Fall 2013 Course: Preparing Future STEM Faculty to Meet the Needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations





This online course is designed to teach future STEM faculty from participating CIRTL Network institutions how to identify the needs of individuals with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as well as how to implement effective curricular strategies that will  improve their students’ professional outcomes. Emphasis will be placed on building the capacity of future faculty in STEM education through self-reflection and active learning activities that will gradually modify personal and professional beliefs into a multi-cultural approach to teaching.

In this course, participants will learn about:

  • Demographic information at national, state, and local levels;
  • The social and academic context of students with diverse backgrounds: families, neighborhoods, and society at large;
  • Perspectives and attitudes on multicultural diversity, culture, and identity;
  • Language development, cultural linguistic patterns, and principles of second language acquisition;
  • The challenges of language proficiency and academic language; and
  • Differentiated classroom instruction and effective teaching strategies.

In addition, participants will:

  • Use Blackboard Collaborate to discuss readings and participate in active learning activities;
  • Design a course syllabus focused on teaching cultural and linguistic diverse populations in their academic field; and
  • Review current evidence-based STEM research and resources.


  • Instructor: Dr. Mabel Rivera; Research Assistant Professor at the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics, University of Houston
  • Duration of course: 9/03/2013-11/22/2013
  • Synchronous 3-hour meeting times: every other Tuesday, 5:00 ET/4:00CT/3:00 MT/2:00 PT (9/3, 9/17, 10/1, 10/15, 10/29, 11/12)
  • Format: Six 3-hour synchronous sessions every two weeks with discussions of the topics. Asynchronous component includes reading assignments and designing a course syllabus.
  • Credits: 3 credits.  Students may participate with or without credit, as they prefer.
  • Course Type: Graduate course
  • Open To: Early or advanced  CIRTL Network graduate students, post docs, academic staff and faculty
  • Technologies: Blackboard Collaborate, Moodle, email

Course Credit 

Students may participate for or without credit as they prefer. The course work is equivalent to a 3-credit course, and students are expected to complete all required coursework regardless of credit arrangement.

To receive credit, students should work with their local CIRTL Network campus leaders or advisors to receive independent study or other credit through their local institution. Credits offered by each host campus may vary. Students taking the course for credit are required to submit a completed grade report form to the instructor by the end of the second week of class.

Technology Requirements

Synchronous sessions will use Blackboard Collaborate, a web-based virtual meeting room.  For these sessions, students will need individual access to a computer in a quiet location, a high-speed Internet connection, and audio (microphone and speakers) and video capabilities. Information on specific hardware requirements for CIRTL courses can be found on the Course Equipment page. Earbuds are recommended.

Blackboard orientations will take place every 1st Monday and 3rd Thursday of each month in BBC Room 2 at 3:00ET/2:00CT/1:00MT/12:00PT. The dates are as follows:  8/5/, 8/15, 9/2, 9/19, 10/7, 10/17, 11/4, 11/21, 12/2). Additional orientation sessions will be conducted on 9/3, 9/12, 9/23 at 12:00ET/11:00CT/10:00MT/9:00PT in BBC Room 2.

Asynchronous activities including assignments and discussions will be carried out in Moodle, a course management system. A username and password for the CIRTL Moodle site will be provided prior to the start of the course.


Courses are open to students who are in a STEM & SBE field and from a CIRTL Network institution.

Once registration begins, we will accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis with students from STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), SBE (Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences), and Network institutions given priority. Though registration is first come, first served, we will not accept more than three applicants from each institution per course in order to accommodate as many institutions as possible. All applicants will be informed by email about their enrollment status as soon as the course fills, but no later than August 29.

View a sample of the course registration form.

Enrolled Students

Information for enrolled students is available on the Course Preparation Checklist and the Student Resources page.


We strive to be inclusive of anyone interested in participating in our activities, programs, and courses. If you have specific accessibility needs, please let us know in advance so that we may make the necessary accommodations.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this course, contact Robin Greenler: rgreenler AT wisc.edu

Fall 2013 Course Flyer