Tenets of Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence (IE) is a strategic approach and core value that comprehensively links diversity and quality and prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion work at the core of the institution’s functioning. Sustained commitment to IE leads to educational benefits and stronger outcomes for students and strengthens the broader campus community.  Defining IE at Allegheny is a critical step in actualizing the College’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In Spring 2020, the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and the Council on Diversity and Equity (CoDE) circulated a survey to gather input from the Allegheny community to determine a tailored definition of IE at Allegheny based on four primary elements of IE identified by AAC&U (Making Excellence Inclusive) . CoDE then used this information to draft four “Tenets of Inclusive Excellence” for Allegheny College: 

  1. Intentionally focusing on intellectual, social, and civic development, by offering a curriculum   and co-curricular opportunities that are infused with a range of disciplines and perspectives. We work to implement an educational experience that contributes to critical thinking, knowledge, and holistic development for all community members. 
  1. Fostering a rich environment of learning, belonging, and self-exploration where all community members feel a sense of belonging and the opportunity to thrive. We do this through a purposeful development and utilization of organizational resources.
  1. Recognizing and valuing the diverse cultural and intellectual experiences and perspectives that each individual brings to the Allegheny community to enhance the overall educational enterprise and work environment. 
  1. Creating and maintaining a welcoming, diverse community that values and celebrates intentional engagement across difference in all sectors and at all levels of the institution. 

Key Definitions

Diversity: Individual differences (e.g., personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations)

Inclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the cocurriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions

Equity: The creation of opportunities for historically underserved populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion

Equity-Mindedness: “The term ‘Equity-Mindedness’ refers to the perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes. These practitioners are willing to take personal and institutional responsibility for the success of their students, and critically reassess their own practices. It also requires that practitioners are race-conscious and aware of the social and historical context of exclusionary practices in American Higher Education.”

Source: Association of American Colleges & Universities