Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Ken Badley


American institutions of higher education are increasingly addressing the issue of diversity. Many colleges list diversity as one of their institutional values, while others not only name diversity as a value, but also require diversity courses. This paper examines the difficulty posed by these objectives due to a lack of agreement and/or understanding of the term diversity. Traditional notions of diversity include differences of race, religion, and ethnicity. However in the 21st century, the term diversity now includes such categories as age, socio-economic status, and disability. This paper argues that as college students seek to define diversity for themselves, they also need to develop a framework as a guide to dealing with diversity. Negotiating conflicts rooted in difference also requires a knowledge of self. This essay proposes that diversity curricula should consist of three elements. First, students need to explore their own viewpoints and the source of those beliefs. In addition, they must be aware of the biases that they hold toward others. Finally, for colleges to promote diversity as a campus value, students need to have the opportunity across the curriculum to develop a framework that they can apply in college and beyond.