Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Certificate Program

USC Rossier’s DEI certificate program provides participants with the knowledge and skills to advance diversity, equity & inclusion. Participants go on to disrupt systems that hinder well-being, positive engagement, and achievement in their school environments.

Program Goals

  • Improve decision-making
  • Increase likelihood of meeting organizational goals
  • Broaden perspective within groups

Key Program Learning Objectives

  • Identify policies and practices to dismantle barriers to opportunity
  • Analyze internalized, institutional and systemic structures of silence and oppression
  • Develop an equity plan that supports necessary conditions for school-employee and student well-being and achievement


  • 24 biweekly live sessions over eight months
  • A mix of self-paced and virtual, cohort-based learning
  • Highly interactive virtual sessions with small group breakout dialogues
  • Real-world case study format delivered by experienced DEI educational professionals
Dean Noguera


Dean Pedro Noguera
Distinguished Professor of Education
Emery and Joyce King Stoops Dean

Pedro A. Noguera is the Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education. Prior to his appointment, Noguera served as a Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also served as a tenured professor and holder of endowed chairs at New York University (2004–2015), Harvard University (2000–2003) and the University of California, Berkeley (1990–2000).


Dr Robles

Dr. Darline Robles

Associate Dean Equity & Community Engagement

Darline Robles, the former superintendent of Los Angeles County Office of Education, is a Professor of Clinical Education at the USC Rossier School of Education. In addition to teaching in the school’s doctoral and masters programs, Robles is responsible for the development of a new online Master’s degree program in school leadership. She leads the program development effort in conjunction with faculty, external organizations and experts. She is also an expert in the areas of urban education, program development and school leadership.


Shafiqa Ahmadi, JD

Shafiqa Ahmadi, JD

Shafiqa Ahmadi is an Associate Professor of Clinical Education at the Rossier School of Education and the Co-Director for the Center for Education, Identity, and Social Justice. She is an expert on diversity and legal protection of underrepresented students, including female Muslims, bias and hate crimes, and sexual assault survivors. She has presented extensively and conducted research on diversity and the legal protection of underrepresented students.


Dr. Darnell Cole

Dr. Darnell Cole

Darnell Cole is a Professor in Education of Higher Education and Education Psychology at the University of Southern California in the Rossier School of Education. He also serves as Co-Director of the Research Center for Education, Identity and Social Justice. His research areas include college student experiences, race/ ethnicity, diversity, and learning. He has published over 50 research articles, book chapters, and a co-edited book “Islamophobia in Higher Education: Combating Discrimination and Creating Understanding”; he has also accrued nearly $13M in research grants and contracts.


Dr. Christina Kishimoto

Dr. Christina Kishimoto

Christina M. Kishimoto is the founder and CEO of Voice4Equity LLC and a professor of clinical education at the USC Rossier School of Education. A native of the South Bronx in New York City, she is a bold advocate for social justice and a national leader on education policy and equity matters. Dr. Kishimoto was superintendent of schools in Hartford, Connecticut and Gilbert, Arizona; and most recently served as the state superintendent of education for the state of Hawaii.


Dr. Ben Drati

Dr. Ben Drati

Ben Drati is the superintendent of Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and has served a multitude of roles including the assistant superintendent of secondary education in Santa Barbara since 2012. His commitment to involving all stakeholders in addressing issues of disproportionality and overseeing the development of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) has resulted in great success. Dr. Drati has also created student programs that emphasized the importance of diversity within the school culture and worked with teachers to create a school and classroom environment where all students feel valued and appreciated.


Dr. Dave Cash

Dr. Dave Cash

David Cash is a Professor of Clinical Education at the USC Rossier School of Education. Cash has a doctorate in education and a J.D. law degree, and was a trial attorney before going into education. In 2009, he was selected as a fellow in the Broad Superintendents Academy. He also has worked as superintendent of the Buellton Union School District and as a special-education administrator for the Santa Barbara Special Education Local Plan Area.


Dr. Alan Green

Dr. Alan Green

Alan Green joined Rossier in July 2009 as Associate Professor of Clinical Education. He earned a doctorate in counseling psychology from Howard University in Washington, DC and a master’s degree in school and community counseling from California State University in Sacramento. Dr. Green was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for his doctoral work in Guyana on adolescent stressors, coping responses and psychological adjustment. In addition, Dr. Green served as Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, with a focus on health and education outcomes for communities of color.  Currently, he is the board chair for the Los Angeles Community Action Network, a Skid Row non-profit organization focused on housing, police violence, and community health.


Dr. Mateo-Gaxiola

Dr. Xiomara Mateo-Gaxiola
Director of Community Engagement

Xiomara Mateo-Gaxiola directs programming for the Office of Equity and Community Engagement at USC Rossier’s School of Education and serves as Adjunct Associate Professor in Rossier’s Educational Leadership Doctoral program. She has held leadership positions in K-12 education and non-profit spaces. Her leadership centers reflective practices for educators and advocacy for the positive conditions that educational communities need to thrive.  Formerly, she served as Senior Director of Transform Schools and RISE: Resilience in School Environments a national partnership between Kaiser Permanente and Los Angeles Education Partnership.  Dr. Mateo-Gaxiola started her career as an elementary and middle school teacher and Math instructional coach. She has presented at international, national, and local conferences on critically reflective and culturally relevant teaching and coaching practices, teacher wellbeing, resilient school environments, participatory decision-making, and community school implementation.  She serves her local community as board chair of Angles Gate Cultural Center, which was awarded 2022 non-profit of the year by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce.

Module 1: Systems of Silence & Dehumanization.

Define key analytical concepts (i.e., equity, race, ethnicity, gender, ability, sexual orientation, SES) and examine their individual and combined system-wide impact on instruction, assessment and leadership.


Module 2 Critical Consciousness:

Deepen one’s critical consciousness, including the ability to recognize, analyze, and transform systems of inequality.


Module 3 Staff Inclusion and Mattering:

Explore the development of equity policy structures by analyzing knowledge, change, and talent management.


Module 4 Student Belonging and Mattering:

Critically reflect on the tension between education as a source of opportunity and education as a source of oppression for students.


Module 5 Educational Equity:

Analyze mental models that promote institutional, structural, and policy changes and move educational environments toward more equitable outcomes for all students and employees.


Module 6 Sustainability:

Imagine and enact educational possibilities to undo policies and practices that make us complicit in perpetuating wrongs.

CEU credits are available for this program if you complete all modules and requirements. CEUs are recognized nationwide as a standard measurement of an Individual’s continuing education activity and serve as a permanent documentation of your professional development coursework and are presented in the form of a University transcript.

Program Fees: $6,000 for the program.

10% deposit due at the time of registration.  

Tuition due at the time of program start.  

Purchase orders, credit cards, and USC Credit Union loans accepted.

Please contact the Director of Community Engagement at xmateo@rossier.usc.edu for information on group registration.

Register now [[[ https://connect.rossier.usc.edu/register/2023-dei-direct-payment ]]]  


Eligibility Requirements

To take part in USC Rossier’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) professional development program, you must:

  • Have a work position related to TK-12 school systems that requires the responsibilities of implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion structures and systems.

NOTE: Registration is accepted through an online registration system. This system provides secure access for all personal and payment information. Due to security reasons, we ONLY accept online registrations.

Our past participants currently hold positions such as:

  • Program Advisor
  • Area Superintendent
  • Executive Leadership Coach
  • Deputy Superintendent
  • Executive Director
  • Director
  • Senior Director
  • Chief of Staff
  • Coordinator
  • Instructional Support Officer
  • Assistant Superintendent
  • Equity Officer

Program Details

Degree Awarded:

Estimated Length:
9 months


Program Cost: