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Our Vision

We envision a radically inclusive Civil and Environmental Engineering Department that:

  • uses a strength-based approach to personalize the learning experience and improve learning outcomes for all students
  • creates community within the university to foster inclusive academic practices
  • supports our students' diverse learning and thinking styles
  • cultivates the potential of neurodiverse students to contribute to engineering breakthroughs
  • contributes to the development of a more diverse engineering workforce

What is neurodiversity? The answer to this question may vary, depending on who you ask.

Neurodiversity is a term that has its roots in the autism activism of the 1990s. In recent years, neurodiversity has come to represent a wide range of cognitive or neurological variations that are present in the human population.

The INCLUDE program team has intentionally embraced a broad definition of neurodiversity that includes differences in sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions that are sometimes related to health diagnoses. A few examples of the many expressions of neurodiversity include ADHD, autism spectrum, dyslexia, and anxiety.

We recognize that experiences of neurodiversity vary tremendously and that every individual is unique. We also understand that other intersecting aspects of identity such as race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability may be integral to each individual's experience.

“Strengths-oriented teaching represents a paradigm shift for many instructors. Rather than focusing on students’ deficits and attempting to remediate them, strengths-oriented teaching recognizes the talents students bring to the learning environment and uses those talents as the foundation for learning – and for addressing academic challenges. Strengths-oriented teachers, above all else, believe their students are capable of learning under the right conditions and attempt to create those conditions in their classrooms.”

Laurie A. Schreiner, Strengths-Oriented Teaching, 2014

The INCLUDE program aims to integrate awareness and appreciation of student strengths into advising, instruction, and course design. Courses that are part of the INCLUDE program (I-Courses) will feature multiple modes of teaching, learning, and assessment and will provide ways for students to personalize their learning to use their strengths for success. I-Courses are being piloted during the Fall 2020 semester.

The following resources may help you to learn more about your strengths and areas of development.

VIA Personality Test | Character Strengths Survey (free)

Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist (free)

Neurodiversity App | Do-IT Neurodiversity Profiler ($)

Please note: These links are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. UConn Civil and Environmental Engineering is not affiliated with these resources. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.