Initiating Inclusive Attitudes and Actions Course Checklist

This checklist focuses on INITIATING Inclusive attitudes and actions because the DICE Committee considers it as just one possible starting point to help us all become more inclusive educators and intellectuals.  

This is a “living” and “working” document, and we welcome your suggestions, additions, and critiques so that we as responsive and helpful as possible. Please check back frequently and comment or email us ( if you have anything to add! We welcome your insights, critiques, and suggestions!

The term “checklist” is just a heuristic device to help us structure our thinking about and application of the concepts of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access (IDEA). The term is not intended to suggest that diversity is a simplistic “to do” list that one can merely check off until it is finished or to prove oneself for external assessment.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access (IDEA is a collective, shared, dynamic, and ongoing process. The checklist is a starting point and  guide so that we can work together and support each other in our broadening and deepening effort to create greater diversity, inclusion, and intellectual community at City Tech.

IDEA is an acronym for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access.

We have found helpful definitions of these terms on the following and many other sites:

o   American Alliance of Museums – Definitions of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion

o   University of Kansas: Creating an Inclusive Syllabus (See How to Use the Syllabus Tool

o   IDEA Infographic (AAM – above)

Initiating Inclusive Attitudes & Actions in Your Syllabus and Classes Checklist:

Please Consider the Following:

  • City Tech is both a Minority Serving Institution and Hispanic Institution.  Our students come to City Tech from diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and places, and we are teaching in one of the most diverse and dynamic cities on the planet.

Are you considering the value of City Tech’s diversity in your syllabus, pedagogy and intellectual perspectives?

  • Both the CUNY Mission, which is based on New York State Education Law, and the City Tech Mission represent diversity as central to CUNY’s educational vision and practice.

How is your course reflecting or engaging the missions of CUNY & City Tech to represent diversity?

  • Many colleges and university throughout the country include Syllabus Statements that represent a professor’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access. City Tech syllabi include an accessibility statement. 

Have you considered the inclusion of a Diversity and Inclusion Syllabus Statement on your syllabus?

(Please review the DICE Syllabus Statement.)

We have assembled the following list of questions and topics to help you reflect on how to improve the quality of your courses in general and in relationship to concepts of diversity and inclusion.


  • In your Course Design and classroom interactions, are you being as inclusive as possible in performing your commitment to recognizing, developing, and affirming the intellectual identities of students of all backgrounds, identities, and experiences?

What are actions you could take to start to become more inclusive?

  • What are the historical and social elements of your discipline or general field (Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM Disciplines, Professional Disciplines) that may indirectly or directly undermine or inhibit your goal to be a more inclusive educator? How are you making yourself more aware of those elements? How are you educating students in ways that can help the next generation of intellectuals in the discipline be more inclusive? How can your department, your school, and our college address them more effectively?
  • What are your unintended biases or inaccurate perceptions about students in general, including ones that may be related to backgrounds, identities, and experiences?  How are you making yourself more aware of them? How do they manifest in your classes in either course design or classroom dynamics? How can you challenge or change them?
  • Are you actively trying to learn from your students of diverse backgrounds, identities, and experiences and how can those lessons make your classes more inclusive? What have they taught you? What can you do to learn m ore about what and how students think and why they think it so you can be a more inclusive educator?
  • What steps – small and large – can you take to become more inclusive in ways that will improve your classes, improve outcomes and experiences for students, and enhance your development as an intellectual and educator? What will your first step be? What is a fun and interesting step that you could take?


Small Step Changes Could Include the Following:

  • Including a Syllabus Statement;
  • Adding or revising one or more assignments or activities so that they and their language are more inclusive;
  • Adding or revising a small number of readings so that your syllabus is more inclusive;
  • Paying attention to the genders, ethnicities, ages, abilities, etc.  – as you perceive them – of who is or is not answering questions in class and attempting to encourage broader participation. (Some students – and some of your colleagues – may prefer to have time, space, and structure before speaking. When those are not provided, they may not feel comfortable participating.);
  • Inviting a guest speaker from your department or from another department or school – no costs would be required – who shares your discipline but does not share your background or identity. That person can represent your commitment to inclusivity to your students and help both you and your students learn new aspects of your discipline or field;
  • Going on walking “field trip” on or near campus to encourage students to pay attention to issues of access and ability as well as other diversity and inclusion dynamics


In theoretical content, perspectives, and context, does your course design include or reflect the following elements?:

  • (Content) Representation from multiple groups in terms of:
  • Topics and content covered?
  • Examples used to illustrate concepts, theories, methodologies, technologies & techniques?
  • Examples of people in leadership roles including intellectual leadership roles?
  • (Perspective) Representation from multiple groups in terms of:
  • Theoretical Perspectives and voices included in the overall course/program design?
  • Theoretical Perspectives and voices included in the examination of each topic? Are you placing diverse perspectives only in relationship to certain topics or exploring them throughout the course?
  • Strategies for addressing Theoretical Perspectives and voices that are excluded from the discipline that you teach?
  • (Context) Representation from multiple groups in terms of:
    • Context that Addresses what perspectives and voices are dominant in the field or topic and why?
    • Context that addresses what perspectives and voices are missing from the field or topic and why and a
    • Context that addresses how theories or research by members of marginalized group are presented and how they address omissions in the discipline?
    • Context Addresses the impact of theories and research on different groups of people?


Do your selected readings, presentations, and course materials:

  • Use non-racist, non-sexist, and gender-inclusive and language?
  • Explicitly reflect and feature the work of diverse authors, researchers, and creators?
  • Feature contemporary scholars from diverse backgrounds and make them visible via videos, articles, and guest lectures?
  • Avoid allowing one author of any background to summarize all perspectives?
  • Challenge models that blame marginalized groups for the inequality they experience?
  • Encourage diversity of thought?
  • Allow student choice for some content, or guide students in investigating and adding diverse sources of content?


Are you inviting collaboration from your students and honoring their perspectives by:

  • Helping them to see themselves represented in your discipline?
    • Making sure that course objectives are relevant to their experiences and background even when the course material may not be?
    • Making sure that the course competence standards and outcomes do not discriminate against any groups?
    • Inviting students to draw on their previous educational and life experiences so that they can recognize the value of their existing knowledge and experience and apply it to new academic and intellectual experiences?
    • Inviting and guiding students to investigate and add new perspectives to the course the course with the recognition that this can improve the intellectual experience for students of all backgrounds?
    • Asking students to “critically engage with how ‘knowledge’ is constructed [in your discipline], including which perspectives and whose voices are included (or not), and the effect these choices likely have on the discipline’s accumulation of knowledge (Kishimoto 2018).” (Harbin, Thurber & Bandy, 2019)
    • Encouraging students to develop their identities as intellectuals and thought leaders in their lives and future professions?

Resources Consulted and Paraphrased: