March 14—BEMIDJI — Bemidji State University
now houses the
premier equity certificate program
within the Minnesota State College and University System.
On track to launch in fall 2022, the certificate includes three main components: an introductory equity course, three core courses, and a capstone experience with community opportunities.
According to a statement, the program is the product of a conversation started by Dr. MaryTheresa Seig, dean of the college of arts, education and humanities, in the spring of 2021.
“I envisioned students from various disciplines choosing to do an equity focus area that would help them become more marketable upon graduation,” Seig said in a statement. “A social work student could earn the Equity Certificate with a poverty focus or an Indigenous focus or any number of other goals that would be helpful in their career.”
Since then, the idea has brought together many faculty, staff, students, and administrators to create an equity certificate program that directly aligns with
Minnesota State Equity 2030 Goals
which aim to eliminate educational equity gaps in all colleges and universities in the state of Minnesota by 2030.
This strategic plan aims to guide and inform equity and inclusion work in the immediate and long-term future between 2020 and 2025.
“The development of the Equity Certificate is a major effort to reduce equity gaps and dismantle oppressive systems,” Steven Parker, campus diversity officer, said in a statement. “This opportunity is not just for our students. We hope to make the Equity Certificate available to everyone. This includes faculty and others in our system who benefit from our upstate Minnesota community.”
Appointed to the program in December 2020, Assistant Professor of History Dan Allossio has developed a curriculum that includes a proposal for the certificate program itself, as well as two new courses: Introduction to Equity and Applications of History. ‘equity.
The curriculum also includes a list of more than 50 courses from BSU’s History, Psychology, Sociology, and Communication Studies, as well as Native Languages and Studies programs that students can use to meet the requirements of their basic courses.
“This is proof of how long teachers in Bemidji State have been integrating equity into their courses,” Allosso said in a statement. “I would love to expand this list of indoor courtyards as quickly as is practical.”
During her two-and-a-half-year tenure, Alloso will act as the primary liaison for the program, mentor students pursuing an equity certificate, work with the Bemidji community to develop student internship opportunities, teach at less one equity course each year and more.