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our work. Acknowledging these issues and the myriad of ways they present themselves in our society, schools, communities, and daily life is a lifelong learning process. In our efforts towards equitable education within our organization we initially focused on self-education, creating a productive space for a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints, and examining a variety of resources with the goal of self-development and programmatic change not only for ourselves but in the service of our students, classrooms, and communities.
DEI learning sessions and discussions have influenced the methodology of our work with the school district, particularly recruitment to our programs. Specifically, this work led to ongoing review of and subsequent adjustments to our admissions processes for the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt with the goal of mitigating unintended barriers that affect access to the opportunities we provide. We began working directly with teachers who serve students of color and backgrounds that are underrepresented in our programs to mentor and encourage students through the application process. Further, we have been intentional in including underserved schools in our interview pool. These efforts have resulted in an incoming class where nearly half are students identify as Black or people of color and more schools from across the city are represented than ever before.
We are also actively working toward more and better student support and mentorship and exploring additional strategies to retain underrepresented students in our programs. We continue to be guided by the leaders in this work at Vanderbilt and elsewhere for education, tools, and guidance to further our student equity and retention goals.
We are continuously engaged in developing lessons and activities that incorporate social justice topics into our STEM education programs, being careful to ensure the primary purpose of these lesson plans corresponds to our goal for improvements to STEAM education. We have strived to include STEM professionals from underrepresented backgrounds in our speaking engagements and planned lessons, as well as led discussions concerning issues such as medical inequities. We have also provided professional development for MNPS educators on how to create inclusive content and how to incorporate diverse voices and perspectives into the science classroom.
We are continually committed to our goal of improved diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our programs. Please continue to visit this page for updates on our work and for future resources.
The Collaborative for STEM Education and Outreach
Previous DEI Statements
2021-2022 Peabody Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Grant
We are pleased to announce that we were a recipient of a Peabody EDI grant to expand the Professional Development seminars of the Collaborative for STEM Education and Outreach (CSEO) to continue our efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion among the CSEO staff’s interpersonal interactions and teaching styles. Additionally, it was our hope that we might gain further traction with these seminars by making them available to faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students in the Department of Teaching and Learning.
We have sponsored four EDI-focused seminars during this grant cycle on Unconscious Bias in the Classroom Neurodiversity in the Classroom, Teaching Beyond the Gender Binary, and Perspective Taking: Expanding beyond your viewpoint. Future events will be posted on our Professional Development Opportunities page.