Exploring Identity and Diversity for College Success

Course Description
Introduces the impact of diversity and social justice on human development as they relate to the experiences of college students. Explores different facets of identity development and how one's culture impacts their college experience. Includes developing cultural competency and skills beneficial for success in college and in a diverse society. Prerequisites: Placement into WR 121. Audit available. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, the student will be able to:

  1. Analyze and use an understanding of diversity, identity, and the experiences of others
  2. Apply an understanding of how one€™s identity impacts others and appreciate the importance of cultural competence/consciousness
  3. Use critical thinking skills to analyze how stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression affect human development and one€™s personal, career, and academic goals
  4. Practice personal cultural self-awareness in a pluralistic society
  5. Use an understanding of various socio-cultural contexts which influence the development of cultural identity and self-esteem/self-concept

Outcome Assessment Strategies

1.    Respond orally and/or in writing to course related assignments

2.    Participate in and report on an experiential or service learning activity

3.    Develop a individual and/or group presentation based on a specific topic of the course

4.    Write journals reflecting personal experiences and reactions to course related topics

5.    Participate in class experiences and discussions

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Introduction to identity development theory
  2. Exploration of diversity, pluralism, and social justice issues
  3. Power, privilege and oppression
  4. Exploration of values, definitions, language, views, and myths as they relate to cultural issues
  5. Exploration of cultural identity in the U.S. including: 
    • Race and ethnicity
    • Gender
    • Sexual orientation
    • Disability/ability
    • Multiracial/biracial identity
    • Age
    • Religion
  6. Functioning in a diverse society
  7. Cross-cultural conflict


  1. Identify one€™s own culture
  2. Develop a basic understanding of various identity development models
  3. Be able to define and use human diversity terminology that is appropriate and inclusive of all groups
  4. Develop an understanding of how identities intersect
  5. Develop an understanding of how stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression are interconnected
  6. Develop an understanding that diversity and social justice education is a life long learning process
  7. Recognize the impact of culture and identity on interpersonal relationships
  8. Learn what constitutes the components of culture
  9. Enhance skills related to critical thinking, speaking, and writing as they relate to social justice, diversity, and identity developmen