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Equity Counts

Equity Counts

"The Ferris Institute is thoroughly democratic. It is a school for all people regardless of race or station."
- Woodbridge N. Ferris

Mission of Equity Counts

The goal of this initiative is to create and sustain equitable learning environments that honor and support diverse backgrounds, identities, and aspirations of all students.


  1. We value students' abilities to work effectively in professions, and live and serve with others in communities in ways such that they honor and celebrate the myriad forms of diversity that exist in today's world.
  2. We believe that the learning environments faculty help create for students are ones which support, recognize, and value all students' and their experiences and perspectives.

About the Initiative

Equity Counts is an initiative that started in the Social and Behavioral Sciences department. As social and behavioral sciences faculty, we see that minority, LGBTQ, students with disability and any other student who is not from the majority group have different experiences than the majority students. When these students walk into our classrooms, we need to understand that they are bringing their diverse experiences into them. Most of the time, these students deal with stereotyping, microaggressions and profiling on a daily basis both on campus and in the community. Our town is a very small, conservative and rural town. We are hoping that by starting to educate the faculty, we'll be able to reach the town also.

The goal of the initiative is to educate Ferris faculty and staff about the experiences of these students. We see that most of the time faculty do not realize that the environment they create in their classrooms is not welcoming to these students. We want to change the culture in the university. We know it will be a slow process, but we need to start somewhere.

The project affects the lives of students who do not fit in the traditional or majority student categories. So far we identified eight themes that affect students' lives that would make them have a hard time in the classroom. They are:

  • Non-traditional students (e.g. veterans, students with children)
  • Sexuality
  • Race
  • Religion
  • International Students
  • Students with Disabilities
  • Students with financial difficulties (some students send their financial aid money to home because their family needs it)
  • Gender in the classroom (e.g. female students in majors that are dominated by men or vice versa)