Editorial Record: Submitted June 2, 2022. Revised September 12, and October 19, 2022. Accepted October 21, 2022.
Shana Meganck, Ph.D.
School of Communication Studies James Madison University
Yeonsoo Kim, Ph.D.
Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, The University of Texas at Austin
This study presents a comprehensive framework for DEI education for public relations educators and explores DEI practices in current educators’ classrooms. Specifically, it presents a framework that integrates structural elements of the course across five dimensions and pedagogical approaches to DEI excellence across six dimensions, and examines the status of public relations educator-level efforts in the classroom. The results of an online survey of public relations educators suggest that, overall, public relations educators appear to be actively demonstrating efforts to advance DEI in the classroom based on the variety of pedagogical approaches that they utilize. Meanwhile, efforts on structural elements seem to have room for improvement, especially in terms of DEI-related course objectives, learning outcomes, and course evaluation. Detailed discussions of the findings and their implications are discussed.
Keywords: public relations, public relations education, diversity, equity, inclusion, DEI, organizational culture, pedagogical approaches, educator-level efforts, structural elements
With current diversity as well as the deepening disparities of higher education during COVID-19, ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) has become one of the most pressing and important agenda items in higher education today. In response, many universities have added diversity statements to their websites (McBrayer, 2022), started more actively engaging in recruiting faculty and students from diverse racial and demographic backgrounds, and created administrative positions focused on DEI (Davenport et al., 2022). Some institutions have also encouraged faculty to include DEI efforts in their annual evaluation reports and increased DEI workshop and roundtable opportunities (e.g., Michigan State University, 2019). This changing higher education landscape is a good starting point; however, efforts to achieve DEI must be multifaceted, not only in recruitment and campus climate, but also in curriculum and instruction, research and inquiry, as well as strategic planning and accountability (Alt, 2017; Worthington & Stanley, 2014). Among the several key areas discussed in previous studies (e.g., recruitment, admissions, climate, curriculum, research, strategic planning, administrative structures, etc.) (Alt, 2017; Clayton-Pedersen et al., 2008; Parkison et al., 2009), this study is particularly concerned with the role of faculty, specifically public relations faculty, as leaders in facilitating student learning and creating diverse and inclusive learning environments.
Faculty are at the forefront of educating students, so how they structure their curriculum, deliver DEI values, facilitate their classes, and create a classroom environment can have a direct impact on their students (Cohn & Gareis, 2007; Parkison et al., 2009). Curriculum – that is the content of courses and instruction, and how curriculum is delivered (Wiles et al., 2002) – focused on DEI can have a strong positive impact on students’ complex thinking skills, awareness of social and cultural diversity, and understanding of the importance of creating social awareness (Hurtado, 2005; Parkison et al., 2009). In other words, educators directly contribute to fostering students with the DEI perspectives needed by society. For this reason, scholars have commonly pointed out the importance of curriculum and instruction as key aspects of DEI in higher education (Bardhan & Gower, 2020; Cohn & Gareis, 2007; Mundy et al., 2018; Salazar et al., 2017).
The critical role of educators in the classroom in the advancement of DEI is no exception in public relations education. Given the criticism that the public relations industry does not reflect the rapidly growing diversity of the U.S. population (Bardhan & Gower, 2020), and that the industry’s DEI efforts are rather slow or inadequate (Brown et al., 2019; Jiang et al., 2016), the role of professors in nurturing future public relations practitioners is becoming increasingly important. As stated in the Commission on Public Relations (CPRE) Diversity and Inclusion report (2019a), in order to combat the current DEI problem in the public relations industry, it is necessary that we equip all public relations students with multicultural competencies “to understand and appreciate the value of diversity” (p. 2). These essential exchanges that prepare students to learn about other cultures and how to work effectively with those different from them need to happen in the public relations classroom because whether students identify and address their personal biases, assumptions, and stereotypes regarding diversity have serious implications since their biases might carry over into the industry (Place & Vanc, 2016). Brunner’s (2005) study of diversity environments in public relations higher education institutions further supports this notion, stating that students come to universities at a critical time in their development and, therefore, learn a lot about themselves in relation to others, including how to orient to DEI, during this time. However, although the CPRE and several industry and academic leaders have repeatedly called for change regarding the concerning state of DEI in the public relations industry and the need to educate students in ways that respond to this situation, very little has changed (Bardhan & Gower, 2020, Brown et al., 2011; Place & Vanc, 2016).
Additionally, research and action on the important relationship between DEI, curriculum, and pedagogy as a means of preparing students to enter the public relations industry is lacking, as the majority of current research is industry-focused (Place & Vanc, 2016). If change needs to happen at the higher education level, then more research should be focused on the current state of DEI in public relations education and the flow of DEI from schools to industry (Bardhan & Gower, 2020). With this need in mind, the current study aims to present a comprehensive framework for DEI education for public relations educators and to explore DEI practices in current educators’ classrooms. While previous studies mainly focused on the students’ points of view and on how they experience learning focused on DEI (e.g., Brown et al., 2011; Brown et al., 2019; Muturi & Zhu, 2019), this study focused on educator-reported approaches to DEI in the classroom. More specifically, this study examined the status of public relations educator-level efforts in the classroom, across the structural elements of courses (Cohn & Gareis, 2007; Fuentes et al., 2021) and pedagogical approaches geared toward incorporation of DEI (Salazar et al., 2017) – two areas that higher education instructors often have direct control over. Through the results of this study, we provide public relations educators with insights about the status of DEI practices in the classroom and actionable steps necessary for future improvement.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education
Diversity is a complex concept based on a set of identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, gender and disability (Fuentes et al., 2021). The key idea behind the concept is, as CPRE (2019b) noted, “all differences that exist between and among people” (n.p.). Diversity can come from both primary and secondary dimensions. The primary aspects are characteristics people are born with that cannot be changed, such as age, race, and ethnicity. The secondary dimensions are characteristics that can be altered, such as religion, marital status, social class, and veteran status. Whereas diversity recognizes that differences exist, inclusion goes one step further by respecting and embracing the unique qualities of people that stem from differences as valuable assets. Inclusion is defined as the degree to which an individual perceives themself as a respected member of the group to which they belong through experience of treatment that satisfies the need for belonging and uniqueness (Shore et al., 2011). It, therefore, “refers to treating people equally with fairness and respect so they can feel valued and welcomed” (The Arthur W. Page Center, n.d., n.p.). Equity is defined as the “creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion” (Fuentes et al., 2021, p.71).
Thus, DEI in education aims to leverage, recognize, and value the cultural experiences that students bring into the classroom, and incorporate activities (e.g., lectures, discussions, projects) that consider all sociocultural perspectives (Fuentes et al., 2021). The pursuit of DEI success in the classroom represents a conscious and intentional effort to implement a diverse and inclusive practice targeting multiple student identity groups (Salazar et al., 2017). This conscious effort is critical to building the academic resilience of students, especially for historically marginalized groups of students in higher education (Salazar et al., 2017).
Despite the importance and benefits of DEI in higher education, DEI efforts in higher education are highly fragmented (Milem et al., 2005; Parkison et al., 2009; Salazar et al., 2017). DEI issues may be addressed in some parts of the curriculum but not in others, and students often encounter gaps or contradictions in the curriculum (Parkison et al., 2009). Large gaps or inconsistencies in DEI emphasis between educators and subjects/courses may prevent many students from absorbing the DEI content embedded in the curriculum. As another issue, scholars point out the disconnect between DEI practices and criteria recommended for educational excellence (Salazar et al., 2017).
To overcome these shortcomings and pursue DEI enhancement in education, scholars have proposed several key areas in which higher education institutions, administrators, and educators should work. Alt (2017) and Worthington (2012) suggested key areas for university diversity initiatives to focus on, including recruitment and retention, curriculum and education, leadership development, and campus environment. Parkison et al. (2009) extended the multicultural teaching model of Marchesani and Adams (1992) to propose four dimensions of the teaching and learning process, including faculty, teaching methods, course content, and students. Cohn and Gareis (2007) and Fuentes et al. (2021) emphasized the importance of composing DEI as a major component in the structural elements of a course in order to more explicitly communicate the values of DEI and related policies. As a dimension through which inclusive educators can work to enhance DEI in the classroom, Salazar et al. (2017) presented a comprehensive framework consisting of five dimensions: intrapersonal awareness, interpersonal awareness, curriculum transformation, inclusive pedagogy, and inclusive learning environment. Others focused on the leadership role of educators to improve DEI in education and argue that there are several things that educators should focus on, including curriculum and resources (Vaccaro, 2019), openness to diversity as an individual orientation/cultural competence (Alt, 2017; Fuentes et al., 2021; Vaccaro, 2019), and diversifying the learning environment to enhance inclusivity (Bardhan & Gower, 2020; Vaccaro, 2019).
DEI in PR Education
Educators are leaders in the academic environment (Bardhan & Gower, 2020) and play an essential role in creating learning environments that encourage diversity-related growth (Alt, 2017). As such, educators’ DEI work has a direct impact on the future of the public relations industry, as it plays a major role in shaping students to become future practitioners and eventually leaders of the industry. Increasing multidimensional DEI efforts in the public relations classroom will not only enhance cultural awareness, knowledge and understanding, reduce racial stereotypes, and increase commitment to issues of equity (Clayton-Pederson et al., 2008), but it can also help prepare students to work in increasingly diverse environments and feel more confident proposing solutions to diversity-related problems (Biswas & Izard, 2009). Such efforts expand diverse points of view and, therefore, prepare students to solve problems, create ideas, promote innovation and creativity, and consider messaging for diverse groups of people (Brown et al., 2011; Brown et al., 2019). Additionally, students will better understand their role as strategic communicators (Tsetsura, 2011). These DEI competencies acquired through higher education lead to overall organizational and workplace success, as a diverse workforce and competencies increase productivity and competitiveness (Brown et al., 2011; Muturi & Zhu, 2019). For this reason, leadership in public relations education requires active planning and execution of DEI-related program goals (Mundy et al., 2018). To reflect the focus of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) and the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Certificate in in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) on DEI, and to meet the expectations of employers and industry leaders, public relations education must be able to present appropriate and effective DEI education and share its success stories (Mundy et al., 2018). Specifically, Bardhan and Gower (2020) identified three areas in which public relations educators should strive to advance DEI in education: “1) curriculum diversification, 2) concern for the learning environment, 3) educator responsibility and structural change” (p. 128).
Therefore, what these existing studies related to both holistic educator-level efforts as well as PR-specific educator-level efforts commonly suggest seems to be the development or application of DEI-centered pedagogical approaches (method and practices of the instructor) and the structural components utilized (the fundamental content that should be considered and included in the development of every course, e.g., value statements, course objectives, reading selection, assignments, evaluation methods) by educators that directly affect DEI-centered curricula, teaching methods, or classroom environments. Hence, this study focuses on two key dimensions that public relations educators may need to consider in order to achieve DEI success in the classroom. The first is to establish DEI focused structural elements in courses within the curriculum (Cohn & Gareis, 2007; Fuentes et al., 2021), and the second is the pedagogical approach and practice centered on DEI in the classroom (Salazar et al., 2017). A detailed discussion of each dimension continues in later sections.
We believe that this study provides an initial basis for a discussion of an integration framework regarding what efforts are needed at the educator level to better integrate DEI into the public relations classroom. Furthermore, we want to provide a snapshot of the current state of public relations education as well.
Structural Elements of Courses in the Curriculum
In this study, structural elements refer to the formal content of a course (the core building blocks of curriculum design), such as a policy, course objectives, textbooks, assignments, and evaluation methods, that makes up a course. In order to create diverse and inclusive learning environments, it is necessary to consider structural-level content because these elements provide the first opportunity for faculty to communicate their philosophy, expectations, requirements, and other course information (Fuentes et al., 2021). Therefore, from the outset, educators should promote a diversity-centered approach to course development. Oftentimes, educators simply attempt to incorporate diversity-related topics into their courses by including a reading or assignment, or devoting a single class to DEI-related topics, which can have the unintended effect of conveying that such concepts are unimportant or, even worse, such efforts can appear to be tokenistic (Fuentes et al., 2021; Vaccaro, 2019). However, thinking about it from the outset helps to holistically and effectively incorporate DEI into the course (Vaccaro, 2019), and assures that these issues are evident in the topics and schedule outlined in the course syllabus (Fuentes et al., 2021). In terms of the structural development of the course, this includes considering five key aspects (Cohn & Gareis, 2007): 1) value statements and policies in course materials, 2) course objectives and learning outcomes, 3) textbook selection/reading selection, 4) assignments, 5) course evaluation. These five aspects are similarly reflected in Cahn et al.’s (2022) arguments that effective curricular DEI practices must “demonstrate authentic commitment, establish a common language, create spaces for reflection, evaluate program effectiveness, and include substantive follow-up” (p. 1).
Value statements and policies.
The statement of values is the first place for educators to highlight the importance of, and the amount of attention that will be given to, DEI efforts in the course (Cohn & Gareis, 2007). This can include an institutional-level value statement, an instructor-level value statement, and/or a disability/accommodations statement. The inclusion of diversity-related statements is relatively common in academia, particularly disability/accommodation-related statements, and there has been an increasing push to include them in course syllabi and discuss them on the first day of class (Fuentes et al., 2021). The goal of these statements is to make educators’ intentions and values explicit (Fuentes et al., 2021), which has been shown to have a positive effect on students’ perceptions of the classroom climate (Branch et al., 2018). It is also essential to consider the placement of these statements in the syllabus or throughout other elements of the course. Branch et al. (2018) determined that placing them earlier in the syllabus increases recall. Beyond value statements, ground rules for communication also help to promote comfortable learning environments that encourage and support diversity (Cohn & Gareis, 2007). These guidelines promote a respectful discourse and help to create an optimal learning environment, both of which are essential for encouraging a diversity of perspectives (Fuentes et al., 2021; Warner, 2019). Creating these guidelines in collaboration with students can also be helpful (Fuentes et al., 2021; Salazar et al., 2010; Vaccaro, 2019).
Course objectives and learning outcomes.
Another important structural element within courses for incorporating DEI are the course objectives and learning outcomes. This is where educators describe what they expect students to take away from the course. It can involve a culture-centered approach, which introduces DEI into all objectives and outcomes, or adding one specific objective/outcome that focuses on DEI (Bardhan & Gower, 2020; Fuentes et al., 2021). Instructors are encouraged to commit to integrating diverse voices across courses in a non-tokenistic manner by articulating DEI-related course objectives and learning outcomes (Cohn & Gareis, 2007). Specifying course objectives and learning outcomes focused on DEI demonstrates a genuine commitment to achieving and enhancing DEI (Cahn et al., 2022).
Course textbooks and readings are an important place for educators to demonstrate the value they place on diversity. Considerations may include focusing on readings of historically underrepresented and marginalized scholars and discussing the purpose of including the readings, assuring examples and applications of textual materials extend to diverse groups, and making sure photographs and graphics depict various groups (Bardhan & Gower, 2020; Cohn & Gareis, 2007; Fuentes et al., 2021). Additionally, educators should reflect on whether textbooks/readings provide accessible and structured text and images to meet the needs of diverse learners and whether they are affordable (Vaccaro, 2019).
In terms of assignments, educators should try to personalize assignments (Clayton-Pedersen et al., 2008), and reconsider the use of standardized exams and individual assignments (Fuentes et al., 2021). Doing so helps to tailor learning to student’s needs, interest, and abilities, which improves student learning and engagement (Feldstein & Hill, 2016). Alternatively, they may consider the diversity of learning abilities and incorporate creative assignments that promote group cohesion (Clayton-Pedersen et al., 2008; Fuentes et al., 2021). It is also important to let students choose topics that they are comfortable with and offer alternative assignment options to accommodate different learning abilities, when possible (Cohn & Gareis, 2007).
As with other aspects of a course, formal and informal evaluation is important for determining whether students perceive that a commitment to DEI was established throughout the class (Cohn & Gareis, 2007) and to monitor the effectiveness of inclusive pedagogical strategies (Cahn et al., 2022). Course evaluations may include questions that focus on DEI efforts and educators should keep track of the value of pedagogical strategies. By evaluating the effectiveness of the efforts implemented in the course in relation to DEI through various methods, it is possible to develop a follow-up plan for future improvement (Cahn et al., 2022).
Based on the discussions above, the following research question was proposed to explore the current practice of DEI-centered structural elements of courses taught by public relations educators.
RQ1: What are the current structural elements of courses incorporated by public relations educators to advance DEI in the classroom (i.e., value statements and policies in course materials, course objectives and learning outcomes, textbook selection/reading selection, assignments, course evaluation)?
Pedagogical Approaches to DEI in the Classroom
Applying structural-level changes to courses within the curriculum is an essential first step toward creating excellent diverse learning environments, but educators need to think beyond this in order to make an appreciable difference in learning environments (Clayton-Pederson et al., 2008). Efforts should be made to develop competencies based on critical awareness of educators’ own sociocultural competencies, and further efforts to adopt comprehensive pedagogical approaches. Pedagogical approaches can be defined as broad principles, beliefs, and methods of education in individual educators’ teaching practices.
Vaccaro (2019) identified three cultural competency components that shape how instructors teach and engage: awareness, knowledge, and skills. Awareness focuses on knowing oneself, being aware of one’s past socialization, and examining one’s beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions (Parkison et al., 2009). These are important considerations; for example, educator perceptions of race can impact how they teach about race and DEI-related topics (Waymer & Dyson, 2011). Knowledge relates to becoming informed about contemporary diversity issues and increasing understanding of students’ campus/classroom realities and the diverse backgrounds of students (Vaccaro, 2019). Lastly, skills are needed to engage students in learning about sometimes difficult, diversity-related topics (e.g., discrimination, privilege, race, religion, sexual orientation) and to ensure students feel challenged to grow (Vaccaro, 2019). Creating diverse learning environments also involves designing inclusive learning spaces. Strategies that foster this include “being approachable, developing trusting relationships with and among students, affirming diverse student experiences, managing classroom dynamics appropriately, acknowledging and reducing power differential in the classroom, modeling inclusion, and engaging in on-going critical self-reflection” (Vaccaro, 2019, p. 31).
Regarding these two broader components, Salazar et al. (2017) developed a detailed framework for inclusive excellence that educators can use to promote DEI along five dimensions. These dimensions are intrapersonal awareness, interpersonal awareness, curricular transformation, inclusive pedagogy, and inclusive learning environments. This study seeks to explore the current practices of public relations educators by applying the comprehensive framework proposed by Salazar et al. (2017).
Intrapersonal awareness. Personal awareness of one’s own ideas, assumptions, and values, as well as increasing knowledge about other cultures, are both important components to truly embracing DEI (Salazar et al., 2017). According to Salazar et al. (2017), such awareness and knowledge can be improved through committing to the process of self-actualization and determining where and how one’s worldview has developed, reading about diverse cultures and identity groups and developing a better understanding of how one’s worldview affects curriculum and pedagogies. Similarly, other scholars recommend faculty introspection as an important part of the pursuit of DEI in pedagogy. For example, Parkison et al. (2009) wrote that the faculty should be open to knowing “oneself, being aware of one’s past socialization, and examining one’s beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions” (p. 6). Fuentes et al. (2021) also pointed out that it is important for educators to engage in reflection on their sociocultural background and position and to communicate this reflection.
Interpersonal awareness. Creating interpersonal awareness can be accomplished by facilitating inclusive interpersonal interactions among students, providing opportunities for interaction, and more. Educators’ commitment to interpersonal awareness facilitates the exchange of diverse sociocultural perspectives and experiences among students. Dialogues can take place that welcome and respect all of these different perspectives and experiences, which validate these experiences (Salazar et al., 2017). Salazar et al. (2017) discussed several tools for improving interpersonal awareness, including empathetic listening, awareness of nonverbal communication, co-creating classroom norms that reflect diversity, and creating group work opportunities.
Curricular transformation. An essential part of creating diverse and inclusive learning environments is transforming the curriculum (Carr, 2007; Cohn & Gareis, 2007; Salazar et al., 2017; Vaccaro, 2019; Zhang et al., 2016). Educators should ensure they are integrating diverse groups into the curriculum, using culturally accurate materials, reflecting on both whom the curriculum does/does not include as well as remaining vigilant in detecting hidden forms of oppression within curriculum and course content (Salazar, 2017). Based on these things, changes should be made to the curriculum, if necessary.
Inclusive pedagogy. Inclusive curricular and pedagogical practices enhance the motivation, engagement, and learning of all students, including historically marginalized groups, because these practices holistically invite students into the learning process (Salazar et al., 2017). Inclusive pedagogy views students as co-constructors of knowledge; therefore, it fosters student choice and establishes critical dialogues with and among them (Salazar et al., 2017). It also includes formative assessments and assignments that personalize learning as well as noncompetitive, collaborative assignments (Salazar et al., 2017).
Inclusive learning environments. Caring for and respecting students not only ensures a safe learning space, but also fosters an environment where DEI thrives. Educators should create opportunities for authentic interactions with and among students, avoid actions that encourage tokenism, learn about students’ backgrounds and learning styles, show pride in student achievement, and provide constructive feedback (Salazar et al., 2017).
Based on the above discussion, this study proposes the following research question to explore the pedagogical approaches currently prevalent among public relations educators.
RQ2: To what extent are the pedagogical approaches discussed above being implemented by public relations educators to advance DEI in the classroom?
A self-administered online survey was conducted to answer the proposed research questions. A survey method was selected in consideration of the descriptive nature of this study, which explores the current status of DEI practices in the classroom among public relations educators. The target population was public relations educators in higher education institutions in the United States. A convenience sampling method was used, allowing public relations educators who wished to participate in the survey to participate in the survey. To recruit participants for this study, we sent out survey invitation emails using the listserves for the public relations divisions of the Association of Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), as it is one of the largest email lists with a wide range of public relations educators in the United States: “AEJMC’s public relations division is the largest organization of public relations educators in the world. Its 500+ members represent institutions of higher learning in the United States and about two dozen countries around the world” (Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, 2022). To extend the reach of survey invitations beyond AEJMC’s email list, we also placed posts encouraging participation in the survey on the social media pages of academic and public relations organizations, including major academic communication associations (e.g., National Communication Association, International Communication Association, Association of Journalism and Mass Communication) and professional associations (e.g., Public Relations Society of America Educators Academy). Respondents who identified themselves as public relations educators and agreed on the informed consent page were able to participate in the survey. The survey was conducted from late April to early May 2022. After the survey was launched, several email notifications were sent to public relations educators using the AEJMC listserv, and reminders were posted on the social media pages mentioned above. On day 10 after the start of data collection, we closed the survey site as the number of survey participants was no longer increasing.
A total of 101 public relations educators participated in the survey, but after removing incomplete responses, a total of 77 responses were used for analysis. Among them, 25.97% were male (n=20), 70.12% were female (n=54), 2.58% were non-binary (n=2), and 1.29% (n=1) preferred not to respond. When asked about race, 2.58% (n=2) identitfied as African American/Black, 18.06% (n=14) as Asian, 61.92% (n=48) as White, 3.87% (n=3) as Hispanic, 5.16% (n=4) reported being Other, and 9.03% (n=7) preferred not to respond. The ages of the study participants was between 27 to 71 years, with a range of approximately 47 years (SD=11.96). When asked how long they had been public relations educators, they answered, on average, about 12 years (SD=8.376). As for the current job position of respondents, 10.32% (n=8) were non-tenure-track instructors, 29.67% (n=23) were tenure-track assistant professors, 19.35% were tenure-track associate professors (n=15), and 19.35% (n=15) were tenure-track professors. The political affilications of the survey participants was 38.7% Democrat (n=30), 5.16% Republican (n=4), and 18.06% independent (n=14). Approximately 56.76% (n=44) of respondents work at universities/colleges with between 20,000 and 35,000 students, but the distribution of university sizes where respondents work ranged from fewer than 5,000 to more than 50,000. Approximately 67.08% (n=52) of respondents worked at public universities. Respondents’ colleges/universities were located across the United States, with 33.54% (n=26) located in the Northeast, 6.45% (n=5) in the Midwest, 34.83% (n=27) in the South, and 9.03 %(n=7) in the West.
First, the structural elements of the curriculum were evaluated through five aspects: value statements and policies in course materials, course objectives and learning outcomes, textbook selection/reading selection, assignments, and course evaluation. Measurements of structural elements were adapted from previous studies to suit the purpose of this study (Cohn & Gareis, 2007; Fuentes et al., 2021; Vaccaro, 2019). Second, the pedagogical approach to DEI was measured in terms of intrapersonal awareness, interpersonal awareness, professional development, curriculum transformation, inclusive pedagogy, and building an inclusive learning environment. Most of the measurement items for pedagogical approaches were adopted from Salazar et al. (2017), and further, we added items from Parkison et al. (2009) and Vaccaro (2019) to explore pedagogical approaches more comprehensively. All measures used a 7-point Likert scale (1-strongly disagree, 7-strongly agree). Appendix A details all measurement items.
While we reported Cronbach’s alpha score for reader reference, these measures do not necessarily assume internal consistency between items (especially structural elements of the curriculum’s subdimensions). Therefore, we report results with more focus on the descriptive statistics of individual items, e.g., in considerations related to textbook selection, the instructor may consider some items while not considering others. As such measures of structural elements of the curriculum do not expect similar responses in all sub-items, it is appropriate to report the descriptive statistics of each item.
Descriptive statistics for tested aspects of DEI practices are explained below. In the order of the presented research questions, we first present the results related to the structural components of the curriculum implemented by public relations educators to advance DEI in the classroom (i.e., value statement and policies, course objectives and learning outcomes, textbook/reading selection, assignments, and course evaluation). We then present the descriptive statistics for aspects of the pedagogical approaches that public relations educators are using to advance DEI in the classroom (i.e., intrapersonal awareness, interpersonal awareness, curricular transformation, inclusive pedagogy, and inclusive learning environments).
Value statement and policies.
When asked if the lecture materials included explanations of values and policies related to DEI, the average score for responses in the seven areas was 5.52 (SD=1.14), indicating “somewhat agree” to “agree.” Looking at the individual areas, the inclusion of disability-related accommodation statements received the highest score (M=6.57, SD=.91). However, in all other respects, items related to formal inclusion of diversity-related value statements or policies in course materials (e.g., institutional values and policies on diversity and inclusion, instructor values, ground rules for class participation, etc.) scored relatively lower, ranging from 4.95 (SD=1.85) to 5.76 (SD=1.35). The item, “I highlight diversity in the course description and acknowledge intersectionality,” received the lowest score at 4.95 (SD=1.85), indicating less than “somewhat agree.”
Course objectives and learning outcomes.
For questions about inclusion of curriculum goals or learning outcomes related to diversity and inclusion, the average score was 4.74 (SD=1.56). Looking at the individual items, survey participants’ responses scored 4.41 (SD=1.58) to the question about whether the courses have a course objective and associated learning outcomes designed to promote diversity and inclusion in general. This indicates that responses were closer to “neither agree nor disagree” with respect to inclusion of course objectives/learning outcomes that promote overall diversity and inclusion. Survey participants’ responses scored 4.91 (SD=1.66) when asked whether their courses have course objectives and relevant learning outcomes to promote diversity and inclusion in relation to the subjects they teach. That is, the inclusion of course objectives and related learning outcomes for subject-specific diversity and inclusion also falls short of “somewhat agree.”
Respondents were asked on nine items what aspects of DEI they consider when selecting textbooks and/or reading materials. The overall score for textbook-related items was about 5.28 (SD=1.14), indicating that respondents somewhat agreed with various considerations related to textbook selection. However, depending on the item, the range of responses was rather wide, from 3.74 (SD=2.18) to 5.97 (SD=1.12). Looking at the responses for each item, “I carefully think about which resources are necessary and consider affordable options and alternatives” received the highest score with a score of 5.97 (SD=1.12). In addition, considerations, such as whether “textbooks/readings can serve to empower and encourage students in all voices,” “textbooks/readings include diverse people (e.g., minorities, women, and people with disabilities) as content experts or authorities,” and “the examples and application of textual materials extend to diverse groups of people, such as minorities, women, and people with disabilities,” also received a relatively high score of 5.65 (SD=1.45), 5.69 (SD=1.45), and 5.59 (SD=1.47), respectively. As items to be considered when selecting textbooks/readings, responses to the following three items were closer to 5, indicating “somewhat agree,” than 6, indicating “agree”: “In photographs and graphics, diverse groups of people are depicted in positions of power with the same frequency as those in the majority” (M=5.16, SD=1.63), “textbooks/readings reflect diversity and inclusion regarding culture, gender, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion, whenever possible, taking into account the context of the particular subject being addressed (M=5.39, SD=1.47),” and “textbooks/readings are affordable or open access” (M=5.42, SD=1.42). Two items scored relatively lower than the others. “Textbooks/readings provide accessible and structured text and images to meet the needs of diverse learners (e.g., providing alternative means of access to multimedia content in formats that meet the needs of diverse learners when applicable)” received a score less than 5 (M=4.96, SD=1.51). Whether instructors request additional desk copies of course materials that can be reserved by the library received the lowest score at 3.74 (SD=2.18).
Respondents were asked about the extent to which they considered the diversity of learning abilities and integrate creative tasks that promote group cohesion in relation to class assignments through six items (M=5.08, SD=1.03). The item “I incorporate noncompetitive, collaborative assignments and group work” received the highest score at 6.29 (SD=1.11), followed by “I incorporate creative assignments (e.g., flipped classroom models, interactive activities, group-based projects) by considering the diversity of learning abilities of my students” (M=5.81, SD=1.28). While the two items received high scores indicating “agree” or more, the other four items scored rather low, ranging from 4.19 (SD=2.14) to 5.01 (SD=1.51). In other words, the other aspects of the assignment composition received rather low responses that fell somewhere between “neither agree nor agree” and “somewhat agree.” In particular, two items were close to 4: “I offer alternative assignment options to accommodate different learning styles for certain structured assignments” (M=4.31, SD=1.71) and “I include assignments, such as life history interviews, personal stories of survival, and autobiographical writing that will diversify and personalize learning” (M=4.19, SD=2.14).
Regarding course evaluations related to DEI practices in the classroom, respondents’ responses varied across the six items. Compared to other aspects of the structural elements of the curriculum, the responses to the course evaluation were found to be the most deficient overall (M=4.38, SD=1.34), with some items scoring less than 4 points. Looking at the items from the highest score to the lowest, “I allow students to offer anonymous feedback about the inclusivity of my pedagogy and take suggestions for improvement seriously” scored the highest with 5.16 (SD=1.89). It was followed by “Course evaluation includes questions about to what extent the instructor makes efforts to create a classroom environment in which diverse perspectives are respected” (M=5.12, SD=1.91), “Course evaluation includes questions about to what extent the course content integrates diverse voices and demographics” (M=4.38, SD=1.91), and “I keep track of the effectiveness of inclusive pedagogy strategies (e.g., disclosure, risk taking, trust building)” (M=4.35, SD=2.00). The other two items scored lower than 4: “Course evaluation includes questions about to what extent the assignments in the class provide opportunities for students to incorporate content related to diverse and underserved populations” (M=3.97, SD=1.76), and “I ask colleagues who are known for effective multicultural and inclusive pedagogy to observe my teaching and provide suggestions for improvement” (M=3.35, SD=1.87).
When asked about respondents’ intrapersonal awareness efforts to support diversity and inclusion in the classroom, the average score was 5.97 (SD=.96), close to “agree.” All nine items were close to 6 (agree) and ranged from 5.74 (SD=1.34) to 6.26 (SD=.89). This indicates that respondents are engaging in practices that support DEI in general by engaging in self-reflection and intrapersonal awareness efforts.
The average score for the four items for professional development efforts to support DEI practices in the classroom was 5.52 (SD=1.22), somewhere between “somewhat agree” and “agree,” and ranged from 6.01 (SD=1.28) to 5.17 (SD=1.75). “Attending diversity workshops, conference sessions, and/or reading books/manuscripts to improve my diversity and inclusion efforts” received a score of 6.01 (SD=1.28), while “I work with diversity competence groups to practice diversity and inclusion skills” received 5.17 (SD=1.75).
For items related to the instructor’s efforts to support DEI through interpersonal awareness efforts, the average score was 5.92 (SD=.85). “I foster opportunities for group work” received the highest score at 6.40 (SD=.95), followed by “I validate students’ experiences by engaging in empathetic listening and asking questions openly and constructively” (M=6.21, SD=.85), and “I am aware of students’ nonverbal communication” (M=6.17, SD=.96). Most of the other items scored slightly below 6, with two exceptions being relatively low, near 5: “I develop and practice conflict resolution skills in order to prepare for difficult situations in the classroom” (M=5.29, SD=1.54) and “I revisit and enforce co-constructed norms reflective of diversity regularly” (M=5.28, SD=1.45).
Instructors’ curricular transformation efforts to support diversity and inclusion in the classroom averaged 5.40 (SD=1.06), closer to “somewhat agree.” “I point out ways individuals from the same social identity groups have unique realities, perspectives, and other social identity differences” (M=5.88, SD=1.14) received the highest score, followed by “I cover differences in my curriculum based on a variety of factors, including race, ethnicity, age, gender, sex, religion, culture, handicap, and social class” (M=5.77, SD=1.28), “I explain how models, theories, and concepts are (or can be) applied to diverse communities” (M=5.67, SD=1.39), and “I consider the various social and culture backgrounds of my students when organizing my curriculum” (M=5.62, SD=1.22). Some relatively low scoring items include: “I audit my curricular materials for the inclusion of multicultural and other DEI-related topics” (M=5.17, SD=1.86), “I review my curriculum for hidden forms of oppression and make appropriate changes” (M=5.23, SD=1.53), and “I invite relevant campus organizations or offices to speak to my class” (M=4.77, SD=1.78).
For instructors’ inclusive pedagogical efforts, the mean score was 5.83 (SD=.84). Most of the items were rated relatively high, but the following items received slightly higher scores: “I recognize students’ personal experiences as worthy knowledge” (M=6.37, SD=.99), “I incorporate noncompetitive, collaborative assignments and group work” (M=6.25, SD=1.17), “I use teaching methods other than traditional lectures and assigned readings” (M=6.19, SD=1.09), “I invite students to share their knowledge in multiple ways” (M=6.13, SD=.89), and “I include experiential learning activities in my curriculum” (M=6.13, SD=1.19).
Inclusive learning environment.
In terms of creating an inclusive learning environment, the average score across the 13 items reported by instructors was 6.13 (SD=.81). Twelve out of 13 items scored above 6, indicating that respondents answered “agree” or more to almost all of the items presented. Efforts to support students in various ways, which have been traditionally done, seem to have received higher scores: “I demonstrate caring through attitude, expectations, and behavior” (M=6.33, SD=.84), “I demonstrate pride in student achievement” (M=6.46, SD=.77), “I meet with students outside of scheduled class time” (M=6.24, SD=.97), and “I provide constructive feedback” (M=6.25, SD=.87). Some of the slightly lower-scoring items (though still very high-scoring items, close to 6) include: “I learn about students’ backgrounds, social identities, and learning styles” (M=5.8, SD=1.06), and “I am sensitive to my students various social and cultural backgrounds and the different ways in which they experience the classroom environment” (M=6.03, SD=1.00).
Recognizing the important role of educators in training future public relations practitioners and ultimately leaders in the public relations industry, this study focused on the role of public relations educators in the advancement of DEI in the classroom and their current practices. More specifically, this study intended, first, to provide a useful and comprehensive framework that encompasses various aspects of the endeavor that public relations educators can refer to as they pursue DEI growth in the classroom. In addition, this study was intended to examine the current state and practices of public relations educators according to the framework proposed for future improvement, beyond the normative proposals for DEI-related pedagogies in the classroom. An online survey of public relations educators in the U.S. was conducted. The findings of the study are discussed below, along with their implications.
First, in terms of structural elements that are key building blocks of a course, such as course policies or course objectives, the findings showed that there was some variation in the stated DEI emphasis and/or DEI-focused practices among the five tested elements (i.e., value statements and policies in course materials, course objectives and learning outcomes, textbook selection/reading selection, assignments, and course evaluation).
The inclusion of value statements and policies in syllabi and other course materials has been shown to be somewhat better implemented than other structural elements. This appears to be because the inclusion of disability-related accommodation policies and explanations is a requirement at the institutional level rather than the individual educator’s choice. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires a statement informing students of school resources and policies for accommodating disabilities. However, the inclusion of other DEI-related value statements or policies that were not mandated was significantly lower. For example, the importance of sharing the values and policies of the institution or the values of instructors supporting DEI was rated as “somewhat agree.” Emphasizing DEI and mentioning intersectionality in course descriptions scored only slightly above neutral. That is, among the five elements tested, the value statement/policy inclusion received the highest score, but the likely reason could be that the inclusion of a disability-related statement is legally/institutionally mandated. As Fuentes et al. (2021) noted, it is common practice in academia to include disability/accommodation statements in syllabi or other course materials. Although there has been a recent push to make DEI-focused statements and policies more explicit in syllabi and course materials to create an inclusive classroom atmosphere that encourages diverse perspectives and collaboration (Fuentes et al., 2021), there is still room for improvement. These efforts can begin as easily as including statements of institutional DEI values, statements of instructors’ DEI values, ground rules for communication, and a description of the intersectionality of course topics in the course description.
Regarding the selection of textbooks and reading materials, the findings showed that public relations educators appeared to strive to select textbooks and readings through careful consideration in almost every aspect of the multifaceted considerations recommended by previous studies (e.g., whether diverse people are included as content experts and authorities, examples and applications of textual material to diverse groups of people, accessible and affordable options, reflection of multiple sociocultural perspective) (Bardhan & Gower, 2020; Cohn & Gareis, 2007; Fuentes et al., 2021; Vaccaro, 2019). The reason this element ranked second highest for structural elements was because whether educators requested additional desk copies scored very low. Possible explanations for this could be that educators are already opting for affordable textbooks, many readings are freely available through the school library, or faculty no longer use physical desk copies due to the possibility of using electronic copies. While it was not possible to determine a reason based on the information available in this study, based on the response that educators are working towards accessible and affordable textbook options, it is likely that educators may use other affordable alternatives instead of desk copies.
In terms of assignment-related structural elements, the gap between items was found to be large. Although educators agreed they incorporate non-competitive collaborative group work, most items other than group work were rated rather low. Because some public relations courses (e.g., public relations campaigns) tend to involve group work to mimic the nature of public relations agency settings, responses that indicate educators use collaborative groups alone do not necessarily indicate that educators are seeking excellence in the DEI domain without support from other related domains. In order to incorporate DEI in assignments, it seems that educators should consider the following options more carefully: developing assignments for diversifying and personalized learning (e.g., autobiographical writing, interviews), providing alternative task options to accommodate different learning styles, and depersonalizing controversial topics and structuring assignments in a way where students can choose topics they feel more comfortable with. These options are intended to account for the diversity of learning abilities, when possible (Cohn & Gareis, 2007; Clayton-Pedersen et al., 2008).
The two areas of structural elements that scored the lowest were two of the most impactful and important areas (these are also areas that require a higher level of systematic effort than that of just individual educators): course objectives/learning outcomes and course evaluation.
Overall, the explicit inclusion of DEI-related course objectives and learning outcomes in syllabi or other course materials does not seem to be actively practiced. Public relations educators were slightly more positive about setting course objectives and learning outcomes to promote DEI related to the subjects they teach, rather than promoting overall DEI. The low rate of practice for the course objective of improving DEI, which is not directly related to course subject matter, is understandable given the complexity of the course objectives and learning outcomes that faculty must achieve in their curriculum. However, specifying DEI-focused course objectives is critical to enhancing DEI in the classroom (Cahn et al., 2022). When faculty don’t set DEI-related course objectives/learning outcomes (whether set as a single course objective or incorporating DEI into all objectives), DEI-related efforts in the classroom lose their direction and, therefore, there is a risk that those efforts will be sporadic and will not aid in systematically building DEI into the curriculum. This is an important area that needs improvement among the structural elements of courses that public relations educators need to keep in mind and practice.
Another practice that was critically lacking was the evaluation of DEI-related efforts in the classroom. Respondents agreed to some extent that course evaluation includes DEI-focused questions, such as whether educators strive to foster a classroom environment in which diverse perspectives are respected and whether students can provide relevant and anonymous feedback. However, given that these two aspects are standard practice in higher education, and the rest received low overall scores, tracking the effectiveness of educators’ efforts appears to be another key area for improvement. One thing to note here is that, in many cases, course/faculty evaluation items or methods do not depend on individual faculty members. In a situation where the influence of individual faculty is limited because of the use of standardized evaluation forms determined by the institution, how to systematically evaluate DEI-related efforts and provide a reference point for improvement emerges as an important question.
Respondents tended to be more active in practicing DEI-focused pedagogical approaches compared to practices across structural elements. For example, dimensions that received relatively low scores in pedagogical approaches, such as curriculum transformation efforts and professional development efforts, had similar scores to value statement/policies (the dimension that received the highest scores in structural elements). That is, public relations educators reported that they have played a better role in holistic efforts to incorporate DEI-focused pedagogical approaches into the overall learning process of the classroom, compared to making systematic changes and taking clear and specific steps to address structural elements of the curriculum.
Of the six areas tested with respect to pedagogical approaches to DEI in the classroom, respondents demonstrated the highest level of practice in creating inclusive learning environments. Inclusive faculty strive to transform the learning environment into an atmosphere in which everyone’s voice is welcome and everyone believes they contribute to the discourse (Elenes, 2006; Salazar et al., 2017). In this context, public relations educators surveyed appear to have made a conscious effort to care for their students, take pride in their achievements, provide constructive feedback, engage with students outside the classroom, and work closely together to create an inclusive learning environment.
In addition, it was found that respondents actively participated in efforts to improve intrapersonal and interpersonal awareness. Self-reflexivity is an important element of embracing differences (Banks & McGee Banks, 2004; Salazar et al., 2017). The findings suggest that public relations educators have engaged in a variety of activities to raise intrapersonal awareness (e.g., by critically examining their ideas, assumptions and values and their impact on pedagogy, articulating where and how their worldview has developed, expanding knowledge of the other through readings about diverse cultures and identity groups, and sharing their own background and experiences with students and more). In addition, educators appear to engage in interpersonal awareness efforts by creating opportunities for interpersonal conversations where diverse perspectives are respected and validated. In particular, educators have demonstrated excellence in fostering opportunities for group work, validating students’ experiences by engaging in empathetic listening and asking questions openly and constructively, and being aware of students’ nonverbal communication. This indicates that public relations educators have recognized the importance of developing interpersonal awareness in the classroom and have worked towards it. In terms of inclusive pedagogical efforts, educators have been shown to recognize the value of the student experience, invite students to jointly create knowledge, facilitate student choice, and include teaching methods other than traditional lectures and directed reading.
The efforts of public relations educators on these four dimensions (i.e., inclusive learning environment, intrapersonal awareness, interpersonal awareness, inclusive pedagogy) should be clearly recognized and appreciated. However, the areas of professional development efforts and curriculum transformation still need further improvement.
As a pedagogical approach, curriculum transformation represents the faculty’s effort to look at the course content from multiple angles using a more inclusive lens, efforts to identify overt and subtle forms of oppression in course material, and efforts to critically approach theories and concepts presented in textbooks in relation to social and historical contexts (Tuitt, 2003; Salazar et al., 2017). Respondents were found to be better at acknowledging that their perceived reality and perspectives, amongst other things, may differ by different socio-political backgrounds. However, overall, it appears that a more conscious effort is required in the process of critically auditing and reviewing course materials. Regarding professional development, educators have attended various workshops and conferences to enhance their DEI efforts, but they are not making the extra effort to work directly with a diversity competency group to practice DEI skills.
That is, even within pedagogical approaches, respondents showed a tendency to engage in soft skills-related practices (e.g., caring for students, mindful listening) or to engage in rather passive activities (e.g., attending DEI workshops), compared to efforts that require additional actions and visible changes, such as curriculum transformation or working with diverse groups.
Overall, the findings showed that there is a slight gap between the pedagogical approaches and structural elements when it comes to enhancing DEI in the public relations classroom. Public relations educators have recognized the importance of DEI advancement in the classroom and have been involved in a variety of practices in the classroom, particularly with regards to efforts to create an inclusive atmosphere and raise awareness of DEI. However, there is room for improvement in active efforts to bring about systematic change beyond fostering an inclusive atmosphere in the classroom. These may include explicit communication for the advancement of DEI in the classroom (e.g., including value statements and policies), visible changes related to structured elements (e.g., specifying DEI objectives and course evaluations), curriculum transformation, and additional proactive efforts to work with diverse groups.
Despite the useful findings and implications of this study, we acknowledge its limitations. This study is an initial attempt to provide a framework for educator-level efforts to strive for DEI enhancement in the classroom. Since the focus of this study was not to develop sophisticated scales of DEI practices in higher education, it provides basic descriptive results based on measures adopted from previous studies. This study has limitations with regard to generalization of results because it used convenience sampling to recruit survey participants and the number of participants was not as high as hoped for. The findings, while they are adequate for providing a snapshot of the current practices of public relations educators, should not be generalized in a statistical sense. In particular, self-selection bias may have occurred as it is possible that educators who are more interested in DEI completed the survey. Therefore, the possibility that the results of this study are somewhat more positive than reality cannot be excluded.
Directions for Future Studies
In future research, it is necessary to improve and develop measures that public relations educators can use based on initial attempts such as this study. In future research, it is recommended that more participants be recruited using the probability sampling method to increase the generalizability of findings. Although this study focused on efforts at the level of educators; future studies should also look at efforts at the level of institutions, administrators, and the higher education sector in general. Additionally, future studies should focus more acutely on specific dimensions of diversity and inclusion, including age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Lastly, while we can, on a normative level, encourage educators to make every possible effort to improve DEI, it is also important to be aware of the practical difficulties and obstructions that educators may face despite all their intentions and motivations to advance DEI in the classroom, and future research should seek ways to more realistically and effectively support the role of educators.
This study was intended to provide systematic and multifaceted guidelines to public relations educators who strive to enhance DEI in the PR classroom. The framework proposed in this study comprehensively presents the important factors that public relations educators must keep in mind to achieve DEI success in the classroom. In addition to providing a multidimensionally-structured framework, this study illuminates the current state of DEI practice in the public relations classroom, and further suggests areas for improvement.
Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. (2022). Divisions. https://www.aejmc.com/home/about/groups/divisions/
Alt, D. (2017). Constructivist learning and openness to diversity and challenge in higher education environments. Learning Environments Research, 20, 99-119. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10984-016-9223-8
Banks, J. A., & McGee Banks, C. A. (2004). Handbook of research on multicultural education. Jossey-Bass.
Bardhan, N., & Gower, K. (2020). Student and faculty/educator views on diversity and inclusion in public relations: The role of leaders in bringing about change. Journal of Public Relations Education, 6(2), 102-141. https://aejmc.us/jpre/2020/08/15/student-and-faculty-educator-views-on-diversity-and-inclusion-in-public-relations-the-role-of-leaders-in-bringing-about-change/
Biswas, M., & Izard, R. (2009). 2009 assessment of the status of diversity education in journalism and mass communication programs. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 64(4), 378-394. https://doi.org/10.1177/107769580906400403
Branch, S., Stein, L., Huynh, H., & Lazzara, J. (2018, October 18-19). Assessing the value of diversity statements in course syllabi [Paper presentation]. Society for the Teaching of Psychology Annual Conference on Teaching, Phoenix, AZ.
Brown, K., Waymer, W., & Zhou, Z. (2019). Racial and gender-based differences in the collegiate development of public relations majors: Implications for minority recruitment and retention. Journal of Public Relations Education, 5(1), 1-30. https://aejmc.us/jpre/2019/01/31/racial-and-gender-based-differences-in-the-collegiate-development-of-public-relations-majors-implications-for-underrepresented-recruitment-and-retention/
Brown, K., White, C., & Waymer, D. (2011). African-American students’ perceptions of public relations education and practice: Implications for minority recruitment. Public Relations Review, 37(5), 522-529. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2011.09.017
Brunner, B. (2005). Linking diversity and public relations in higher education. PRism, 3, 1-16. https://www.prismjournal.org/ uploads/1/2/5/6/125661607/v3-no1-a1.pdf
Cahn, P. S., Makosky, A., Truong, K. A., Young, I., Emile R. Boutin, J., Chan-Smutko, G., Murphy, P., & Milone-Nuzzo, P. (2022). Introducing the language of antiracism during graduate school orientation. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 15(1), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1037/dhe0000377
Clayton-Pedersen, A. R., O’Neil, N., & Musil, C. M. (2008). Making excellence inclusive a framework for embedding diversity and inclusion into colleges and universities’ academic excellence mission. Association of American Colleges and Universities. https://www.uwp.edu/explore/offices/EDI/upload/Making-Inclusive-Excellence.pdf
Cohn, E., & Gareis, J. (2007). Faculty members as architects: Structuring diversity-accessible courses. In J. Branche, J. Mullennix, & E. Cohn (Eds.), Diversity across the curriculum: A guide for faculty in higher education (pp. 18-22). Anker Publishing Company.
Commission on Public Relations Education (2019a). CPRE Diversity & Inclusion Report. https://www.commissionpred.org/commission-reports/cpre-diversity-inclusion-report/
Commission on Public Relations Education (2019b). Diversity. https://www.commissionpred.org/commission-reports/the-professional-bond/diversity/
Davenport, D., Alvarez, Al’ai, Natesan, S., Caldwell, M., Gallegos, M., Landry, A., Parsons, M., Gottlieb, M. (2022). Faculty recruitment, retention, and representation in leadership: An evidence-based guide to best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion from the council of residency directors in emergency medicine. Western Journal of Medicine, 23(1), 62–71. https://doi.org/10.5811%2Fwestjem.2021.8.53754
Elenes, C. A. (2006). Transformando fronteras. In D. D. Bernal, C. A. Elenes, F. E. Godinez, & S. Villenas (Eds.), Chicana/Latina education in everyday life: Feminist perspectives on pedagogy and epistemology (pp. 245-259). SUNY Press.
Feldstein, M., & Hill, P. (2016, March 7). Personalized learning: What it really is and why it really matters. Educase Review. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/3/personalized-learning-what-it-really-is-and-why-it-really-matters
Fuentes, M. A., Zelaya, D. G., & Madsen, J. W. (2021). Rethinking the course syllabus: Considerations for promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion. Teaching of Psychology, 48(1), 69-79. https://doi.org/10.1177/0098628320959979
Hurtado, S. (2005). The next generation of diversity and intergroup relations research. Journal of Social Issues, 61(3), 595-610. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.2005.00422.x
Jiang, H., Ford, R., Long, P. A. C., & Ballard, D. (2016). Diversity & inclusion: A summary of the current status and practices of Arthur W. Page Society members. The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. http://plankcenter.ua.edu/resources/research/diversity-inclusion-a-summary-of-the-current-status-and-practices-of-arthur-w-page-society-members/
Marchesani, L. S., & Adams, M. (1992). Dynamics of diversity in the teaching–learning process: A faculty development model for analysis and action. In M. Adams (Ed.), Promoting diversity in college classrooms: Innovative responses for the curriculum, faculty, and institutions (pp. 9–20). Jossey-Bass/Wiley.
McBrayer, J. P. (2022, May 23). Diversity statements are the new faith statement. Inside Higher Ed. https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2022/05/23/diversity-statements-are-new-faith-statements-opinion
Michigan State University (2019). A resolution in support of including diversity statements in faculty promotion/tenure review and in annual reports. https://cogs.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/19-FS-22-Support-of-Including-Diversity-Statements-in-Faculty-Promotion-Tenure-Review-and-Annual-Reports.pdf
Milem, J. E., Chang, M. J., & Antonio, A. L. (2005). Making diversity work on campus: A research-based perspective. Association of American Colleges and Universities. https://web.stanford.edu/group/siher/AntonioMilemChang_makingdiversitywork.pdf
Mundy, D., Lewton, K., Hicks, A., & Neptune, T. (2018). Diversity: An imperative commitment for educators and practitioners. In E. L. Toth & K. Lewton (Eds.), Commission on Public Relations Education 2017 report on undergraduate education (pp. 139-148). http://www.commissionpred.org/wp-content/ uploads/2018/04/report6-full.pdf
Muturi, N., & Zhu, G. (2019). Students’ perceptions of diversity issues in public relations practice. Journal of Public Relations Education, 5(2), 75-104. https://aejmc.us/jpre/2019/08/17/students-perceptions-of-diversity-issues-in-public-relations-practice/
Parkison, K., Roden, D. M., & Sciame-Giesecke, S. (2009). Infusing diversity into the curriculum: What are faculty members actually doing? Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 2(3), 156-165. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/40003255_Infusing_Diversity_Into_the_Curriculum_What_Are_Faculty_Members_Actually_Doing
Place, K., & Vanc, A. (2016). Exploring diversity and client work in public relations education. Journal of Public Relations Education, 2(2), 83-100. https://instituteforpr.org/exploring-diversity-and-client-work-in-public-relations-education/
Salazar, M. C., Norton, A. S., & Tuitt, F. A. (2017). Weaving promising practices for inclusive excellence into the higher education classroom. To Improve the Academy, 28(1), 208-226. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2334-4822.2010.tb00604.x
Shore, L. M., Randel, A.E., Chung, B. G., Dean, M.A., Ehrhart, K.H., & Singh, G. (2011). Inclusion and diversity in work groups: A review and model for future research. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1262-1289. https://ideas.wharton.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Shore-Randel-Chung-Dean-Holcombe-Ehrhart-Singh-2011.pdf
The Arthur W. Page Center. (n.d.). Educating about Diversity in Public Relations. https://www.pagecentertraining.psu.edu/public-relations-ethics/introduction-to-diversity-and-public-relations/lesson-2-how-to-reach-diverse-stakeholders/international-public-relations/
Tstetsura, K. (2011). How understanding multidimensional diversity can benefit global public relations education. Public Relations Review, 37(5), 530-535. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2011.09.020
Tuitt, F. A. (2003). Afterword: Realizing a more inclusive pedagogy. In A. Howell & F. A. Tuitt (Eds.), Race and higher education: Rethinking pedagogy in diverse college classrooms (pp. 243–268). Harvard Educational Review.
Vaccaro, A. (2012). Campus microclimates for LGBT faculty, staff, and students: An exploration of the intersections of social identity and campus roles. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 49(4), 429-446. https://doi.org/10.1515/jsarp-2012-6473
Warner, T. V. (2019). Racial microaggressions and difficult dialogues in the classroom. In J. A. Mena & K. Quina (Eds.), Integrating multiculturalism and intersectionality into the psychology curriculum: Strategies for instructors (pp. 37–47). American Psychological Association.
Waymer, D., & Dyson, O. (2011). The journey into an unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory: Exploring the role and approaches of race in PR education. Journal of Public Relations Research, 23(4), 458-477. https://doi.org/10.1080/1062726X.2011.605971
Wiles, J., Bondi, J., & Sowell, E. J. (2002). Foundations of curriculum and instruction. Pearson Custom Publishing.
Worthington, R. L., & Stanley, C. A. (2014). National association of diversity officers in higher education standards of professional practice for chief diversity officers. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 7(2), 227-234. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038391
Zhang, M. M., Xia, J., Fan, D., & Zhu, J. C. (2016). Managing student diversity in business education: Incorporating campus diversity into the curriculum to foster inclusion and academic success of international students. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 15(2), 366-380. https://doi.org/10.5465/amle.2014.0023
© Copyright 2023 AEJMC Public Relations Division
To cite this article: Meganck, S. and Kim, Y. (2023). Enhancing diversity and inclusion in the public relations classroom: Current practices of public relations educators. Journal of Public Relations Education, 8(4), 15-58. https://journalofpreducation.com/2023/02/23/enhancing-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-in-the-public-relations-classroom-current-practices-of-public-relations-educators/