The University of Alabama at Birmingham is firmly committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and where all are respected and recognized for their individual differences. Diversity is a core value at UAB and is defined as the full range of human difference and potential that manifests itself in individual members of the campus community. Included in this range are many differences – race, gender, age, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religious belief, physical ability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, lifestyle preference, political conviction, and any other differences. The University values diversity among its students, faculty, and staff, recognizing that our differences contribute to our strength as an academic institution. (http://www.uab.edu/equityanddiversity/mission.hrm)
In addition to the institution’s definition of diversity, the professional education unit also utilizes the NCATE definition: “Differences among groups of people and individuals based on ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and geographical area.” (Professional Standards for the Accreditation of Schools, Colleges and Departments of Education: 2002 Edition, p. 53). As indicated in the conceptual framework proclamation, “Reflective Professionals Prepared for Success in Diverse Communities, and stated in Faculty Belief Statement #3, the professional education unit is committed to the belief that programs must promote and value diversity within the faculty, candidates, and curricula.