The Office of Inclusion & Internationalization is in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky. This office begins its work with a land acknowledgement and labor acknowledgement statement for the College. A land acknowledgment statement is an expression of appreciation and gratitude to those on whose territory we occupy, and recognizes and respects Native peoples as the traditional guardians of the land. Kentucky, which became the fifteenth state in 1792, is on the dispossessed territory of many First Nations/Native American peoples, including the Adena, Cherokee-East, Hopewell, Osage, Shawnee, and Yuchi people. The University of Kentucky is built on these dispossessed lands. Our labor acknowledgment statement identifies and honors the crucial role of enslaved people who helped to build the University of Kentucky on these dispossessed lands. We acknowledge and give thanks to the enslaved people who built UK and their descendants. May we continue our mission to create a community of belonging and commitment to excellence as the University for Kentucky in honor of those who walked and labored here before us.
The Office of Inclusion & Internationalization uses a Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Internationalization framework to enhance the academic experience of College of Education students through the development and management of co-curricular activities. In the college, faculty, staff, and administrative personnel advance traditional Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives with an explicit focus on 1) promoting Justice and 2) expansion of these initiatives to international populations. The Office of Inclusion & Internationalization sponsors several programs within the College of Education with the following goals:
- Maintain a supportive and inclusive environment for College of Education students from the time of their enrollment through graduation;
- Intellectually connect and engage students with all aspects of the College’s programs and initiatives, the Lexington community, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the US, and countries abroad;
- Create a vibrant community of discipline-specific student programming (i.e., student organizations, undergraduate and graduate certificate program, professional speaker series) that provide all students with mentoring and support throughout their professional development and current career decisions;
- Provide opportunities for all students to seek Justice for marginalized populations, promote Equity through critical self-reflection and awareness, foster Diversity through intentional Inclusive practices, and ensure these practices and mindsets extend beyond the US to International student populations.
All programs and activities supported by the Office of Inclusion & Internationalization are geared towards success of all students, regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, geographical location, language, age, class, religion, and disability. Each of the academic units within the College of Education have established mission statements that align with the College’s JEDII framework (see links below).
Along with exploring the many diversity resources offered by the College of Education, visit the UK Diversity Plan page (see link below) for information and links to programs, activities, institutional diversity plans, initiatives and data that focus on the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The College of Education is committed to providing initial and advanced candidates with educational experiences that prepare them to work constructively in a racially and culturally-diverse society and global community. To this end, the College of Education works collaboratively with national, state, and local education agencies, state and community governments, community groups, and professional organizations to respond to the educational needs of the Commonwealth. With these efforts, the College of Education recognizes the increasing diversity of the population of learners in American and Kentucky classrooms and the concomitant need for program candidates, faculty, field experiences, and curricula to reflect this diversity. The College of Education maintains a goal of designing undergraduate and graduate education programs that provide candidates with broad, comprehensive experiences and opportunities to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to meet the needs of all students. Through continuous assessment, the College also seeks to evaluate and respond through programmatic changes to the changing needs of its students, Kentucky, and the nation.
Experiences Working with Diverse Students in P-12 Schools
Program faculty review the schools and other settings (e.g., childcare centers for early childhood majors) used for student observations, practica, and student teaching. The schools are in urban, suburban, and rural settings, include marginalized student populations (i.e., African American, Latinx, LGBTQ, economically marginalized, physically disabled and neurodiverse students), and offer programs (e.g., Gifted/Talented, Special Education, Literacy, Conflict Resolution) that address the needs of diverse student populations.
The College of Education has established effective collaborations with local school districts. Field experiences are coordinated between program faculty and the Office of Clinical Practices and School Partnerships to provide broad experiences with diverse populations and settings within and beyond Fayette County Schools (the district where the University of Kentucky is located).
The College of Education seeks to provide its candidates with opportunities to understand and value the many aspects of diversity. Through curriculum and field experiences, candidates demonstrate the use of diverse methodologies in teaching students with diverse learning styles. Candidates also reflect on their own understanding of differences and the impact of these differences on their personal dispositions and behaviors as educators and community members. Building on this critical reflection, candidates specifically and College of Education graduates generally exercise their capacity to create inclusive learning contexts for diverse learners, while also seeking equity and justice for students educated within the Commonwealth and abroad.
Experiences Working with Diverse Faculty
The College of Education is committed to the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty. Beginning in 1989, a University-wide initiative provided additional funding to improve the unit’s ability to recruit a diverse faculty. This University initiative enabled the College of Education to achieve diversification of its faculty. From 1989-95, the number of minority faculty members in the College of Education increased from three to sixteen. The number of full-time female faculty also increased during this period. In 2021, the College of Education is the academic home for nearly 25% of all faculty across the academic ranks (i.e., Clinical, Tenure-Track, & Tenured Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, & Professors). Additionally, the college continues to explore methods for closing the gender wage gap, nearly a $1000 differential between the two gender groups.