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San Diego State University

@State - the SDSU Student Newsletter

Enhance Your Cultural Competency

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More than 50 students will graduate with a certificate in Cultural Competency on May 6, following a year of experiences encouraging them to learn about themselves, about the diversity present in our society, and how to effectively appreciate and work with others.

The Cultural Competency Certificate Program, run by the Center for Intercultural Relations, combines cultural diversity workshops, seminars, and service learning opportunities to help students better represent themselves in our diverse society. The program, which is available for free to all SDSU students, asks participants to explore cultural assumptions and look beyond someone’s race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, family status, or ability level to discover ways in which each person can positively contribute to our world.

cultural competency certificate program logoRegistration for the Cultural Competency Certificate Program will open after the end of the spring semester. Students are sent an email via WebPortal to alert them to open registration, however for more information students can also visit the Cultural Competency Certificate Program registration page.

The classes for the yearlong program are usually held on Tuesdays between 4 and 6 p.m. The Center for Intercultural Relations attempts to open up additional class sessions, depending on demand, to keep the class groups to about 20 students.

According to Freddie Sanchez, assistant director of the Center for Intercultural Relations, becoming culturally competent is not only about recognizing and understanding biases, but it is about being able to gather information about the various perspectives in our world and use them to be more successful in the workplace and the world overall.

“Students in the program start by asking themselves what cultural competency means for them,” Sanchez said. “By looking first at themselves and their cultural identities, they can then work to develop skills that allow them to understand and better work with others.”

Students who participate in the program cap off their experiences by presenting at the SDSU Multicultural Conference. This year’s conference took place at the end of April.  

For more information on the Cultural Competency Certificate Program, students can visit the program’s web page, or call the Center for Intercultural Relations at 619-594-7057.