Equity Education Certificate

Program Overview

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Our Equity Education Certificate is designed to develop teaching practices in ethics, equity literacy, culturally relevant/sustaining pedagogy and critical studies in education.

You will learn how societal inequities can impact teaching and learning in schools. Also, you will learn about scaffolding curriculum and pedagogy to meet the needs, interests, skills and abilities of diverse learners within their sociocultural, political and community contexts. Ultimately, our Equity Education Certificate program will prepare you as an educator and citizen to be an agent of transformative, social change in schools and communities.

This certificate program is not exclusive to School of Education students. Learn more.

Required Courses

  • LTFL 102 Ethics, Education, and the Teaching Profession
  • LTFL 203 Social Justice in Community-Engaged Educational Settings with Field Placement
  • GFDE 503 Curriculum for Social Change
  • LTEL 201  Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners
  • GCNE 549 Multicultural Issues and Strategies in Counseling
  • EDUC 421 Equity Education Capstone

Program Level Goals

  • The Equity Education Certificate will open up enrollment opportunities for all undergraduate students at Duquesne University. 
  • The Equity Education Certificate will create pathways for students considering graduate degree programs in the School of Education.
  • The Equity Education Certificate will foster intergenerational learning across departments; and between undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs.

Academic and Professional Competencies

The academic or professional competencies on which our program focuses (e.g., the specific knowledge, skills and abilities the program will help learners to develop) are the following:

You will learn how to:

  • Acquire skills in moral and ethical deliberation
  • Develop critical knowledge, particular to students' rights, opportunities, and resources related to their vulnerable status in schools.
  • Develop culturally competent, responsive, and sustaining practices for diverse learners
  • Learn the practice of critical self-reflection for self-correction
  • Develop competencies in cultural critique of systemic inequities to create empowering and transformative practices in diverse K-12 school and community settings

Benefits and Opportunities of the Program

  • K-12 schools, nationally and locally, are increasingly diverse. Subsequently, culturally relevant and equity-minded skillsets are indispensable to pedagogy, curriculum, instructional practice, policy, and community engagement. Our certificate program is a School of Education endorsed, micro-credential, acknowledging said earned skillsets, attractive to employers in diverse learning settings. Upon completion of the program, the certificate will be noted on your baccalaureate transcript.
  • Our certificate program enables education majors to obtain credit from three existing courses (out of six offered), foundational to all undergraduate degree programs in the School of Education.
  • Undergraduate students outside the School of Education have an opportunity to earn an added credential to their professional skillset.
  • Students will have an opportunity to take two graduate courses offered in the program, during their junior and senior year. This structure introduces students to courses in our graduate curriculum--potentially encouraging future graduate enrollment opportunities. If applicable, these graduate courses can count toward a graduate degree program.
  • This program fosters an interdisciplinary learning environment. Different education majors from different departments in our School of Education and other majors from different schools, across the university, can apply to this program.

Are you interested in learning more?

This certificate program is housed in the School of Education, however, it is open to all undergraduate students interested in working with youth in educational and community settings. It is open to any undergraduate student who maintains a 3.0 GPA and meets eligibility criteria as reflected in the application process. This is a School of Education-endorsed certificate.

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Admissions & Aid

Program Information

Our Equity Education Certificate program will prepare you as an educator and citizen to be an agent of transformative, social change in schools and communities.



Academic Department

Educational Foundations and Leadership



Required Credit Hours



All undergraduate students must be an incoming sophomore to apply to the program.
No. PDE currently does not have state standards/competencies specifically related to equity and social justice education. This is a micro-credential program, endorsed by the School of Education. In addition, the Equity Education Certificate is in alignment with two of the core goals of the SOE Strategic Plan: Advocating Justice and Equity and Fostering Community Engaged Learning. Subsequently, students enrolled in this program will be on the cutting edge of critical and culturally responsive practices in education for social justice. It should be noted that diversity and social justice have been noted by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as core strengths of our teacher education program.
Students will have the opportunity to pick and choose any section of a course, as normal when selecting their course sequence of their undergraduate degree programs. Subsequently, courses such as LTFL 102, LTFL 204, or LTEL 201 can be selected according to students’ regular class schedules.
Yes. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, all courses should be taken within the sequence of foundational courses in the School of Education.
Students need to have a 3.0 GPA to qualify for this program, by the end of their freshman year. They will also be required to write a 750 word, personal statement on why they desire to be in the program. See admission requirements for more detailed information on the personal statement.
Students need to complete at least one academic year, before applying to the program.
Students must be sophomores to apply to this program. If there are foundational courses students have already taken, included in the program, those credits count toward completion of the program.
No. This program is only for undergraduate students.
Yes. This program is open to all undergraduate majors, attending Duquesne University.
18 credits
For School of Education majors, three of the courses already fall within the students’ regular course sequence – LTFL 102 (Ethics, Education, and the Teaching Profession), LTFL 204 (Social Justice in Educational Settings), and LTEL 201 (Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners). There would be three additional courses students would have to take, outside their normal undergraduate degree program. Students outside the School of Education would have to consult with their academic advisors to determine when and where certain courses might apply toward general university core requirements.

Contact Us

Undergraduate Education

Michelle Gapsky

Director of Enrollment and Engagement