Georgetown’s Learning, Equity, Access, and Pedagogy Initiative, or LEAP, is a new program, announced by university leadership, that supports academic units’ strategic planning to examine and strengthen the climate, content, and pedagogy of their teaching and learning environments, toward the goal of building and sustaining inclusive learning experiences for their students. CNDLS and other campus units are here to help you in this process.
The results of the 2020 Campus Cultural Climate Survey, and, more specifically, the spotlight report on pedagogy developed by CNDLS using the Climate Survey data have made clear that many students are feeling excluded from the full educational experience, and that in particular we’re seeing dramatic differences along dimensions of race and first generation status. These findings underscore the importance and, in fact, immediate need for increased support for inclusive pedagogical strategies. LEAP is one of the steps Georgetown University is taking to address these concerns.
We recognize that diversity, equity, and inclusion work is by necessity comprehensive, and involves addressing policies and practices across the institution, such as hiring practices and our students’ experience outside the classroom. In the specific case of the LEAP Initiative, the focus is on making our pedagogical and curricular practices more inclusive, now and in an ongoing way in the future.
Many academic units at Georgetown are already deeply engaged in inclusive pedagogical issues. The LEAP Initiative will build on these existing efforts to provide support and resources for those departments, programs, areas, and schools, creating a whole-institution community for learning with and from each other about best practices in inclusive pedagogy.
The LEAP work for an academic unit will likely evolve as it takes place over an 18-month to 2 year process through a variety of strategic planning work, tailored to the needs of each academic unit (or partnership of units). But most efforts will involve doing the following:
We acknowledge that fully implementing truly equitable and inclusive learning experiences is a continuous, ongoing commitment. However, the LEAP initiative has suggested a 18-month to 2-year timeline in which each academic unit will take the first big steps in this process, working intensively toward the creation and implementation of department-specific goals for integrating long-term, adaptable, measurable, and effective inclusive pedagogical principles and practices throughout the unit.
The goal is ultimately for all departments to engage in this initiative. In fall 2022, we’ll begin this journey with a smaller number of departments who step forward first to take on this work. We plan to invite additional academic units to join the LEAP Initiative each semester for the next three years (AY22/23-AY24/25). Below you’ll find more information about how to express your interest in being part of this initial, transformational cohort.
CNDLS and other units will be available to support you with departmental conversations, focus groups, sharing of relevant scholarship, strategic design support, facilitation, guest speaker ideas, and more.
Main Campus academic unit(s) will be able to apply for funds up to $10,000 (depending on unit size and needs) over the course of the department’s LEAP work that can be used in a range of ways, including to provide a stipend for the academic unit's faculty point person for LEAP, hire graduate student administrative support, bring in outside speakers or facilitators, or add to existing resources provided by CNDLS. Depending on the nature of the unit’s goals, additional funding for curricular innovation may be available through the Curriculum Transformation Initiative funded by the Baker Trust.
We’re available for questions and conversations at LEAPInitiative@georgetown.edu.