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A page within CATL Instructor's Guide to Inclusive Excellence

What is "Inclusive Excellence?"

The Inclusive Excellence (IE) initiative nationally focuses on college students and aims at four principle goals:

  1. Achieving academic equity in inclusive, welcoming settings.
  2. Teaching and learning the skills, knowledge, and mindsets students need in order to make constructive contributions in an increasingly diverse society.
  3. Creating a climate in classrooms and on campus that supports all students.
  4. Developing learning opportunities that assume difference is a asset to problem-solving.

IE originated within the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). It presents colleges and universities with an opportunity to engage with a growing literature on diversity issues for students in higher education and research on strategies to address common systemic inequalities for historically underserved populations.

UW System and UWL both have a much longer histories of concern about inequalities in higher education, making IE a logical next step for us. UW System has described Inclusive Excellence as "a planning process:” the UW System vision was that campuses would use data to drive changes that would narrow inequities.

What has remained obvious from the data UWL has collected is that the problems are not easily solved and that progress has been slow. In part, that results from the fact that what instructors should do in order to solve the problems that result from complex social inequalities is not always obvious.


AAC&U commissioned these three articles to launch IE nationwide.  They provide an excellent overview of the issues and the strategies AAC & U envisioned for implementation: