Undergraduate students at Duquesne now have the opportunity to pursue an Equity Education Certificate through the School of Education.

Dr. Darius Prier, associate professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership, says that the certificate program is a critical intervention to address issues of diversity and public social concerns.

"When you are instructing in the classroom as a teacher, whether you know it or not, you are preparing the next lawyers, executive leaders, police officers and more," says Prier. "They will be making decisions by which other people are impacted. As educators, what kind of citizens are we trying to produce? At the end of the day, this is about making a difference in the world."

The 18-credit certificate program-which is available for all undergraduate students, not just students in the School of Education-includes classes such as "Ethics, Education and the Teaching Profession," "Social Justice in Educational Settings" and "Multicultural Issues and Strategies in Counseling." Prier says the program is unique because it draws on expertise from three different departments in the School of Education, which include the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership (DEFL), Department of Instruction and Leadership in Education (DILE), and the Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education (DCPSE).

The capstone course is designed as a semester-long immersion into a community-based host site relevant to a student's particular interest, such as race, trauma, poverty and homelessness. Students will develop an action-oriented project alongside community members to help address and improve an issue in that community.

"My hope at the end of the day is that students would develop skills in cultural competency, critical knowledge in education and that they would come away being empathetic and empathy-minded practitioners," says Prier. "I hope the program really challenges perhaps some of their pre-conceived assumptions to make them better educators and better people. I want them to become empathetic and equity-minded practitioners to help them become critically-minded citizens of the world."

For more information, contact Prier at prierd@duq.edu.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The Universitys academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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October 12, 2020