The Mission of the Office of Student Engagement, Equity, and Diversity is to enhance the academic experience of College of Education students through the development and management of co-curricular activities. The office partners with different units 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, and beyond;
  • Create a vibrant community of discipline-specific student organizations that can provide all students with mentoring and support in their pursuit of professional careers and certificates;
  • Develop multiple paths for students to follow in pursuing personal, educational, leadership and professional growth; and
  • Provide opportunities for all students to participate in, experience and embrace diversity.

All programs and activities supported by the Office of Student Engagement, Equity and Diversity are geared towards success of all students, regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, geographical location, religion, and disability.

Explore the many diversity resources offered by both the University of Kentucky and the College of Education. Visit the UK Diversity Plan page for information and links to programs, activities, institutional diversity plans, initiatives and data that focus on the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity. The mission of an all-important postsecondary educational institution must recognize diversity and inclusivity as essential elements of a quality education.

Diversity Commitment

The College of Education is committed to providing initial and advanced candidates with educational experiences that prepare them to work constructively in a culturally-diverse society and global community. In a state where educational reform is a top priority, 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.

To this end, 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. Its goal in designing undergraduate and graduate education programs is to provide candidates with broad and comprehensive experiences and opportunities to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to meet the needs of all students. Through continuous assessment, the unit 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., child care centers for early childhood majors) used for student observations, practica, and student teaching. The schools are located in urban, suburban, and rural settings, include minorities (i.e., African Americans and Latinos), and offer programs (e.g., gifted and talented, special education, reading, 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 faculties and the Office of Field Experiences and School Collaboration in order to provide broad experiences with diverse populations and settings. Fayette County Schools (the district where the university 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 reflect on their own understanding of differences and the impact of these differences on their personal dispositions and behaviors as educators and community members.

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.