The Graduate Teacher Program's (GTP) mission is to train and support graduate students as current instructors in the Boulder campus and as future faculty, subsequently to transform the classroom climate and experience. As such our diversity plan or mission affects not only teaching assistants (TAs) and graduate part-time instructors (GPTIs), but also the undergraduate student body itself. Our emphasis continues to include making our GPTIs and TAs more comfortable with diversity. The GTP regards diversity as a strength and a boon to all aspects of the academy. Arnita Jones, Executive Secretary for the Organization of American Historians, says that multiculturalism is "not a problem [but is instead] a wonderful opportunity to bring some excellent new scholarship to all levels of education" (quoted in Carlos Cortes' "Pluribus and Unum," Change, 1991). Our goals are in accordance with this attitude.
At CU-Boulder, diversity is defined broadly to ensure the inclusion of a wide variety of human experiences and identities. The university recognizes and celebrates a diverse campus community to include people from many backgrounds—ethnic, regional and national origins, cultural heritage, intellectual, economic, religious, international—as well as first-generation students, people with disabilities, students who are parents, people of different sexual and gender orientations, people of different ages, and many other diverse characteristics. The University of Colorado at Boulder will develop, implement, and assess university strategies to improve the diversity of faculty, students, and staff as well as to foster a supportive, more inclusive community for all. We envision a campus: that addresses the special needs of groups and individuals who historically have faced institutional barriers, where the quality of education is enhanced and enriched by a diverse campus community, and where the entire campus benefits from participation in a multicultural community. By 2030 we aim to make CU-Boulder a model for the nation in applying best practices in support of diversity and inclusive excellence.
(adapted from Arthur Levine's categories in "The Meaning of Diversity," Change, 1991).
Since the inception of the GTP, we have focused on diversity issues in the classroom. Our commitment to a diverse reality is evident in all aspects of the program. All written materials and publications reflect our philosophy that effective teaching and learning can occur only in an equitable, open, honest, and respectful environment free from bias. All GTP activities — workshops, conferences, consultations, and training — integrate diversity and how it affects all aspects of teaching and learning. All networking efforts contain train-the-trainer activities that assist Lead Graduate Teachers with the issue and practice of diversity.
The GTP has expressed its commitment to diversity through lectures and workshops included in annual Fall Intensives and Spring Conferences, International Graduate Teacher Cultural Intensives, GTP Summer Series, Friday Forums, and special workshops.
The GTP staff has been diverse since its inception in 1985. The GTP has acted on its commitment toward progress in and through diversity by hiring a truly multicultural staff. Over the past 20 years, more than two thirds of employees have been minorities and/or women, and more than 60 percent of the current Leads are minorities and/or women.