Equity and Justice Frequently Asked Questions

The WSU Faculty Senate approved at its meeting of October 6, 2022 a proposal from the University Common Requirements Committee to create a new course designation: Inquiry into Equity and Justice [EQJS]. Read more about this change here. This new designation will go live in Fall 2023 and will involve additional changes to UCORE requirements. Below is a set of frequently asked questions that will help faculty, advisors, and students understand and navigate these changes.

FAQs for Students and Advisors

The addition of the EQJS course designation will not add to the total number of credits required to satisfy UCORE for graduation, which will remain at 34.

Here’s how it will work:

The new EQJS course designation will be added to UCORE as part of an expansion of UCORE’s Inquiry course designations. The current (pre-Fall 2023) set of Inquiry course designations are 5 in total. Students who entered WSU prior to Fall 2023 complete all 5 of the following: ARTS, BSCI, HUM, PSCI, and SSCI to satisfy Inquiry. This includes completion of 1 lab in either BSCI or PSCI for a total of 16 credit hours. Note that Colleges of Arts and Science students complete one additional BSCI or PSCI lab.

Beginning Fall 2023, the Inquiry set will expand to include 7 designations in total: ARTS, BSCI, DIVR, EQJS, HUM, PSCI, SSCI. The additions here are the new EQJS designation and a revised DIVR designation, which is currently a stand alone required 3-credit UCORE designation outside of Inquiry. Students entering WSU in Fall 2023 and beyond will complete 6 of these 7 expanded Inquiry options to satisfy Inquiry. There will no longer be a stand alone DIVR requirement outside of Inquiry. Students will still complete 1 BSCI or PSCI lab (2 if enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences) as part of this new requirement structure. The total UCORE credit requirements thus remains unchanged.

Colleges may elect to require students enrolled in their major programs of study to complete all seven of the new Inquiry designations as a college-level graduation requirement. In these cases, UCORE will help facilitate requirement changes with the Office of the Registrar.

The information below can also be found on the EQJS curriculum page: https://ucore.wsu.edu/faculty/curriculum/eqjs/

Courses that fulfill Inquiry into Equity and Justice equip students with intellectual tools and social contexts necessary to critically examine power dynamics and to recognize, question, and understand structural inequities and privileges. Courses demonstrate how inequalities and/or stereotypes, discrimination, systemic inequities, and violence along lines of race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, national origin, sexuality, ability, or intersections thereof are produced, sustained, and adapted across time and/or geography. Students develop the ability to position themselves in relation to structural inequities and privileges using self-reflection and open dialogue. Courses provide vital intellectual foundations, tools, and literacies to assess and evaluate ideologies and narratives in order to ethically pursue inclusive and just societies.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students, regardless of major, who successfully complete a EQJS course should be able to:

  • Understand fundamental knowledge and concepts related to power, privilege, equity, and/or justice as appropriate to the discipline (WSU LG: breadth of learning)
  • Recognize how structures of power and privilege shape unequal social positioning and/or sustain unethical worldviews or ideologies (WSU LG: diversity).
  • Recognize the ways in which one’s own social identities impact one’s engagement with others (WSU LG: critical thinking).
  • Identify relevant sources of information that demonstrate how individuals, communities, and movements resist and/or transform institutions that (re-)produce inequality and oppression (WSU LG: informational literacy).
  • Evaluate, at an appropriate level, claims or information about how and why ideologies, constructions, scripts, and other broad generalizations about groups are produced, replicated, adapted over time, and/or persist or manifest in oppressive beliefs and behaviors (WSU LG: information literacy).
  • Communicate about power, privilege, equity, and/or justice in written forms appropriate to the discipline (WSU LG: written communication).

The DIVR designation will officially be titled Inquiry into Global Cultural Diversity. Here are the new designation description and student learning outcomes, which have also been updated on the official DIVR designation page:

Courses that satisfy Inquiry into Global Cultural Diversity introduce students to differences, similarities, and connections among cultures by exploring the multiplicity of individual and group experiences within and across historical periods, societies, and cultures in global comparative context. Courses help students engage and understand social and cultural contexts and interactions across the globe using critical thinking, information literacy, communication, self-awareness, and flexibility in perspective. Using multiple cultural or intellectual perspectives, courses prepare students to address questions about how factors such as history; politics; communication styles; economics; institutions; and/or cultural values, beliefs, and practices influence cultural variation. Courses are intended to help prepare students for lifelong constructive engagement with others in plural societies, promoting the abilities to suspend value judgment in interactions with culturally different others and/or the core beliefs of others; and to negotiate a shared understanding of what produces cultural variation and/or how culture changes across time and/or different geographic and environmental contexts

Student Learning Outcomes

Students, regardless of major, who successfully complete a DIVR course should be able to:

  • Understand fundamental knowledge and concepts related to cultural diversity as appropriate to the discipline (WSU LG: breadth of learning).
  • Recognize the complexity of elements important to members of a culture in relation to history, values, politics, communication styles, economy, or beliefs and practices (WSU LG: diversity)
  • Recognize the sources and limits of one’s own perspective and cultural rules and limitations in relation to the perspectives of others (WSU LG: critical thinking)
  • Identify relevant sources of information that demonstrate ways that history, institutions, and/or ideologies shape cultural variation and/or different experiences (WSU LG: informational literacy).
  • Evaluate, at an appropriate level, claims or information about cultural diversity based on the sources and the methods used to generate it (WSU LG: information literacy).
  • Communicate about cultural diversity in written forms appropriate to the discipline (WSU LG: written communication).

No. The new requirement structure (see first FAQ) only applies to students whose admit term is Fall 2023 or beyond. Students whose admit term is prior to Fall 2023 will fulfill the UCORE requirements that existed during their admit term. If you’ve completed Inquiry, then you’ve completed Inquiry.

The UCORE committee is currently reviewing proposals for new and converted EQJS courses during academic year 2022-23 and will continue to do so as it does with all other UCORE course designations. As the committee approves these new proposals and conversions, it will update the list here: https://ucore.wsu.edu/students/categories-and-courses/eqjs/. Expect to see EQJS here and in the course catalog ahead of Fall 2023.

Approved DIVR courses currently reside here: https://ucore.wsu.edu/students/categories-and-courses/divr/. Note that this list will likely change as some of these courses convert to Equity and Justice because the content and learning outcomes better align with EQJS.

No. Your DIVR credit will still apply on your academic record.

Yes. Any student whose admit term is prior to Fall 2023 will have the option of satisfying a DIVR requirement with an EQJS course.

Transfer students whose WSU admit term is before Fall 2023 are not impacted by this change. Transfer students who enter WSU in Fall 2023 or beyond will be subject to the new requirement structure. In either case, an Associate’s Degree or an Interstate Passport will still satisfy all UCORE except for CAPS. In the absence of either an Associate’s Degree or an Interstate Passport, courses will still be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. As the UCORE Committee approves new EQJS courses, it will coordinate with the Transfer Center to ensure that any equivalencies are identified or updated. For more, see the transfer page on this website.

Yes. The College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Arts and Sciences have decided to require that their majors complete all seven 7 UCORE Inquiry designations as part of their college degree requirements. This applies to Fall 2023 admits and beyond. Other colleges may decide to do so in the future. Schedules of study for all colleges will be updated ahead of Fall 2023 to reflect the changes to UCORE Inquiry.

You can contact UCORE Director Clif Stratton at clif.stratton@wsu.edu.

FAQs for Faculty and Departments

The information below can also be found on the EQJS curriculum page: https://ucore.wsu.edu/faculty/curriculum/eqjs/

Courses that fulfill Inquiry into Equity and Justice equip students with intellectual tools and social contexts necessary to critically examine power dynamics and to recognize, question, and understand structural inequities and privileges. Courses demonstrate how inequalities and/or stereotypes, discrimination, systemic inequities, and violence along lines of race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, national origin, sexuality, ability, or intersections thereof are produced, sustained, and adapted across time and/or geography. Students develop the ability to position themselves in relation to structural inequities and privileges using self-reflection and open dialogue. Courses provide vital intellectual foundations, tools, and literacies to assess and evaluate ideologies and narratives in order to ethically pursue inclusive and just societies.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students, regardless of major, who successfully complete a EQJS course should be able to:

  • Understand fundamental knowledge and concepts related to power, privilege, equity, and/or justice as appropriate to the discipline (WSU LG: breadth of learning)
  • Recognize how structures of power and privilege shape unequal social positioning and/or sustain unethical worldviews or ideologies (WSU LG: diversity).
  • Recognize the ways in which one’s own social identities impact one’s engagement with others (WSU LG: critical thinking).
  • Identify relevant sources of information that demonstrate how individuals, communities, and movements resist and/or transform institutions that (re-)produce inequality and oppression (WSU LG: informational literacy).
  • Evaluate, at an appropriate level, claims or information about how and why ideologies, constructions, scripts, and other broad generalizations about groups are produced, replicated, adapted over time, and/or persist or manifest in oppressive beliefs and behaviors (WSU LG: information literacy).
  • Communicate about power, privilege, equity, and/or justice in written forms appropriate to the discipline (WSU LG: written communication).

The DIVR designation will officially be titled Inquiry into Global Cultural Diversity. Here are the new designation description and student learning outcomes, which have also been updated on the DIVR curriculum page: https://ucore.wsu.edu/faculty/curriculum/divr/.

Courses that satisfy Inquiry into Global Cultural Diversity introduce students to differences, similarities, and connections among cultures by exploring the multiplicity of individual and group experiences within and across historical periods, societies, and cultures in global comparative context. Courses help students engage and understand social and cultural contexts and interactions across the globe using critical thinking, information literacy, communication, self-awareness, and flexibility in perspective. Using multiple cultural or intellectual perspectives, courses prepare students to address questions about how factors such as history; politics; communication styles; economics; institutions; and/or cultural values, beliefs, and practices influence cultural variation. Courses are intended to help prepare students for lifelong constructive engagement with others in plural societies, promoting the abilities to suspend value judgment in interactions with culturally different others and/or the core beliefs of others; and to negotiate a shared understanding of what produces cultural variation and/or how culture changes across time and/or different geographic and environmental contexts

Student Learning Outcomes

Students, regardless of major, who successfully complete a DIVR course should be able to:

  • Understand fundamental knowledge and concepts related to cultural diversity as appropriate to the discipline (WSU LG: breadth of learning).
  • Recognize the complexity of elements important to members of a culture in relation to history, values, politics, communication styles, economy, or beliefs and practices (WSU LG: diversity)
  • Recognize the sources and limits of one’s own perspective and cultural rules and limitations in relation to the perspectives of others (WSU LG: critical thinking)
  • Identify relevant sources of information that demonstrate ways that history, institutions, and/or ideologies shape cultural variation and/or different experiences (WSU LG: informational literacy).
  • Evaluate, at an appropriate level, claims or information about cultural diversity based on the sources and the methods used to generate it (WSU LG: information literacy).
  • Communicate about cultural diversity in written forms appropriate to the discipline (WSU LG: written communication).

The Office of the Registrar is currently working to update all schedules of study impacted by the pending changes to UCORE requirements. In late Fall 2022 and early Spring 2023, program leaders will be asked to review, amend, and return draft schedules of study to be included in the AY 2023-24 WSU Catalog.

The UCORE committee is now accepting proposals for EQJS courses.

Any new (either brand new or current WSU course that does not hold a UCORE designation) EQJS course proposal will follow UCORE’s regular course proposal procedures outlined here: https://ucore.wsu.edu/faculty/proposing-revising-renewing-courses/.

If your department has a current DIVR-designated or otherwise-UCORE-designated (e.g. HUM, SSCI) course that it wishes to convert to EQJS, and the course has not yet been renewed as part of UCORE’s renewal process, it may do so by submitting a regular renewal request. The UCORE committee welcomes submissions ahead of schedule.

UCORE has developed a list of current DIVR courses that are likely better matches to EQJS based on course title and description. The UCORE director has already reached out to those units to discuss an abridge review / conversion in lieu of any upcoming renewal deadline.

If your department has existing DIVR courses that have not yet been renewed per UCORE’s renewal schedule, it has a few choices:

  1. Renew the course in alignment with the revised DIVR student learning outcomes.
  2. Request a conversion to the EQJS designation if the course aligns with EQJS student learning outcomes.

In either case, your department should review the renewal guidelines as outlined here: https://ucore.wsu.edu/faculty/proposing-revising-renewing-courses/. The UCORE committee welcomes submissions ahead of schedule.

UCORE has developed a list of current DIVR courses that are likely better matches to EQJS based on course title and description. The UCORE director will reach out to those units in Fall 2022 to discuss an abridge review / conversion in lieu of any upcoming renewal deadline.

Yes. The UCORE committee kindly requests that this alignment take place before Fall 2023. If the course has already gone through renewal, the department will not need to resubmit renewal materials during this renewal cycle.

You can contact UCORE Director Clif Stratton at clif.stratton@wsu.edu.