Driver 3 - Inclusive Department & Campus Climate

Resources in this Change Idea

Evidence Base

An identity- safe learning environment is one where students from diverse identities and backgrounds feel welcome, valued, respected, and recognized as having the potential to succeed (Steele et al. 2002; Steele, 2007). Identity- safe learning environments that communicate that all students are valued, respected, and capable of success enhance student learning and bolster engagement (Umbach & Wawrzynski, 2005; Walton et al., 2015; Murphy & Destin, 2016). Students look for cues from their environment about whether they, or people like them, can belong and succeed (e.g., Murphy, Steele & Gross, 2007). Institutions can create spaces on campus that communicate a growth mindset about students’ abilities and that convey students of all backgrounds are valued and welcome at the institution. 



Steve Benoit
Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, Colorado State University


Colorado State University aims to improve student success in precalculus through their newly redesigned Precalculus Center. The space is designed to make students feel welcome and to have access to resources they need to succeed. Main features include posters with growth mindset messaging, comfortable seating for individual and collaborative work, and even a new name for the center to convey more of a growth mindset.