Trinity DARE Goal Three:
Inclusive Excellence Pedagogy and Practices
Building upon the success of the HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) inclusive excellence program, Trinity DARE seeks to broaden inclusive excellence in pedagogy and curriculum development across all disciplines and degree levels, and to identify and transform academic and co-curricular programs and practices to ensure inclusive excellence in all activities.
The inclusive excellence program that the HHMI grant made possible develops faculty capacity to use pedagogy that fosters development of student self-confidence and efficacy in the disciplines. Many low income first-generation students have no prior exposure to the academic or professional arenas that they must learn to navigate on the way to becoming successful students and graduates. Traditional pedagogy in higher education assumes a level of student knowledge and experience that can intimidate students who lack that context, and thus make it less likely that the student will persist in the program.
The inclusive excellence program requires faculty to participate in specific professional development activities that help them to identify their own implicit biases, to recognize how their experiences might be different from those of their students, and to develop lesson plans that emphasize student engagement not only for mastery of the content but also to build student confidence.
Mentoring is a large part of inclusive excellence pedagogy. The HHMI program includes specific Mentor Moments courses for students. These courses build student self-confidence in setting goals, improving study skills and career knowledge, building self-efficacy and metacognition as well as participation in experiential learning in the STEM fields. Participation in undergraduate research projects and internships builds student self-confidence by showing the student how to do the actual work of the discipline, teaches the knowledge base in an engaging way, demonstrates professional expectations and supports persistence as well as ultimate success in the program.
The Trinity DARE initiative will broaden the application of the inclusive excellence program to all faculty and disciplines at Trinity.