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SLU Professors Review College Undergraduate Syllabi for Inclusive Language and Practices


Saint Louis University professors Rhonda BeLue, Ph.D., Kenya Brumfield-Young, M.L.S., M.S.C.J., and Lauren D. Arnold, Ph.D., M.P.H., recently received a grant to examine the College of Public Health and Social Justice's undergraduate syllabi for inclusive language and practices. The goal, they said, is to assess where we are as a college and make recommendations going forward.

The team, which consisted of the three professors and their graduate assistants, developed an assessment tool for the syllabi, piloted it with a syllabus from each department, and then used it for as many of the undergraduate syllabi as they received with permission.

They then conducted interviews with the professors using a piloted interview guide they developed and tested to determine actual class practices apart from what was written on the syllabi alone.

The work culminated in a written report and presentation. The team determined that while there are very positive practices and good awareness of key points within the college, it still has work to do to become fully welcoming and inclusive of everyone’s experiences and perspectives.

The team particularly noted the inclusive practices of many epidemiology classes, as well as some of the biostatistics courses.

College for Public Health and Social Justice

The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind, studying social, environmental and physical influences that together determine the health and well-being of people and communities. It also is the only accredited school or college of public health among nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States.

Guided by a mission of social justice and focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex health problems, the College offers nationally recognized programs in public health, social work, health administration, applied behavior analysis, and criminology and criminal justice.