About A.T. Still University
A.T. Still University is the world’s first school of osteopathic medicine. Today it prepares postgraduate students for the Osteopathic Medicine doctorate and other degrees in health sciences at campuses in Missouri and Arizona. Not only does A.T. Still hold a unique place at the forefront of holistic medicine, but it has a notable legacy of bringing clinical care to underserved populations, including rural and Native American communities in both its home states.
Vision and Challenge
In 2013, Clinton J. Normore was named A.T. Still’s first diversity director. At that time, he says that there was “self-awareness of a need to have more investment in a diversity profile. But before I arrived…there was no clear vision on what that looked like.”
According to Normore, now the Associate Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion, the university needed a language of inclusion that would draw distinct departments—and two distant campuses—together.
DiversityEdu was selected over other online options for many reasons, but what really stood out was the company’s process for working closely with its partners to meet their needs and integrate DiversityEdu into their unique culture.
Normore says, “I was able to sit with [DiversityEdu] in person several times to talk about our needs and…how we could fold the platform into our existing structure.”
Associate Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion
Preparing for DiversityEdu
“The fact is,” Normore relates, “I thought of DiversityEdu upon taking this position. So we started as early as 2014, actually getting information to our campus community…I think that for any organization wanting to utilize DiversityEdu, it is best to prepare the campus community with what it means….And then do it in a manner which sets it up to be an exciting venture, rather than just another training program that they have to participate in.”
A.T. Still adopted a “cascade” approach to their launch of DiversityEdu, rolling it out first to senior leadership, and then to faculty. The company and the university were constantly in touch and responding to feedback from course takers.
According to Alison Akant, one of the founders of DiversityEdu, “The learning was and continues to be two-way; we learned a lot from ATSU about the importance of partnering in the pre-, during-, and post-course phases of the rollout.
Outcomes of DiversityEdu
Normore reports that DiversityEdu:
- created a common language of inclusion;
- set a baseline of knowledge and skills; and
- changed hiring practices and policies at A.T. Still.
Next steps include:
- considering DiversityEdu’s follow-on learning products, like the Facilitator’s Guides and library of mini-courses, and
- “making DiversityEdu available at some point for all students.”