On April 28, Assistant Professor Michael Hendricks and Assistant Professor Jordan Arellanes (Department of Psychology) published their peer-reviewed manuscript in Teaching of Psychology. Their article, entitled “Teaching Ethnic-Specific Coursework: Practical Suggestions for Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the Classroom,” offers practical suggestions for instructors in promoting inclusivity within the classroom detailed though perceptions of students within ethnic-specific courses. Hendricks and Arellanes conducted focus groups to capture the perceptions of their students within four ethnic-specific courses. Data were used to contextualize the practical suggestions of this study, such as implications from ethnic-matching, inclusion within the classroom, and building a class community. Evidence from their study suggests that many ethnically diverse students are searching to build a sense of community and meaning within the classroom. Coursework directed at the unique perspectives of ethnically diverse students provides such a location.
Diversity and inclusion are at the forefront in higher education. Yet, access to professors willing and trained in teaching courses related to topics associated with specific ethnic groups may be difficult for many universities to provide students, which is why many universities do not offer undergraduate courses that focus on the unique perspectives of specific ethnic groups. Hendricks and Arellanes find that diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are supported by incorporation of ethnic-specific courses. The trust and communication of students are improved by constructing effective course frameworks. The study informs the development and implementation of ethnic-specific psychology courses by highlighting practical considerations for instructors of varying ethnic backgrounds. Instructors from varied backgrounds can effectively teach these courses but having applied experiences and research related to specific ethnic groups is essential in developing trust and communication with students.