Skip Navigation LinksSFCC Home Page About SFCC Diversity on Campus Faculty/Staff Involvement

Faculty and Staff Involvement

Cultural Pluralism Team

SFCC Students

The recommendations presented for SFCC's curriculum transformation with respect to diversity were developed by the Cultural Pluralism Team of Spokane Falls. The momentum for curriculum transformation began during SFCC's accreditation process in 1993 and continued into the critical dialogs emerging from our college involvement in the Washington Center's Cultural Pluralism Project.

An important purpose of the Team was to look inside and outside the college community to:

  • Identify activities, programs and strategies that work well.
  • Examine the content and processes of other colleges and universities which have undergone curriculum transformation in the area of cultural diversity.
  • Discuss SFCC's institutional climate in terms of readiness for change.

Additionally, as the Team studied curriculum transformation models, it became apparent the impressive number of colleges and universities across the state and nation who have, or are designing curricula to incorporate the plurality of cultures worldwide and, increasingly, within the United States.

Curricular transformation involves faculty development and collaboration. The SFCC Cultural Pluralism Team, supported by the college administration, believes the future level of achievement in this area will require the vision and expertise which results from such collaboration among our various instructional departments. SFCC faculty have formally adopted four abilities which are being taught across the college curriculum, one of which is World View. The World View ability ensures that diversity issues will be taught and discussed across the SFCC curriculum. The curriculum approval process ensures these outcomes will be addressed and assessed.

Exemplary Program at SFCC in Curriculum Transformation

The Communications Department is the largest department at Spokane Falls with twenty-five full time and approximately 25 adjunct faculty teaching in the seven disciplines that form the department: English, Developmental Education (English and Reading), Journalism, Drama, Foreign Languages, Speech, and Humanities. Because of the breadth and nature of course offerings, the department has been a focus of curriculum transformation that promotes college diversity efforts. An in-depth examination of this department's efforts provides evidence of the implementation of some of Spokane Falls' most ambitious strategies to have the curriculum and the instructional program support diversity.

As a result of faculty participation in the Washington Center's diversity project, four new courses have been introduced into the curriculum:

  • African Literature and Culture (offered 3 times)
  • Native American Literature and Culture (offered 3 times)
  • Hispanic Literature and Culture (offered for the first time Spring 1999)
  • Literature by Women (offered twice)
The Future of Life, 2006 Core Book

One of these courses is offered each quarter, often paired with composition in a learning community open to 40 students. The department offers three sections of Intercultural Communications each quarter. In addition, the department has added a Humanities 223 (Classic International Cinema) and Humanities 224 (Contemporary Global Cinema). Faculty in literature have significantly changed curriculum to reflect a canon that incorporates writing by people of color and women.

The College's Core Book Project is in its seventh year. The project's goal is to increase reading across campus by selecting one or more books that could be incorporated into classes across disciplines.

Members of the Communications Department are active in all college assessment activities including the World View Ability Group that promotes students' awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures. Faculty in the Communications Department were important organizers of the Tibet Teach-in that exposed SFCC students to Tibet culture, history, politics, and religion over three days in April 2000. The teach-in touched over 500 students in classes as different as literature and gerontology. Faculty incorporated content about Tibetan life into their classes and assignments. Student writing about Tibet has been collected and was assessed not only for the quality of the composition, but also for insights into the students' knowledge and appreciation of cultures with different world views.

Implementation of Systemic Change

The SFCC Cultural Team's work resulted in three recommendations that are felt to be central to a complete education for Spokane Falls' students:

  1. Establish course requirements in the area of American Ethnic Studies.
  2. Establish at least four new, full-time tenured faculty positions in American Ethnic Studies.
  3. Increase financial support for faculty development in the area of cultural pluralism.

These recommendations are viewed as the initial stage of a project which will require an unwavering institutional commitment in order to overcome the barriers and resistance to deep, systemic change. Strong, unyielding leadership is requested from the SFCC Administrative team so that we can develop and follow a systematic and comprehensive plan, with short and long-term goals.