NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

Course Descriptions

Working Effectively with Diverse Students (P-12)

EDUC 600

This course is designed to assist educators and helping professionals understand and explore the many aspects of diversity of the students in their classrooms so that they can better understand the influence that cultural and economic background plays in the lives of these students.  It is important to learn about these issues in order to create a safe, comfortable environment in the classroom.  You will discover a wealth of information on classroom diversity via the internet.  You will collect a multitude of outstanding resources, strategies and activities for use in your own classroom. You will learn how to and become a successful mentor/volunteer in your classroom, school and community. This course will provide you the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and clarity of purpose to guide your students towards mutual respect and positive self-esteem, which are the cornerstones for academic achievement. The #1 goal for this course is to create a positive, non-threatening climate in the K-12 classroom so that all students can develop meaningful relationships with one another, with you – the teacher – and experience the pride that comes from successful learning and continual academic achievement.  You will be their guide and cheerleader!


As a result of participation in this course, students should:

1. Create a positive, non-threatening climate in the k-12 classroom so that all students can develop meaningful relationships with one another, with you – the teacher, and discover the pride that comes from successful learning and continual academic achievement.

2. Gain knowledge from the vast resources available in our community and online to recognize cultural similarities and differences and the role that they play in the lives of their own students and their families.

3.  Identify, analyze and understand the contributions and life styles of the various racial, cultural and economic groups in our community in order to work more effectively with their own students and their families.

4.  Identify, analyze and understand the challenges that newcomers face when they enter our community – assist and teach newcomers daily skills to become successful in their daily lives.

5.  Be able to apply both basic and broad concepts from the text and website research to become more successful working with all students and their families.

6.  Demonstrate and practice, through the mentor/volunteer experience, the skills and understanding gained from extensive research and planning.

7.   Examine, compare and experiment with various strategies and select those that fit their personal style and comfort level during the mentor/volunteer experience.

8.   Assemble, assess, and choose relevant activities for classroom use.

9.   Respect human diversity and personal rights of all people.

10. Recognize and deal with prejudices and understand the importance of zero tolerance to discrimination inside or outside of the classroom.

11. Gain an understanding of the immigrant experience and learn what contribution each of us can make to assist new immigrants in the classroom and in our community.

12. Improve interpersonal relationships and personal understanding with an increase empathy for people with diverse backgrounds.

13. Develop self-confidence in finding meaningful experiences and relationships with specialists from the multi-cultural community.

14. Become aware of lessons from practice; what not to do.  

15. Become a resource person in your school, your district and community as a result of this growth experience.

16. Analyze and evaluate their successes/disappointments/new approaches learned/attitude changes.


The required reading is found in the text listed below PLUS the websites listed in the Knowledge Base PLUS at least 2 websites you discover on your own.

Pipher, M.  (2002). The middle of everywhere: Helping refugees enter the American Community.  New York, NY: Harcourt, Inc.