CBExchange 2022: Capella University’s DEI Tracker

Afternoon sessions have begun at CBExchange 2022. Featured in the Amelia Ballroom is Capella University Assistant Dean for the School of Nursing Dr. Constance Hall and Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program Director Dr. Kristie Lowry. Drs. Hall and Lowry presented their session titled “DEI and Competency-Based Education Academic Curriculum Model,” sharing Capella University’s DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Tracker tool.

Capella University believes that a diverse learning community is vital to achieving its mission of extending access to higher education. Capella strives to promote equity within and beyond its community through intentional action and the transformative exchange of ideas.

Hall shared that developing the DEI Tracker tool gave Capella a way to systematically assess the existing and future curriculum content in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. They are taking the information from the tracker and creating dynamic, engaging, and inclusive content that promotes learner awareness, self-reflection, and cultural competence.

While diversity is often described in terms of gender, age, physical appearance, ethnicity, religious identity, and sexual orientation, these categories are considered surface-level or demographic diversity. On a deeper level, diversity is defined as personality, values, attitudes, knowledge, and preferences. The DEI Tracker the presenters shared gets to this more nuanced level of DEI.

The tracker creates an actional approach to integrate DEI content into curriculum, addresses any existing gaps, and increases diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competence in each of the courses as they are developed and revised.

Perhaps most importantly, the tracker helps to develop a framework to identify and revise courses that have achievement gaps. To Lowry, focusing on achievement gaps is key:

“When you recognize gaps in achievement, it means you actually have gaps in DEI. Focusing on DEI helps us reach all learners.”

Using the tracker has many benefits, including allowing for consistency in the integration of DEI across programs and setting the intent of the curriculum revision and process.

Hall reinforced a key message of the day at CBExchange: communication and engagement is key. She shared:

“In DEI, just as in CBE, we must engage all possible stakeholders in the work, because without their buy-in, equity efforts are not going to work.”

Learn more about the tracker and get your own copy of it by reaching out to Dr. Hall at constance.hall1@capella.edu.

About the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN)

C-BEN is a network of institutions, employers, and experts who believe competencies can unlock the future of learning — making education and training more flexible, responsive, and valuable. We support stakeholders across the spectrum of competency-based learning, from institutions and employers who want to embed competencies into their existing programs to those looking to design full competency-based degree programs from the ground up. For more information, visit C-BEN.org

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