Profile photo of Linda Frost, Ph.D.
Linda Frost, Ph.D.
The Importance of Diversity in the Curriculm
Dean, Honors College, UTC
Dr. Linda Frost is Professor of English and Dean of the Honors College at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. A member of the Board of Directors of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Frost earlier served as Honors Program Director at Eastern Kentucky University and Associate Director of the University Honors Program at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. A professor of American literature and culture, Frost is the author of Never One Nation: Freaks, Savages, and Whiteness in U.S. Poplar Culture, 185-1877 (U. of Minnesota P, 2005) and editor of Conjoned Twins in Black and White: The Lives of Millie-Christine McKoy and Saisy and violet Hilton (U of Wisconsin P, 2009).

The Importance of Diversity in the Curriculum

More and more institutions of higher education are developing general education requirements and models that include, if not feature, diversity as one of their primary categories. Certainly one of the goals of general education is to institute a sense of citizenship and community responsibility in each student that will positively influence them well beyond graduation; indeed, research has demonstrated the positive effect on students of incorporating intercultural sensitivity and diversity engagement as part of general education. This session will first and foremost argue that if we want to meet our universities’ strategic goals of embracing diversity or inclusion, then we must bring these concepts and practices into our university-wide undergraduate classrooms; moreover, these should be required core courses for all undergraduates. But how best can we do this? If these are discrete courses, what should they look like? How do we define what meets a “diversity” or “inclusion” general education requirement and what doesn’t? What outcomes are we trying to achieve when we make diversity a requirement? What outcomes should we be trying to achieve? Utilizing our audience’s own experiences and understandings as well as sample activities, we will work to articulate and reconsider where and how to include inclusion in our general education curricula.