Equity Education Certificate

 Young student learning reading exercise at desk with Duquesne student

Be an agent of transformative social change

Program Info

Program Overview

The Equity Education Certificate is designed to develop teaching practices in ethics, equity literacy, culturally relevant/sustaining pedagogy, and critical studies in education. Students will learn how societal inequities can impact teaching and learning in schools. They will also learn about scaffolding curriculum and pedagogy to meet the needs, interests, skills, and abilities of diverse learners within their sociocultural, political, and community contexts. Ultimately, the Equity Education Certificate program prepares educators and citizens to be agents of transformative, social change in schools and communities.

Required Courses

  • LTFL 102: Ethics, Education, and the Teaching Profession
  • LTFL 203 Social Justice in Community-Engaged Educational Settings with Field Placement
  • GFDE 503 Curriculum for Social Change
  • LTEL 201: Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners
  • GCNE 549: Multicultural Issues and Strategies in Counseling
  • EDUC 421: Equity Education Capstone

Program Level Goals

  • The Equity Education Certificate will open up enrollment opportunities for all undergraduate students at Duquesne University. The program is not exclusive to School of Education students.
  • The Equity Education Certificate will create pathways for students considering graduate degree programs in the School of Education.
  • The Equity Education Certificate will foster intergenerational learning across departments; and between undergraduate and graduate level degree programs.

Academic and Professional Competencies

The academic or professional competencies on which the program focuses (e.g., the specific knowledge, skills and abilities the program will help learners to develop) are the following:

  • Students will acquire skills in moral and ethical deliberation.
  • Students will develop critical knowledge, particular to students' rights, opportunities, and resources related to their vulnerable status in schools.
  • Students will develop culturally competent, responsive, and sustaining practices for diverse learners.
  • Students will learn the practice of critical self-reflection for self-correction.
  • Students will develop competencies in cultural critique of systemic inequities to create empowering and transformative practices in diverse K-12 school and community settings.

Benefits and Opportunities of the Program

  • K-12 schools, nationally and locally, are increasingly diverse. Subsequently, culturally relevant and equity-minded skillsets are indispensable to pedagogy, curriculum, instructional practice, policy, and community engagement. This certificate program is an SOE endorsed, micro-credential, acknowledging said earned skillsets, attractive to employers in diverse learning settings. Upon completion of the program, the certificate will be noted on your baccalaureate transcript.
  • The certificate program enables education majors to obtain credit from three existing courses (out of six offered), foundational to all undergraduate degree programs in the School of Education.
  • Undergraduate students outside the School of Education have an opportunity to earn an added credential to their professional skillset.
  • Students will have an opportunity to take two graduate courses offered in the program, during their junior and senior year. This structure introduces students to courses in our graduate curriculum - potentially encouraging future graduate enrollment opportunities. If applicable, these graduate courses can count toward a graduate degree program.
  • This program fosters an interdisciplinary learning environment. Different education majors from different departments in the School of Education and other majors from different schools, across the university, can apply to this program.

Are you interested in learning more?

This certificate program is housed in the School of Education. However, students do not have to be an education major. Any Duquesne University sophomore who maintains a minimum 3.0 GPA and meets eligibility criteria as reflected in the application process is welcome to apply. This is a School of Education endorsed certificate.

For more information...

Contact Dr. Darius Prier: prierd@duq.edu

Apply now!

Admission Requirements

All undergraduates (beginning fall of their sophomore year) at Duquesne University are welcome to apply. Students do not have to be an education major. To be eligible, you must be a current sophomore with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.

Application Materials

  • Duquesne University undergraduate transcript
  • Personal Statement: Please upload a 750-word personal statement, indicating why you would like to pursue the Equity Education Certificate program. In the statement, you should discuss how your values in teaching or other related fields align with this program. In addition, please talk about the importance of equity in relation to cultivating student empowerment/success. Finally, state how you think this program will help you become a critical or culturally responsive educator/citizen.
  • Letter of Recommendation: Students should request a letter of recommendation from a Duquesne University faculty member/instructor. Students cannot solicit letters of recommendation from graduate assistants for this application. When you indicate your recommender's email and name, we will reach out to them for the letter.

Application Deadlines

Fall 2022

March 10, 2022 is the submission deadline for student applications. Applications for Fall 2022 will open in January.

Applicants will receive their admission decision letters via email no later than April 7, 2022.

For more information...

Contact Dr. Darius Prier: prierd@duq.edu

Apply now!


When can students apply to the program?

All undergraduate students must be an incoming sophomore to apply to the program.

Is this certificate program affiliated with PDE state standards/competencies?

No. PDE currently does not have state standards/competencies specifically related to equity and social justice education. This is a micro-credential program, endorsed by the School of Education. In addition, the Equity Education Certificate is in alignment with two of the core goals of the SOE Strategic Plan: Advocating Justice and Equity and Fostering Community Engaged Learning. Subsequently, students enrolled in this program will be on the cutting edge of critical and culturally responsive practices in education for social justice. It should be noted that diversity and social justice have been noted by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as core strengths of our teacher education program.

Do students have to take the same sections of courses in the program?

Students will have the opportunity to pick and choose any section of a course, as normal when selecting their course sequence of their undergraduate degree programs. Subsequently, courses such as LTFL 102, LTFL 204, or LTEL 201 can be selected according to students’ regular class schedules.

Do students have to take the designated courses in sequence?

Yes. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, all courses should be taken within the sequence of foundational courses in the School of Education.

What are the application requirements for the program?

Students need to have a 3.0 GPA to qualify for this program, by the end of their freshman year. They will also be required to write a 750 word, personal statement on why they desire to be in the program. See admission requirements for more detailed information on the personal statement.

What’s the earliest a student can apply to the program?

Students need to complete at least one academic year, before applying to the program.

If I’m an upperclassman in the School of Education, can I still apply to the Equity Education Certificate program? Will the courses I’ve already taken count towards the completion of the program?

Students must be sophomores to apply to this program. If there are foundational courses students have already taken, included in the program, those credits count toward completion of the program.

Can graduate students enroll in this program?

No. This program is only for undergraduate students.

Can students outside the School of Education, enroll in this program?

Yes. This program is open to all undergraduate majors, attending Duquesne University.

How many credits are required to the complete the program?

18 credits

How many additional credits are required, outside students’ regular undergraduate, degree program?

For School of Education majors, three of the courses already fall within the students’ regular course sequence – LTFL 102 (Ethics, Education, and the Teaching Profession), LTFL 204 (Social Justice in Educational Settings), and LTEL 201 (Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners). There would be three additional courses students would have to take, outside their normal undergraduate degree program. Students outside the School of Education would have to consult with their academic advisors to determine when and where certain courses might apply toward general university core requirements.

For more information...

Contact Dr. Darius Prier: prierd@duq.edu

Apply now!