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Cornell University

Teaching Inclusively

As the President of Cornell University, Martha E. Pollack said, “we are committed to facilitating a campus environment in which all students, faculty and staff feel included and valued”, Cornell University has adopted inclusive strategies to make students feel that their contributions and perspectives are equally valued and respected.

Inclusive classrooms are classrooms in which instructors and students work together to create and sustain an environment in which everyone feels safe, supported, and encouraged to express her or his views and concerns. In these classrooms, the content is explicitly viewed from the multiple perspectives and varied experiences of a range of groups.

The Center for Teaching Innovation recognizes that diversity and inclusion have a direct impact on learning. This page provides an overview of the diversity resources the CTI offers in relation to teaching and learning at Cornell. 

Programming for Faculty

In an inclusive classroom, instructors attempt to be responsive to students on both an individual and a cultural level. Broadly speaking, the inclusiveness of a classroom will depend upon the kinds of interactions that occur between and among the instructor and the students in the classroom.

Faculty Institute for Diversity

A program that brings faculty together for two days to engage in discussions and workshops exploring issues of diversity and inclusive teaching practices.

Faculty Institute on Community-Engaged Learning and Teaching

Inclusivity is taught beyond the classroom. This institute advances that goal by bringing together faculty with a shared interest in service learning and providing them with ideas and tools to make public engagement a distinctive component of their classes.

Course Design Institute

Inclusive classrooms start with an inculsive course design. The Institute focuses on inculsion by promoting student engagement and active learning through learner-based course design.

Customized Workshops

The CTI can provide customized workshops for departments on incorporating diversity into new or existing courses and implementing inclusive teaching strategies. (email cornellcti@cornell.edu or call 1-607-255-7224)

Individual Consultations

The CTI can provide individualized consultations on a variety of topics including how to better engage students from a variety of backgrounds. (email cornellcti@cornell.edu or call 1-607-255-7224)

Programming for Graduate Students, Future Educators,
and TAs

Teaching assistants, graduate students and post doctoral students can help instructors facilitate classroom discussions around controversial issues. The Center for Teaching Innovation is committed to working with these future educators to provide the experiences and perspectives to create inclusive classrooms.

The GET SET program for graduate students, future educators, teaching assistants, and post docs interested in creating and sustaining inclusive classrooms. There are a range of options to learn about diversity and inclusive teaching practices, including:

• Academic year workshop sessions and informal discussions. The workshops offer graduate students and postdocs an opportunity to participate in weekly workshops and brownbag sessions throughout the semester. Some sessions are directly related to diversity and inclusive teaching practices:

  • Reaching Out to All of Your Students: Culture and Diversity in the Classroom
  • Enhance your Teaching by Understanding Students
  • Building a Collaborative Learning Environment

• Day-long University-wide Teaching Conference held each semester.

•Cornell University is part of the CIRTL Network. “To prepare graduate students and postdocs for the future professoriate, with a focus on three areas: evidence-based practice of teaching in higher education, inclusive teaching and learning, and mentoring undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs.”

• Two-day Annual Inclusive Teaching Institute for Graduate Students and Postdocs (co-sponsored by CU-CIRTL)

Inclusive Teaching Institute (co-sponsored by CU-CIRTL).The CU-CIRTL web pages have case studies on issues of inclusivity in the classroom and other resources related to diversity.

Academic courses and programs

Resources for the Classroom

CTI Web Resources for Engaging Students in Inclusive Classrooms

Building Inclusive Classrooms


Engaging Students

CTI Topic Overviews Related to Diversity (PDFs)

Please note that these PDF files require a CU NetID to access. The links will direct you to a login page.

Other University Resources

Cornell’s Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI) and Cornell’s commitment to diversity provide information on what is going on at Cornell regarding diversity and inclusivity.

Faculty and Student Resources

"Toward New Destinations" Cornell's institutional university diversity plan.

Guidelines for Discussing Incidents of Public Violence

LARA Method (Listen, Affirm, Respond, Add)

Resources for Peer Institutions

Faculty Institute for Diversity: Train the Trainer Workshop

The Faculty Institute for Diversity: Train the Trainer Workshop brings together a community of leaders interested in creating inclusive teaching programming on their campuses. The workshop is designed to prepare new and seasoned trainers in the development of a diversity institute tailored to your institution.

External Resources
The Faculty Teaching Excellence Program (FTEP) at the University of Colorado
Facilitating Challenging Conversations in Class
Responding to Difficult Moments
Managing Hot Moments in the Classroom
Creating Inclusive College Classrooms

     Cornell University