About Us

Student reading book

Mission Statement

The Department of Literacies and Composition understands that all students bring with them rich and diverse histories, knowledge, skills, and literacies that can be applied to the work they will take part in as college students at Utah Valley University. We are committed to providing opportunities for students to recognize their own spoken, written, and visual literacies as relevant to the academic setting and helping them to develop these literacies for the work they will do in the university, in the workplace, and in their personal lives.

Core Commitments

Writing and Reading Across Disciplines

Composing for Digital Contexts

Information Literacy and Technology

Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy



Statement on Inclusivity: For Students

The Department of Literacies and Composition values, respects and welcomes diversity in all its forms: e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, culture, age, education, religion, philosophy, politics, socio-economic status, sexual orientation and language traditions and capabilities. We have one of the most diverse student bodies and faculty and staff groups on campus; everyone has a place at our table. The overriding mission of the Department of Literacies and Composition is to provide access to higher education and opportunities for all students, regardless of past educational experience, socio-economic status, language, age or other circumstances.

Because of our commitment to diversity and to the idea that exposure to diversity benefits students, the university, and our communities in essential ways, the faculty member assigned to your Literacies and Composition class may use accented English, may have tattoos or piercings, may have a physical disability, may not belong to your religion, may use language that you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with, or may hold beliefs that are different from yours. Or, they may be very much like you. Also, you will likely encounter other students in your classes who do not share your same values, experiences, and perspectives. While the new and unfamiliar may present challenges, we encourage you to think carefully about what you can gain from exposure to and engagement with difference.

Because of our commitment to diversity, students in our classes will be introduced to a wide variety of ideas, arguments, and beliefs. However, faculty members will always approach these discussions with respect for students, and students in our classes are expected to show respect for the diverse views of other students and teachers. Diversity of thought and expression are privileged in this department, but all teachers and students are expected to engage in discussions of diverse ideas with kindness and respect.

Vision Statement on Inclusivity: For Faculty

Higher education, writing education, and the English language have historically privileged certain groups of people and oppressed others. Unfortunately, these systems continue to suffer from their origins. In an effort to dismantle and disrupt these systemic oppressions, the  Department of Literacies and Composition at Utah Valley University commits to increased efforts in equity for all students, faculty and staff. We aspire to privilege diversity and inclusivity in all its intersecting forms. This means welcoming students and staff of different races (BIPOC), genders and sexual orientations (those identifying as male, female, man, woman, gay, lesbian, transgender and gender nonconforming), ages, socio-economic status, faiths (or lack thereof), and mental and physical abilities. Amongst students, this means including first-generation, underserved and undocumented students, who also inhabit the aformentioned spaces.


For learning and instruction, the department also understands that Standard American English is only one version of the English language; there are multiple language forms and literacies, along with diverse home cultures, which students bring to our classroom and which need recognition, including in our evaluation of student writing. We believe that, moving forward, centering diverse literacies and alternative learning styles, as well as the creation of a brave and accessible learning environment that allows for meaningful exchange of ideas, would make the department more responsive to the needs of our students. It would also remold existing systems of power and energize students with more confidence in their own abilities, so that they can be strong critical thinkers and communicators who are active participants in their own education. This would also enable the Literacies and Composition Department to fulfill UVU’s dual mission and open enrollment mission adequately.


Purpose Statement on Inclusivity: For Faculty

The Literacies and Composition Department has implemented a Diversity and Inclusion Committee with the following purposes:

  1. To review the department’s two master courses (ENGH 890 and ENGH 1005), and make recommendations as necessary to ensure that the syllabus statements as well as the course content is diverse and inclusive. This may be an ongoing responsibility of the committee if and when modifications are made to the course content.
  2. To provide input about diversity/inclusivity when hiring faculty and staff.
  3. To build awareness among faculty (full-time/part-time) in the department about diversity, inclusivity, and equity. This may include professional development activities such as the occasional departmental discussion group, offering suggestions about writing teaching goals about inclusivity and equity etc.

 The committee may be charged with related additional/alternate tasks based on workplace requirements.


Definitions Document

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee has created this document to support the professional development of part-and full-time faculty in the Literacies and Composition Department. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee recognizes that language evolves and our understanding of specific terms change over time, and as such, this resource is meant to be a living document. If there are terms you’d like to see added, updated, or revised, please contact the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

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