Diversity - Individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, physical or cognitive abilities, as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) that can be engaged in the service of learning.

Equity - Creating opportunities for equal access and success for historically underrepresented populations, such as racial and ethnic minority and low-income students, in three main areas:

  • Representational equity: the proportional participation at all levels of an institution
  • Resource equity: the distribution of educational resources in order to close equity gaps
  • Equity-mindedness: the demonstration of an awareness of and willingness to address equity issues among institutional leaders and staff

Inclusion - The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity - in people, in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical). This engagement with diversity has the potential to increase one's awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.

Definitions are from the NERCHE Self-Assessment for the Institutionalization of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Higher Education.