The CAP mission is to ignite evolution that enriches places for people and the planet. Our 3 core values are Respect, Engage, and Evolve.
We respect and value the unique experiences, traditions, and perspectives of each person, profession, community, and place.
Through our curricular and co-curricular activities, we tap into the inherent gifts of each one, and thereby build upon their respective strengths, nesting critical thinking inside appreciative thinking. Respect is the bedrock and foundation for ENGAGE and EVOLVE (#2 and #3 below).
The global is here. One hundred and forty-five languages are spoken in the local school district and 7% of CU Denver students arrive directly from other countries. Recognizing this range of cultural diversity, we benefit from a rich global perspective and experience right here, while also fanning out to the region and the world through community-based learning and research, learning abroad, and living across the globe.
We shift the language from “diversity,” which categorizes people into groups and generates divisions among them (as well as stereotypes and tokenism) to “inclusion,” which regards each person as different from others while also part of a shared humanity. “Diversity” can lead to divisiveness as well as (ironically) homogenization, while inclusion brings us together in a way that honors, celebrates, and benefits from our unique gifts.
We learn through doing and co-creating with our classmates, colleagues, and the larger community.
CU Denver is an intellectual, creative, social, and economic hub in one of the most rapidly growing urban centers of the US. By thoroughly embedding our activities – teaching, research, and service – into the larger community, responsively as well as proactively, we strengthen all of these activities while contributing to improve the life quality, environmental sustainability, and economic vitality of the region. Lessons learned can then be applied beyond the region, having a global impact.
To best achieve this, students engage in experiential learning (how we teach: learning by doing), offering hands-on experience and leadership opportunities - on campus, in the community, in other regions of the US, and abroad – and benefit from coordinated/integrated curricula (what we teach).
Tell me and I forget.
Show me and I may remember.
Involve me and I understand.
Through hands-on and collaborative learning, students develop empathy along with relationship-building skills. Combining these with recognizing and valuing the inherent gifts of each person (#1), including ourselves, cultivates “practical wisdom” (or phronesis).
We ignite evolution that enriches places for people and the planet.
Through transmitting knowledge and skills while supporting the growth and development of each person and our various disciplines and professions (through RESPECT and ENGAGE), CAP fuels innovation that contributes to the evolution of our civilization and the places we reside.
In sum, we prepare students to become professionals who, well-grounded in their respective areas of expertise, can work effectively with others to improve a rapidly changing world. Their innovations become part of the expertise of the future, upon which others will add new innovations. And the upward spiral continues.
Jenny Steffel Johnson, Assistant Professor Clinical Teaching Track and Associate Chair for the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, is the CAP Diversity and Inclusion officer: Jennifer.SteffelJohnson@ucdenver.edu