Inquiry into Equity and Justice [EQJS]

For all your questions related to UCORE’s new Inquiry in Equity and Justice course designation, visit our Equity and Justice Frequently Asked Questions.

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 Learning Goal: Breadth of Learning)
  • Recognize how structures of power and privilege shape unequal social positioning and/or sustain unethical worldviews or ideologies. (WSU Learning Goal: Diversity).
  • Recognize the ways in which one’s own social identities impact one’s engagement with others. (WSU Learning Goal: 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 Learning Goal: 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 Learning Goal: Information Literacy)
  • Communicate about power, privilege, equity, and/or justice in written forms appropriate to the discipline. (WSU Learning Goal: Written Communication)

New outcomes approved Fall 2022.

View approved EQJS courses

For Faculty

If your department is considering proposing a new or existing course for Inquiry into Equity and Justice [EQJS] designation, it is important to consider the tightly-focused scope of this course designation’s student learning outcomes.

EQJS was proposed, approved, and implemented with the understanding that the entirety of an approved EQJS course – its front-end advertising (title, catalog description); its contents (topics, readings, multimedia); and its skill scaffolding (assignments, in-class activities, and assessment criteria and mechanisms) – would home in on the designation’s student learning outcomes and employ critical pedagogy throughout.

When considering whether or not to propose an EQJS course, assess whether the course wholly or only partially satisfies the intentions and spirit of this new designation.

Whether submitting a new course for approval for the first time or submitting an updated course as part of UCORE’s renewal process, faculty should submit a completed EQJS Learning Outcomes Grid along with the course syllabus and supporting assignment prompts/activity descriptions. This grid should clearly demonstrate the relationship among UCORE designator learning outcomes, course learning outcomes, and activities and assignments that support those outcomes.

Faculty are not required to insert this learning outcomes grid into the body of the syllabus. However, per WSU syllabus policy, all syllabi must communicate the course’s student learning outcomes to students. If the course holds a UCORE designation, then that communication should occur with in the context of the UCORE designation’s required learning outcomes (e.g. critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, understanding diversity, etc.).

All UCORE-designated courses are required to include in the syllabus a statement of how the course fulfills the specific UCORE requirement.

Please adapt this EQJS course description for use in your syllabus. If possible, integrate with course specific description.

XXXX XXX satisfies the EQJS requirement for WSU’s University Common Requirements (UCORE), which is designed to help you acquire broad understanding, develop intellectual and civic competencies, and apply knowledge and skills in real world settings. Upon completion of UCORE, you will have the tools needed to seek out information, interpret it, share it, and make reasoned and ethical judgements on a wide array of issues. With these broader goals in mind, XXXX XXX, as a Pursuing Equity and Justice course, will help develop skills to analyze, interpret, reflect on, and pose questions about power, privilege, equity, and justice in society.

Departments and schools should consider how UCORE student learning outcomes (skill development) map to course level (100, 200, 300, or 400) and design assignments and activities accordingly.

CoursesCourses often taught at 100 & 200 level; some “shared” with other departments or UCORE, or community colleges (external context)Courses generally at 300 and 400 level, often taught by the major department (or across depts, especially in interdisciplinary programs)
Introduce (I)Practice (P)Refine (R)Competent (C)
Levels of Program Learning Outcomes: Content, Skills, and ComplexityIntroduce skills and knowledge Practice basics (methods, skills, content knowledge)
Beginner, collegiate level.  
Practice components to solidify foundational skills and knowledge, build comfort and proficiency (includes practice w/ feedback)Additional development to refine skills & deepen knowledge; use in more complex, demanding contexts (includes practice w/ feedback)Apply methods, skills, and knowledge in multiple contexts at an advanced, complex level; know when and where to apply; Graduating senior major level.

Propose or renew an EQJS course

Additional Resources

Provost Office’s Teach page

Explore this content area of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President’s website, which contains resources, tips, tools, and techniques to support excellence and innovation in teaching.

Assignment Design Resources

Read guidance from the Office of Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness on developing powerful, clear assignments to impact teaching, learning, and assessment.

Required Learning Outcomes

Depending on the designation, your UCORE course will carry additional learning outcomes requirements.

UCORE Policy

View departmental responsibilities for class size, graduate student instructors, shared syllabi, and more.

Library Instruction

Emphasize information literacy by scheduling with a librarian a session that is specifically tailored to your course.

Syllabus Website

Use this website to confirm required syllabus elements and recommended syllabus elements before teaching a course.