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February 19, 2019

Adelphi Diversity Certificate Program Expanding to Long Island School Districts

by Choya Randolph, M.F.A. '18

Adelphi’s Diversity Certificate Program is not only helping to promote a respectful, inclusive work and learning atmosphere on the University campus, it’s also expanding into Long Island school districts.

The Roosevelt Union Free School District is the latest to adopt the Adelphi program to train their teachers in diversity and inclusion, following in the footsteps of the Sewanhaka Central High School District.

At least three other area school districts are in discussions about implementing Adelphi’s Diversity Certificate Program high school partnership, said Perry Greene, Ph.D., the University’s vice president of diversity and inclusion. One of those is a strong possibility for a Fall 2019 start, he added.

Adelphi launched the Diversity Certificate Program in 2016 as a way to show its dedication to diversity. The program gives faculty and staff the opportunity to learn how to promote a respectful and inclusive work and learning environment.

In 2017, the Sewanhaka Central High School District collaborated with Adelphi to bring the program to that district.

In January 2019, the Roosevelt Union Free School District became the second district (both in Nassau County) to adopt the Diversity Certificate Program, allowing teachers to earn their certification. This district’s schools include Roosevelt High School, Roosevelt Middle School, Centennial Avenue Elementary School, Ulysses Byas Elementary School and Washington Rose Elementary School.

“The Diversity Certificate Program brings together teachers and administrators from all levels of the school district,” said CarolAnn Daniel, Ph.D., professor in the School of Social Work and faculty director for Adelphi’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Fabian Burrell, M.S. ’17, coordinator for programming and community engagement, who initially reached out to the Roosevelt Union Free School District about the program, said the contract calls for workshops that will help the teachers generate a more inclusive environment for students to flourish. Participants will complete six workshops and a capstone project.

Supported by Adelphi’s Office of Human Resources, Office of the Provost, Office of the President and the University Diversity Committee, the workshops are led by Adelphi faculty and staff. They include “Diversity and Cultural Competence in Higher Education,” “Addressing Racism” and “Gender Bias and Title IX.” Maximum enrollment is 15 participants in each workshop.

To make professional development regarding diversity issues affordable and effective, Dr. Greene established Adelphi’s Diversity Certificate Program in 2016. Several hundred employees have participated so far. In 2018, 31 faculty and staff members were on track to earn their certificates.

“We see this as an effective way of simultaneously improving local schools and showing our commitment to improving the well-being of the larger community,” Dr. Daniel said. “The overall goal is to improve instruction and increase student achievement.”


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