In April 2014, the Mosaic Project Report recommended the creation of a standing committee to support Washington University faculty in developing classrooms that foster learning for all of the university’s students. Created in the spring of 2015, the Standing Committee on Facilitating Inclusive Classrooms is composed of faculty from each of the Danforth Campus schools, as well as students and other key administrators, including from the Medical Campus. The committee meets regularly to share information and questions across schools; develop and recommend best practices and policies; work in collaboration with The Teaching Center as it develops programs and initiatives in this area; and oversee implementation of the Mosaic Report recommendations. Although the committee does not have responsibility for actual implementation of policies or procedures, it plays a crucial role in helping the university develop and model best practices and procedures for teaching and educating all of our students.
Rochelle Smith, Assistant Provost, Diversity Initiatives
J.Dillon D. Brown PhD., Associate Professor
For information about the work of the Standing Committee on Facilitating Inclusive Classrooms, to ask questions, or to make recommendations for consideration, please contact either of the co-chairs.
The committee is convened by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement & Institutional Diversity.
Charge of the Standing Committee on Facilitating Inclusive Classrooms for Academic Year 2018-2019
The charge for the Standing Committee on Facilitating Inclusive Classrooms (SCFIC) for 2018-2019 school year is two-fold:
Charge 1: SCFIC will partner with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion to proactively engage with Washington University’s students on issues, topics and challenges related to facilitating inclusive learning spaces on our campuses. We want students to see us as a resource and will invite key groups as well as individuals to discuss and share concerns on topics regarding inclusion in the classroom at planned committee meetings.
Charge 2: The second charge will carry over from the previous year and we will discuss children in the classroom and exploring enhanced resources for pregnant and parenting students. The committee will work with the Director of the Title IX Office at Washington University to make the campus community aware that some students may be the primary caregivers for children or other family members, which might provide challenges for these students’ as they pursue their studies. We will also discuss how we can develop best practices to support these students.
Outcomes of the SCFIC Committee for the 2017-2018 academic year:
Charge 1: Examine the question of students bringing their children in the classroom and make recommendations to guide best practices in this area: Title IX Director, Jessica Kennedy, J.D., who is also a member of SCFIC agreed to create a website for pregnant and parenting students to enhance their knowledge of the resources available to them at Washington University. Ms. Kennedy and SCFIC co-chairs, Ms. Smith and Dr. Brown, also created a draft version of a policy statement for pregnant and parenting students which will be presented to the entire SCFIC committee for revisions and approval in October and November 2018. The focus on this topic will carry over as one of the two charges to the 2018-2019 committee.
Charge 2: Work with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and The Teaching Center to design tools and other resources for faculty members to build confidence in the classroom when disturbing political, social, racial or similar hot button issues arise in the media or on our campus. The SCFIC Committee created a letter addressed to Washington University faculty which provides them with tips and resources for working with students who might be struggling to process recent events in the news. The letter will be sent by Provost Holden Thorp in November 2018. These issues affect both students and faculty members and influence classroom dynamics. SCFIC is seeking to help faculty members balance staying on track with syllabi topics for any given class and acknowledging the impact a trending topic might have on those in the classroom.