University of Illinois System

DEI Certificate Program

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate Program provides a robust experience for employees to engage in meaningful discussions, activities, curriculum, and projects to promote and support DEI.   

We recognize - as core to our guiding principles - a responsibility to foster an open, welcoming environment where individuals of all backgrounds can collaboratively learn, work, and serve. As part of our pledge to proactively cultivate and sustain an environment that encourages a safe and robust exchange of viewpoints, the certificate program supports our commitment of developing and nurturing talent and achievement by supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our education, services, and administration.

DEI Classes

Beginning in November 2021, at least two classes will be offered each month. Each class in the program will be 90 minutes in length and will be conducted virtually via Zoom. Watch your email for a link to sign up for the classes using Ability LMS. Each class will be led by instructors who will guide you through each topic, with a specific focus on class discussion and engagement. 

In order to qualify for the certificate, each participant must complete at least seven unique courses. Once you register for your first class, you will then have two calendar years to complete your seven classes and the capstone project. You are not required to attend a class each month. You can register for classes that interest you and fit your schedule .

There is no set order the classes must be taken; however, there is one required course that everyone must take: Intercultural Awareness & Microaggressions: Keys to Understanding Power & Privilege. System HR offered this class in 2020; if you have already taken this class then you do not have to take it again. If you did not attend this class previously, you will need to ensure you complete it in order to qualify for the certificate.

Once you have completed at least seven courses, you will receive an email letting you know you have met this requirement and you will be invited to begin the second part of the program - the capstone project. However, you may attend all the available courses and are encouraged to do so to have a more robust experience.

The following classes are available:

Intercultural Awareness & Microaggressions: Keys to Understanding Power & Privilege 
This course will provide you with a high-level preview of three of our DEI courses: understanding cultural differences, how to identify microaggressions, and the use of power and privilege. 
Register for this course.

Understanding Privilege, Power, & Identity
This course will explore how you can use your power, understand privilege and identity in order to support an inclusive environment in the workplace.
Register for this course.

Microaggressions: How Can I Respond and Help Create a Better Work Environment?
This course will help you identify what microagressions are and how to understand intent and impact.
Register for this course.

Recognizing Stereotypes and Removing Barriers 
This course will help you learn how to identify stereotypes and understand cultural barriers, and their impact, in the workplace.
Register for this course.

GI to GZ: Intergenerational Workplace Communication 
This course will help you understand how to work alongside individuals who have different ways of communicating, look at the world differently, brainstorm differently, and have unique ways of accomplishing tasks.
Register for this course.

Intercultural Awareness and Competency
This course will help you develop strategies to work more effectively with those whose cultures are different from your own.
Register for this course.

Workplace Bullying: How to Create a Better Work Environment 
This course will help you identify bullying behaviors, define what bullying is and is not and how it differs from harassment, discrimination and healthy conflict.
Register for this course.  

Embracing a Diverse & Inclusive Environment
This course will help you understand diversity and inclusion, cultural diversity and awareness and the importance of valuing differences.
Register for this course.

A Respectful Workplace 
This course will help you identify the characteristics of a respectful workplace and what defines disrespectful behavior and harassment, bullying, and workplace violence.
Register for this course.

Classes Coming Soon:

Title IX: Going Beyond Being a Mandated Reporter 
This course will explain what Title IX is and your responsibilities as a mandated reporter at the university.

Going Beyond the ADA and Creating a More Inclusive Environment 
This course will help you understand why creating an environment free from disability-related discrimination and harassment is important and how to better interact. It will also explain the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and the university resources available.

Making Our Organization Veteran Friendly 
This course will help you understand the benefits of hiring veterans and military service members and using best practices that can be implemented to attract and retain veteran employees.

Religious Diversity at Work 
This course will explore how religious discrimination happens and what constitutes religion, religious beliefs and the obligations of both employee and employer.

Capstone Project

The capstone project is designed to allow you to take what you learned in the DEI classes and apply it to your working life. You will be given your choice of options to complete the capstone.

Examples include:

  • Writing a reflection paper on what you learned in the classes and how you can apply what you learned into your unit.
  • Creating a DEI event or practice for your own work unit.
  • Attending an approved DEI event in your community and discussing that event with your unit.

More details about the capstone project will provided to you when you complete the required number of DEI courses.


Once you have completed all required elements of the program, you will then be awarded an official System Offices Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate to proudly display and you will be known as a “System Offices DEI Advocate”!  Fortunately, the awarding of the certificate is not a final step.  We will offer continuing education opportunities for you to stay engaged with DEI even after you receive the certificate.