American University rolled out a $121 million diversity and inclusion plan Tuesday, which includes the creation and implementation of a MANDATORY two-semester race and social identity course.
American has allocated $60 million for FY 2018, though it began spending the $121 million last spring, and intends to keep spending through next year.
The majority of the funds have been earmarked for scholarships to minority applicants, but $7 million has already gone toward the creation of the American University Experience course.
The first section of AUx, taken in the first semester of freshman year, is built as a psychological, social, cultural, and academic transition into college life. Topics covered include "exploring and expressing identities," as well as "diversity, bias, and privilege," in addition to mental health maintenance.
The sole focus of the second semester is "race and social identity." Students will be instructed in identifying and countering the "coded, contentious, or uncomfortable ways" in which "ethnicity, gender and sexual expression, class, disability, and religion are often discussed."