HEWG Minutes – How to Create An Inclusive Teaching and Learning Environment

									Stefani Aleman |
																			November 7, 2015

Sub-committee Updates

  • Community Engagement Sub-committee
    • Annual Health Disparities roundtable will be held Friday, April 8 in the Coffman Memorial Union Theater
    • Topic: Discrimination in Healthcare: What do we do?
    • Committee working to select and invite speakers for the event
  • Research/Training Sub-committee
    • Students participating in Research Day are invited to present health disparities related research at the Health Disparities Roundtable
    • Working on creating a Health Disparities Minor
    • Working to integrate issues of equity and diversity into the core curriculum
      • Much of this work is with the support of the EPC
      • Equity and diversity question added to new course proposal form and course evaluation question about issues of equity and diversity taught in the course has been proposed
    • Hosting a research “speed dating” event in February
    • Faculty resources available on the Health Equity Work Group website under the “Resources” tab
  • Student Engagement Sub-committee
    • Students working on: Diversity Matters series with student senate, community engagement brown bag discussion event, and presentations to undergraduate public health courses
    • Meetings will focus on discussion topic. Next meeting will focus on historical trauma and cultural healing

Update on core curriculum revisions from Betsy Wattenberg

  • CEPH is our national accreditation institution that sets forth foundational skills all MPH students should have
    • This was traditionally defined in 5 content areas
      • Becoming more loosely defined
    • Foundational skills are being reexamined as institutions begin to look at what graduates need to know in the field and how to best prepare students for work in a complex world
    • More emphasis is being placed on applied and experiential learning
    • An additional area of emphasis is health equity
  • Betsy Wattenberg co-chairing core curriculum revision committee with Associate Dean Kristin Anderson
    • The committee is made up of a representative from each discipline and a representative from the Center for Educational Innovation
  • Work of the UMN SPH curriculum revision committee
    • Currently in Phase 1: Fact Finding
      • Committee has been surveying recent alumni to see what skills are needed most in the field
      • Interview public health schools that have already changed their curriculum
        • Listening to what has been done to see what will fit best with UMN
      • Soon will have a moodle site and website with more information about the revision process
      • At the end of phase 1, recommendations will be made to Dean Finnegan
      • Phase 1 is set to end in December, but may be pushed back further
    • Phase 2 is implementation plan

Questions and Open Discussion

  • What will the recommendations be?
    • It is hard to tell this early in the process. The most conservative option will be to integrate issues of equity and diversity into the existing curriculum. Most radical option is to have one “supercourse” that integrates everything
    • How have curriculum changes at other schools gone over?
      • Right now, the changes are being implemented as pilots alongside the traditional curriculums
    • It will be helpful for the committee to know how these recommendations and curriculum changes can be made specific to Minnesota
      • Given Minnesota’s context, how can health equity best be taught?
      • Input from the HEWG will be helpful in determining this
    • What would facilitate integrating diversity and culture into courses?
      • Integrating a practitioner approach: talking more with alumni and having a closer connection with what is happening in the field
        • In surveys, alumni have said they would have liked to talk more with recent graduates now working in public health positions
      • Service-learning: actually working on a problem and knowing that what is being taught has real application
    • What would this look like in a methods course?
      • Do students pick up on more subtle inclusion of equity and diversity? Concern that students who are attune to these issues will, but those who are not will not
      • Include more examples that show health disparities
        • Discuss why some groups have higher mortality rates than others. Get to historical roots of disparities
      • Would additional opportunities to discuss issues with faculty be helpful?
        • If faculty are prepared to facilitate this conversation, it can be. Many faculty are not prepared
        • Ensure classrooms are perceived as a safe space to discuss controversial issues
          • What does safe mean? If you are the only one of a population being discussed in class, this may be very uncomfortable
        • Want to have something required that all SPH students must take
          • Like CITI training is required, diversity and equity training should be required
          • This will give all students a foundation for classroom discussions
          • Self-reflection as part of this course. Self-reflection is an important part of discussing issues of equity and diversity. The Building             Communities class does this well
        • What specific skills for faculty would be helpful?
          • Cultural competency: the ability to address populations without just noting that a certain population needs help
          • Have more resources available to faculty
            • Community teachers: guest lecturers or co-teachers
          • Skills to facilitate conversations and deal with conflict in the classroom





© 2015 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy Statement