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At Elon we recognize every faculty and staff member serves as a teacher-scholar-mentor supporting an environment that excels at engaged student learning. Part of doing this work well means understanding and reflecting on how our cultural identities influence our practices as well as students’ cultural identities and the related impact on their learning. Cultural consciousness is having an awareness of one’s own cultural identity and views about difference. Within the context of higher education this includes the ability to learn with and build on the varying cultural and community norms of students and their families. It is the capacity to understand the within-group differences that make each student unique, while celebrating the between-group variations that make our country a tapestry. This understanding informs and expands inclusivity and celebration of diversity in a teaching environment.

To support faculty and staff to view and grow in their current work with the lens of intercultural consciousness, the Office of Inclusive Community Well-Being has developed the Cultural Consciousness Certificate. This program has three core components, bookended by a half day program overview and a wrap-up retreat. The three core components are:

The Foundation:  Participants will partake in a three-part series that engages the aspects of cultural humility that are corner stones of building better cultural growth and proficiency. This series covers: Self Awareness, Cross-Cultural Knowledge, and Advocacy/Service/Action Strategies. The Office of Inclusive Community Well-Being will offer this series each fall semester, and it will incorporate pedagogical influences from Intergroup Dialogue.

Focal Area Immersion:  Participants will choose a focal engagement area from a designated list that aligns with institutional practices. Part of participants’ Advocacy/Service/Action Strategies will involve their thoughts about engagement in their focal area. Potential focal areas include: Educational Assessment; Academic, Therapeutic, and Consultative Interventions; Legal and Ethical Issues; School Culture, Educational Policy, and Institutional Advocacy; and Research. Partnerships will have been developed with campus partners and other appropriate institutions/organizations to fulfill this second layer of the experience.

Digital Portfolio: Participants will build a portfolio that documents their experience with their Advocacy/Service/Action Strategies. The portfolio will become a transferable document that lives in their personnel record (if they choose) to be evidence of commitment to institutional values and competencies that are valued by other professional experiences as well. The portfolio will include manifestations/documentation from the Advocacy/Service/Action Strategies and several reflection assignments.

The application for 2017/2018 school year is now closed. If you are interested in more information about the program or participating in the future, please contact Leigh-Anne Royster.