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Inclusive Education Scholars Certificate Program

an instructor who has successfully completed the inclusive education scholars certificate program leads a diverse class of rapt students

Thank you for your interest in the Inclusive Education Scholars Certificate Program (IESCP).

Are you interested in being part of the Fall 2024 learning communities? Let us know by completing the interest form!

Interest Form Open: Join the Fall 2024 Cohort!


What Is It? Heading link

Inclusive teaching is key to student academic success. But what does inclusive teaching look like? 

The Inclusive Education Scholars Certificate Program (IESCP) is a program for UIC instructors, designed to help UIC instructors support student success and well-being by building an inclusive classroom.

Through a combination of self-guided online learning and participation in learning communities and workshops, instructors will acquire the pedagogical knowledge and inclusive teaching skills needed to create a positive classroom climate and strengthen the educational experience for all UIC students.

What Will IESCP Participants Learn? Heading link

The program will enable instructors to learn about the lived experiences and contextual barriers to academic success faced by different student groups, leverage the benefits of diverse classrooms in becoming more culturally-responsive in their teaching, and adapt inclusive and equity-minded teaching practices.

Instructors will engage in facilitated discussions and reflection exercises to help contextualize this information within their own courses or disciplines and enable them to adopt teaching practices that transform their classrooms in ways that value diversity, foster inclusion, and close equity gaps.

Specifically, the IESCP is designed to help instructors become more self-aware of their own social identities and that of their students as well as the impact of implicit bias and microaggressions on the learning environment. Participants will explore the importance of mindset and sense of belonging in student success. In addition, instructors will examine how systemic racism has shaped higher education, including the resulting barriers to equitable access and opportunity in U.S. colleges and universities.

What Will IESCP Participants Do? Heading link

Participation in the IESCP includes:

  1. An asynchronous online course comprised of 4 modules on inclusive teaching, including growth mindset and sense of belonging, exclusion and inclusion in higher education, social identities and bias in the classroom;
  2. A five-session, face-to-face learning community where instructors can come together to dive deeper into course content, apply concepts to their own course and disciplinary contexts, and build community with UIC educators committed to supporting equity and inclusion in the classroom, and;
  3. A total of 3 CATE workshops on inclusive teaching, completed while engaging in the online course + learning community or the following semester, where participants will learn about, practice, and plan to integrate instructional strategies into their courses.

After completing the course, participating in all learning community meetings, and attending three CATE inclusive teaching workshops, instructors will receive an Inclusive Education Scholars Certificate. Those who complete the certificate program may be invited to participate in facilitator training to lead their own Learning Communities in subsequent semesters.

How Will This Benefit Me as an Instructor? Heading link

Instructors have a lot on their plate. Between research expectations, service, and the everyday demands of teaching, it can sometimes be hard to find time for professional development. At CATE, we view faculty wellbeing and student success as intertwined, not mutually exclusive. Inclusive classrooms are better places not just for students, but for instructors.

Whether it’s strategies to build student confidence and foster trust and buy-in among your students, new knowledge to contextualize social differences and student/instructor identities, or tools for facilitating inclusive discussions and responding to bias, the IESCP is an investment in both student success and faculty wellbeing, designed to improve the experience and support excellence in teaching and learning.

How Can Instructors Be Recognized for Certificate Completion? Heading link

The IESCP culminates in the achievement of an Inclusive Education Scholars Certificate jointly signed by the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Engagement and the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. Certificate completion is recognized as a core service tied to the institutional policy that incentivizes and rewards instructors for their participation in activities that demonstrate their commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion at UIC.

The certificate serves as formal recognition by the University that you have invested in yourself, in your academic unit, and the UIC community more broadly.

Who Is Eligible to Participate in the IESCP? Heading link

Any instructor of record or graduate teaching assistant who teaches at UIC is eligible to apply. This includes tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track full-time and part-time instructors (including adjuncts), and academic staff, as well as graduate student TAs and instructors and postdocs. Participants are required to complete all parts of the program in order to receive the Inclusive Education Scholars Certificate.

Register for the Course & Learning Community

Learning Communities (LCs) will take place on Zoom and will run approximately every 3 weeks during the semester. The LCs are interdisciplinary.

The call for interest form for participation in the Fall 2024 LCs is now open.

Registration for each LC is limited to twenty participants. If you register after both learning communities fill, you will be placed on a waiting list and notified if space becomes available.

CATE Workshops Supporting Inclusive Teaching Heading link

All participants need to select and complete three CATE Teaching Tidbits workshops to meet the workshop requirement for the certificate program. Teaching Tidbits workshops offer participants a chance to apply inclusive teaching practices in their own teaching context and are offered on an ongoing basis each semester. Note: Workshops must be attended either during the same semester as the online course + learning community or the subsequent fall or spring semester.

Inclusivity & Accessibility Information:  UIC is committed to full inclusion and participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of university life. CATE’s online events are delivered through Zoom and may include breakout rooms and group discussion. CATE’s in-person events typically involve a combination of presentation and discussion-based activities. We welcome ASL interpreters, note-takers, and accompanying assistants to all CATE events. If you have questions about access, such as parking or building layouts, or wish to request accommodations for our programming, such as real-time captioning (CART), ASL services, or obtaining event materials in alternative formats, please contact for more information from CATE staff. 

National Science Foundation

The development and implementation of the Inclusive Education Scholars Certificate Program is the result of a collaboration between the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Engagement and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence.

Special thanks to the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for funding this program. Its development was also supported, in part, by grants to the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) from the National Science Foundation (DUE Award No. 2122652 and No. 2111446). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.