This project addresses the ability for faculty at Humber College to ensure inclusion of gender and sexual diversity within their classroom, and curriculum for their students. The objectives include an understanding of what the current level of access, process, and variety of resources available for faculty, what new or additional tools or process would further serve demands. Also addressing the current mandate of the LGBTQ+ Resource Centre whose mission is to support students though is often considered a resource hub to faculty members. To evaluate the current reality and needs of faculty, an online survey was posted to the Humber Communique and broadcasted to faculties. The self-selected 87 participants responded to 10 questions with opportunity to elaborate on their experiences and needs. The team also conducted five key informant interviews with various Humber College stakeholders ranging from faculty to administrative members to discover more about the reality, possible barriers, gaps, and possible recommendations. The key findings from the research methods indicate that most participants believe they would benefit from having access to tools and resources with almost half never have accessed any before. Faculty indicated that almost 40% currently do not have access to tools or resources to ensure inclusivity. The overall theme has shown that awareness, capacity, access, and leadership are some of the key reasons why there are current gaps and barriers to having gender and sexual diversity within the classroom and curriculum at Humber College.
The Research Team has conducted a study of the current processes and or tools in place which aim to support knowledge and resource sharing for faculty on LGBTQ+ education and inclusion within the Humber College campuses. This research will contribute to the efforts and importance of making post-secondary institutions more inclusive and enhancing knowledge of gender identity and sexual orientation within courses and campus practices. The research team has been advised that the institution, faculty, and staff have relied on the Resource Centre staff to lecture, facilitate community speakers, and representation which goes beyond their mandate.
The team worked from an empirical and logistical knowledge lens for the quantitative questions and a grounded theory lens for the qualitative components. Focusing on the facts of the current process and using logical reasoning to help discover if a new system or resources are needed. Both quantitative and qualitative data will be collected using an online survey and key informant interviews. The survey questions, focus group guide, and analysis tools were created by the team, reviewed by LGBTQ+ Resource Centre, and Capstone Supervisor before publishing. The self-selected sample audience will focus on faculty members recruited through email support of the LGBTQ+ Resource Centre, and Program Coordinator Bachelor of Community Development Program - Faculty of Community and Social Services. The quantitative and qualitative methods were based on the following guiding questions:
The 10 online survey questions focused on:
The key informant guide focused on:
The analysis of the data collection had been thematically categorized into three categories based on the research questions. The findings from the survey reaching 87 self-selected faculty members have indicated that 93% require or would benefit from access to external resources, training, and information related to gender identity and sexual orientation. Of the 87 participants 46% have never accessed resources, tools, and training related to LGBTQ+ topics and 39% of respondents have indicated that they do not have access to resources such as a guide of LGBTQ+ issues, catalog of resources, guest speakers, etc. The overall theme has shown that awareness, capacity, access, and leadership are some of the key reasons why there are current gaps and barriers to having gender and sexual diversity within the classroom and curriculum at Humber College.
Training Through the survey results, 55% of faculty want regular training and information for educators on gender and sexual orientation. A participant has advised that discrimination and harassment issues are still occurring based on pronouns used. There is a perception that respecting pronouns is just a rule and that’s why they’re being used. 49% of faculty are interested in participating in workshops on the impact of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia on students’ success and performance, and 54% on strategies in creating safer schools. The Centre for Teaching and Learning could provide professional development to faculty, by offering tailored asynchronous or passive courses on gender identity and sexual orientation both learning methods available to ensure faculty are reflective and accountable. A mandatory course focusing on gender identity and sexual orientation. And using an intersectional lens addressing diversity within the curriculum. The administration would need to create buy-in or tiered mandated policy to ensure a safe learning environment for faculty and accessible knowledge in new hire onboarding and throughout employment.
Accessing Resources Participants have suggested a central hub would be encouraged for faculty to access knowledge, tools, and resources. Specific tools on how to support a student during a name change process or related components to gender identity. How to safely support students and not cause harm. A guide to appropriately refer students to supports based on their needs and what options are available. 54% of faculty respondents have indicated an interest in accessing resources and a referral guide for gender and sexually affirming services and support on and off-campus.
Accessing Guest Speaker(s) With there not being a broadly accessible process or method to access guest speakers, it is recommended that the Centre for Teaching and Learning provide a vetted bank or database of industry subject matter experts identifying as gender or sexually diverse for faculties to access. 54% of faculty have interest in a directory of guest speakers and 36% wanting an electronic system to request and book speakers.
Inclusivity and Adaptation Within Curriculum Recommendations from participants have emphasized the importance of decolonizing the curriculum. Ensuring there is more representation of different perspectives and voices to ensure history being presented is more accurate. 39% of faculty would like support in findings support in finding readings and resources written in the queer voice. 53% of faculty respondents want access to comprehensive resources to support inclusive classroom teaching. 57% are interesting in resources for “queering” the curriculum. Ensuring dedicated paid time is available for faculty to redesign their course. Faculty could reach out to CTL for professional development and support in incorporating inclusivity within their courses.
Strategy and Planning Queer folks in positions of authority can help ensure things aren’t missed and reduce the opportunity for harm. The administration can encourage conversation and discussion within faculty meetings to discuss student’s holistic experiences, inclusivity, and access to resources. A designated staff member or administrative level employee should be hired focusing on equitybased efforts. With HR’s mandate to ensure basic human rights are met, this role would take it a step further and ensure integration and active practice beyond legal compliance. Referencing Ryerson University where they have a Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. They were focused on ensuring the rights of people were being respected. They were the accountability arm of that office and were a whole separate group that reported to that Vice President that did education, training, and development. Students completing placement must be able to feel comfortable and safe navigating opportunities to work in the industry. Program and Placement Coordinators can ensure that partners are vetted to ensure inclusivity and safer spaces. An indication can be used on a list of confirmed practices that offer this environment for students.
The Mandate of the LGBTQ+ Resource Centre Participants have recommended that the current part-time position within the LGBTQ+ Resource Centre should be made full-time. Two coordinators should be available one for each campus. These roles would benefit in creating more solid connections with faculties. Having more capacity would allow things to be more tailored and adapted to each campus. The two campuses are very specific in environment and culture. At each Centre, one coordinator could support programming and operations, the other on outreach and education which could involve guest speaking. Ensuring that the various student centres can be successful in their mandates by connecting EDI with health, well-being, and overall student success. Integrating new resources, representation, and diversity within the spaces that aim to support students.
Capstone Partner Matthew Travill, Student Diversity, and Inclusion Initiatives Coordinator – LGBTQ+ Resource Centres. Student Success & Engagement. Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Linda Hill, MA, RSW, Program Coordinator & Faculty of Community Development. Faculty of Social & Community Services, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Christina Alcena, M.Ed, Manager Equity and Student Life, Student Success & Engagement. Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Caro Castro, PhD(c), MSW, RSW, Partial Load Professor, OISE Adult Education & Community Development. Faculty of Social & Community Services, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Stef Figueiredo, Former LGBTQ+ Resource Centre Assistant, Student Success & Engagement, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Adam Benn, Manager, Centre for Human Rights, Equity & Diversity, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.
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