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Faculty Resources

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First-Generation Students

Over 10% of AU students are first-generation students! Learn how to support these trailblazers.

Learn More

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Learn more about Pronouns

Questions about pronouns? What are they? How do use them? Why do they matter? CDI has created a quick guide.

Download our Pronoun Guide

Center for Teaching Research and Learning

Center for Teaching, Research and Learning

Craft pro-social environments where students are encouraged to grapple with diverse points of view and respectfully engage in critical inquiry.

Visit CTRL

Center for Diversity and Inclusion

You've got questions, we've got answers!

Did you know that the CDI staff are here for you too? Come chat with us about the support you need on campus.

CDI Staff Page

Faculty Resources

HPAC Staff-Led Health Promotion workshops

The mission of the American University Health Promotion and Advocacy Center is to provide students with wellness resources, to promote healthy lifestyles, reduce high-risk behaviors, and offer a safe, non-discriminatory environment.

  • Peer Health Educator Workshops that can be requested on 
    • Alcohol abuse and staying safe 
    • Sexual health
    • Consent, Interpersonal Violence, and Bystander Intervention
    • Mental Health & Emotional Well-being


How to Help a Student in Distress


Helping A Student Get Help 


Dean of Students Care Network

An anonymous reporting mechanism for anyone who is concerned with a student’s behavior/coping mechanisms (ie. drastically slipping grades, loss of a loved one, etc.)

LGBTQ+ Faculty & Staff Affinity Group

Facilitates opportunities to serve, celebrate, empower, and connect our intersectional and diverse community to support professional and personal development.

  • Programming and initiatives to affirm and connect LGBTQ faculty and Staff
  • An email list to sign up is available on their website here

The Center for Teaching, Research & Learning (CTRL)

The Center for Teaching, Research and Learning (CTRL) was created to promote excellence in teaching and scholarship at American University. CTRL serves as the nexus for faculty development as scholar-teachers who are committed to using evidence-based and data-driven approaches in their pursuits. Our work is guided by the Inclusive Excellence Framework which views diversity, equity, and inclusion as catalysts for achieving institutional and educational excellence.

You may also want to check out CDI's Youtube playlists for more information regarding LGBTQ identities and their intersection with race, age, ability status, and other identities. 

Lastly, read through our Guide to Creating Inclusive Surveys below!

Inclusive Survey and Data Collection Practices Concerning Gender Identity, Sex Assigned at Birth, and Sexual Orientation

When collecting demographic information around gender identity, sex assigned at birth, and/or sexual orientation, consider these questions: Why is the survey collecting this information? How will the information be used? Will the data be broken down by category or used for cross-tabulation? Often the questions are asked because we feel like they should be asked, or because we consider them “standard” demographic questions, not because the data are necessary for cross tabulation.

Sex assigned at birth and gender identity are often misrepresented on surveys (e.g. using words associated with gender identity and listing the item as sex assigned at birth). Another common mistake is listing words associated with different categories under the same item. In other words, sex assigned at birth, gender identity, and sexual orientation should be distinct items. This does not mean all three items need to be on a survey; only ask the items that are relevant to the data being collected. Often times, this means including items for gender identity and sexual orientation. To clarify these items, definitions and options for each category are included below:

  • Sex assigned at birth refers to the sex that the medical community labels a person when they are born. This is a categorical medical classification. People whose gender identity matches the sex assigned to you at birth are cisgender. People whose gender identity does not match their sex assigned at birth may be transgender.
  • Gender identity refers to the internal/psychological sense of self, regardless of what sex a person was assigned at birth. Everyone gets to decide their gender identities for themselves.
  • Sexual orientation refers to a person’s physical and sexual attraction (or lack there of) to other people. Please note that homosexual is not recommended as it is often used in a pejorative tone.

The most inclusive practice to collect data on surveys is to leave the item response open. This approach allows respondents to the survey to answer the question in the way that best fits them. For example, if you wanted to ask for respondents gender identity, you would write:

“Gender identity: ___________”

If leaving an open response line is not an option because you will cross tabulate data, please use the alternative options listed below. Also, please note that the use of the word “Other” can be problematic and marginalizing; the preferred response option for respondents to communicate that the other options do not work for them is “Not Listed.”

If using a comprehensive, pre-determined selection of identity categories like the ones below, it is considered best practice to list responses in alphabetical order instead of in order of perceived relevancy to survey takers. Putting gender identity responses such as “woman” and “man”, prior to “genderqueer” and “agender” creates an unnecessary perceived hierarchy of responses.

Additionally if using a comprehensive, pre-determined selection of options, please indicate that respondents can “choose all that apply”. Especially with the term “queer” emerging as an umbrella term, respondents may want to choose the sexual orientation “queer” along with another identity.  

1. Sex assigned at birth (Ideal: What sex were you assigned at birth?)

  • Female
  • Intersex
  • Male
  • Not listed: please specify ____________
  • Prefer not to say

2. Gender identity (Ideal: To which gender identity do you most identify? Please select all that apply.)

  • Agender
  • Demigender
  • Gender-fluid
  • Genderqueer
  • Man
  • Non-binary
  • Pangender
  • Questioning or unsure
  • Trans man
  • Trans woman
  • Woman
  • Not listed: please specify  ____________
  • Prefer not to say

3. Sexual orientation (Ideal: To which sexual orientation do you most identify? Please select all that apply.)

  • Asexual
  • Bisexual
  • Gay
  • Heterosexual (Straight)
  • Lesbian
  • Pansexual
  • Queer
  • Questioning or unsure
  • Same-gender loving
  • Not listed: please specify ____________
  • Prefer not to say