This nine-hour, fully online Graduate Certificate in Senior Diversity Officer Leadership prepares students for high-level administrative positions in diversity, equity, and inclusiveness leadership in higher education settings.

Why You Should Enroll

Colleges and universities across the nation are seeking leaders to serve as change agents, bringing innovation, creativity, and high-level strategic thinking to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness roles on their campuses.

This graduate certificate is designed to inspire and equip students for innovative, high-level strategic thinking in diversity, equity, and inclusion roles in higher education and related settings.

A significant feature of the Graduate Certificate and new Ph.D. Specialization in Diversity Equity and Inclusion will be the opportunity to network and build mentoring relationships with senior diversity officers active in the field. Through partnerships with INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, and the UK College of Education’s Education and Civil Rights Initiative in collaboration with the NAACP, students will build a network of connections and mentored relationships to assure success in their careers.

Program Details

Delivery Method: Fully online

Credit Hours: 9

Tuition Cost: Refer to Credit Hour Rates for Graduate Students on the UK Tuition and Mandatory Fees page.

Refund Policies: You can find tuition refund policies, deadlines, amounts, and other important information on the UK Student Account Services website.

The program requires students to complete two newly created courses (6 hours) in higher education diversity leadership. The development of these courses is focused on the unique competencies needed to be an effective senior diversity officer. Students will also complete one guided elective course in organizational leadership from a pre-existing selection in the Department of Educational Leadership.

The schedule of classes for planning your program can be found here. The offering history will show when courses are offered.

Curriculum Guide

  • EPE 751 Strategy, Structure, & Change Management for Senior Diversity Leadership: The first course of the core sequence, requires students to identify and analyze the critical diversity issues in higher education and begin to implement innovative, evidence-based success strategies to meet campus diversity goals. Students will
    • Identify the critical diversity issues in higher education and begin to implement evidence-based success strategies to meet campus diversity goals
    • Review and analyze a current campus diversity action plan and provide recommendations for improvement and implementation
    • Develop a model diversity action plan for a higher education institution.
  • EPE 752 Policy & Practice Senior Diversity Officer Leadership: In this last course of the core sequence, students will apply their learning through a mentored case study assignment in which they will identify a problem of practice, design an intervention OR conduct an evaluation of a change in progress, and produce a substantive analysis of the process for the participating campus stakeholders. Students will also develop a portfolio of ideas for working with all aspects of campus administration from student and academic services to development, human resources, and facilities. Students will
    • Complete an analysis of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education Standards of Professional Practice for Chief Diversity Officers in Higher Education 2.0.2.
    • Differentiate the roles and responsibilities of different campus areas of practice relative to promoting a more diverse and inclusive campus community.
    • Prepare and execute an analytic case study of a diversity action (e.g. (faculty-student recruitment and retention, campus culture, multicultural student development) in a particular context using evidence-based theory and practice

Admissions Requirements

You will apply to our program through the University of Kentucky Graduate School. (Please note: GRE scores are not required for admission to any of EPE’s Degree Programs.)

  • CV
  • Personal Statement: A narrative statement that highlights your career progression to present and identifies how your professional experience relates to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ( 3-4 pages). Also identify how you plan to use this degree and certificate.
  • DEI Essay: Answer the question “ Why is Diversity a compelling interest in Education or related field. (2-3 pages)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • At the request of program faculty, an interview (via phone or zoom) may be required.

NOTE: Rolling Admission up to May 1st for Fall and up to November 1st for Spring.

I'm Ready to Apply


Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have regarding this program. We can’t wait to hear from you!

photo of Jane Jensen
Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies
(859) 257-1929

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