EDUC 651 - Multicultural and Special Populations

  • 3 credits

Working within educational and social institutions in the United States requires a deep understanding of issues of diversity and equity. This course engages students in developing their own personal understandings of multiculturalism in their lives and professions, in critically examining how institutions and societies end up providing differing opportunities and experiences to different groups of people, and examining our roles in supporting or altering these systems and structures.

The course draws upon disciplines of anthropology, sociology, psychology, and other positions and practices offered by intercultural, multicultural, & social justice researchers to examine core concepts such as: culture, social identity, empathy, diversity, equality, equity, culturally inclusive curriculum, privilege, power, multiculturalism, oppression, social justice education, cultural competence, transformational education, critical pedagogy, and the interrelationship of race, class, sexual orientation, national origin, language, and (dis)ability.

The institution we examine specifically is education but your expertise and knowledge of other institutional inequities will add to the complex dimensions of this work.


Bachelor's degree.

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Power, Privilege, and Difference, 3rd Ed. (2017)
    Johnson, A.G.
  • Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, 4th Ed. (2018)
    Adams, M., Blemenfeld, W.J., Castaneda, C., et al.


Tobin Lopes
Tobin Lopes

Dr. Tobin Lopes has been practicing and studying the field of workforce education and development since 1995. In addition to his work with Colorado State University, he most recently developed the curriculum for an executive-level hybrid graduate program for the University of Colorado Denver and was a workforce policy analyst for the City and County of Denver. He holds a Ph.D. in Workforce Education and Development with a minor in Applied Statistics from Pennsylvania State University, a M.Ed. in Adult Education and Training from Colorado State University, and a B.A. in Mathematics from Claremont McKenna College. Tobin's research interests include evaluation and assessment, hybrid learning and teaching methods for adults, career development, and quantitative research methods.

Renée Harmon
Renée Harmon

Renée Harmon, PhD, is an instructor in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. Dr. Harmon was named a CSU 2018 Best Teacher based on her work in this course. With a strong background in online education, Dr. Harmon works to create an engaging learning environment that incorporates students' background and experience.

Dr. Harmon received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Western Illinois University and a master's degree in communication from the University of Missouri - St Louis. She completed her PhD in Education and Human Resource Studies with a specialization in Education Sciences in 2017 at CSU. Her research focuses on sustainability education and literacy, adult education, online education, and nontraditional teaching and learning methods, such as case-based instruction. Dr. Harmon has presented her work numerous times at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Expo and Conference. Here at CSU, Dr. Harmon developed the CSU Sustainability Literacy Assessment, of which the results are reported to the AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS).