Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE)

Inclusive & Equitable Teaching Practices

Why consider inclusivity & equity

Inclusivity is a deliberate, conscious effort to create a course in which every member of the class is fully respected and supported to contribute and succeed.

Equity is the outcome of inclusivity: Patterns of success are not racialized, gendered, or socioeconomically related, as these factors do not influence the inherent capacity of our students to succeed.

We teach to help students to learn and to succeed, not to gate-keep and decide which students “deserve” to progress. Many research-based best practices in teaching can contribute to inclusivity and equitable outcomes, but are much more effective if we actively consider inclusivity and equity as we apply them.

Get started with inclusive & equitable teaching practices

  • Explore the data.  Use the CSU Student Success Dashboards to investigate where equity problems occur in courses in your department.  Go to the CSU Student Success Dashboard at
  • Log in with your CPP credentials and locate the "Faculty Dashboard"
  • In the Faculty Dashboard, locate and select (click on) the boxes "In which courses do they struggle" and "Which courses have the largest GP equity gaps".  After clicking on a box, look at the gray bar across the top and make sure that you are looking at data for Cal Poly Pomona.  Choose your college and department.  Choose a semester to consider.
  • Frame your syllabus to be inclusive.  A class syllabus is a representation of who we are as instructors and the goals and ideals we wish to communicate. The policies we choose and the way we describe any required policies reflect our values and convey to students how we see them as learners and citizens in our classroom.  Use this resource from the University of Michigan (pdf) to develop a syllabus.  Then take this syllabus challenge (pdf) to analyze the syllabus.
  • Promote diversity via course materials. By thoughtfully including resources created by minoritized or underrepresented groups, you can expose your students to a more diverse range of experiences and viewpoints while promoting inclusivity.  This will likely require searching intentionally for course materials that are new to you. You can also  add inclusive representation when adding photos and imagery to course materials, to represent people of various genders, races, disabilities, etc.
  • Follow Universal Design for Learning Principles in allowing students multiple means of representation, engagement, and action and expression.
  • Remove ableist language from your course materials and discourse.   

Top Five Inclusivity and Equity Resources

  1. Columbia Guide to Inclusive Teaching. (2017).  Columbia University.
  2. Laying the Foundation for an Equity-Minded Class Culture. (2018).  Center for Urban Education, University of Southern California.
  3. Inclusive Teaching Practices Toolkit.  (2020).  Association for College & University Educators.
  4. Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send (pdf).  (2014).  UCLA Diversity & Faculty Development.
  5. Diversity and Social Justice:  A glossary of working definitions (pdf).  (nd). Office of Multicultural Affairs, University of Georgia.  Compiled from the National Conference for Community and Justice, Oregon State University, Arizona State University Intergroup Relations Center, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.