About Us

Message from the Department Chair

Welcome to the Department of Equity, Leadership Studies, and Instructional Technologies, or ELSIT. We are the newest department in the Graduate College of Education, yet we exist to address some of the oldest, most complex, and persistent challenges in education and society—power, inequality, leadership, technology, and learning.

ELSIT is a complex and highly interdisciplinary department with an array of exciting programs, faculty, and students, ranging from challenging graduate programs to community outreach programs for underserved populations that bring in high school students and community members for their first undergraduate experience.

We sincerely invite you to join us. You will find a vibrant, stimulating community of intellectual inquiry and meaningful praxis focusing on issues of equity and social justice in education.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you are ready for a thoughtful educational challenge. Our priority is your success.

Cordially and with respect,

Deborah Curtis

Values and Mission

Our fundamental belief is that all humans are valued and appreciated for their individuality. Accordingly, we offer learning opportunities that seek to enable all to reach their full potential. At the core of what we do is an ethic of care. This ethic infuses all of our work to build a community of learners, educators, and leaders, and to create equitable learning spaces, curricula, pedagogies, technologies, and scholarship.

ELSIT's programs seamlessly weave research and practice together so that students experience inclusive and applied learning that integrates equity and social justice with social, cultural, political, spiritual, economic, and environmental issues. This praxis imbues our teaching, learning, research, lifelong learning, scholarship, and technologies with equity and social justice to establish a foundation of knowledge grounded in democratic values.

In ELSIT we engage our students in meaningful dialogue that promotes introspection and critical reflection. We acknowledge that students and faculty bring with them lived experiences that inform all of our teaching and learning. Knowledge in our programs is thus not owned by any single entity, but is a collective construction of all.

ELSIT prepares professionals to critically examine inequities and work to challenge and eradicate them. Our students become teachers, administrators, facilitators, curriculum developers, trainers, advocates, activists, and ultimately, change agents. We are a part of the many communities that surround us. We thus work to build meaningful relationships sustained by program values so that our students become invested future leaders and active community members.