The Inclusive Excellence Framework
Inclusive Excellence is a framework designed to help campuses integrate diversity and quality efforts. As a model, Inclusive Excellence assimilates diversity efforts into the core of institutional functioning to realize the educational benefits of diversity. Applying Inclusive Excellence concepts leads to infusing diversity into an institution’s recruiting, admissions, and hiring processes; into its curriculum and co-curriculum; and into its administrative structures and practices. Inclusive Excellence means an institution has adopted means for the cohesive, coherent and collaborative integration of diversity and inclusion into the institutional pursuit of excellence. Accepting the Inclusive Excellence model reflects the understanding that diversity and inclusion are catalysts for institutional and educational excellence, are to be invited and integrated into the very core of the educational enterprise and are not isolated initiatives.The Inclusive Excellence framework provides specific definitions for the terms diversity and inclusion. Throughout this document, we use these terms to mean the following:
Diversity – The term diversity is used to describe individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, 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) that can be engaged in the service of learning and working together.
Inclusion – The term inclusion is used to describe the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity – in people, in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect – in ways that increase one’s awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and emphatic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. (http://www.aacu.org/inclusive_excellence/index.cfm)