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TLC Awarded Grant for Shared Expertise in Building and Measuring Equitable and Inclusive Teaching

November 1, 2022

Drexel University’s Teaching and Learning Center and Universidad del Sagrado Corazón’s Pedagogical Innovation Unit have received a DEI grant from the Professional and Organizational Developers Network (POD). Grant funds will support the incorporation of equitable and inclusive teaching practices at Sagrado and expand Drexel’s Teaching and Learning Center’s impact by drawing on its experience and expertise building new teaching centers and programs.

Universidad del Sagrado Corazón (Sagrado) is a private, non-profit, higher education institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Sagrado is a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI), with 100% of students identifying as Hispanic and a significant proportion qualifying as low-income. Sagrado offers Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and professional certificates in five academic units. Sagrado is the oldest private continuing educational institution in Puerto Rico.

In 2018, in response to multiple political, economic, and environmental crises in Puerto Rico; including an ongoing economic recession and Hurricanes Irma and María, the university designed a completely new institutional and curricular project (called RBK). As part of the RBK, The Pedagogical Innovation Unit (UIP, for its initials in Spanish) was created to educate socially committed and innovative professionals through active, service, and project-based learning experiences. Over the past six months, Director Dr. Leila Rodriguez has worked to develop and implement new programming for the UIP, including launching a website.

The Drexel-Sagrado partnership will result in the development of new content and programing for Sagrado faculty and a more comprehensive assessment plan for both UIP and Drexel's TLC. Specific outcomes of the initiative include:

  • Training Sagrado faculty in equitable and inclusive teaching specific to each of the five main disciplinary areas at the institution: arts; humanities and social sciences; business; natural sciences; health.
  • Developing and improving tools to measure equitable and inclusive teaching and their impact at Sagrado and Drexel.
  • Developing a certificate on equitable and inclusive teaching at Sagrado loosely modeled after Drexel’s Institute for Inclusive and Equitable Teaching.

Drexel University’s Teaching and Learning Center is small, and relatively new – serving as an ideal partner and mentor for UIP. This collaboration draws on Inaugural Director Johanna Inman’s experience building the Teaching and Learning Center, as well a co-creating, Drexel’s Institute for Inclusive and Equitable Teaching alongside Patience Ajoff-Foster (Assistant Vice President of Inclusive Culture). Dr. Inman will mentor Dr. Rodriguez as she develops the equitable and inclusive teaching certificate for Sagrado faculty. Presenters will be identified to teach Sagrado faculty the importance of teaching inclusively and equitably in their disciplines and how to implement new techniques. Dr. Inman and Dr. Rodriguez will co-lead a research effort to assess the success of their initiatives, using measures that range from participation rates to knowledge acquisition, confidence, and growth mindsets among faculty.