Experiences in Cultural Competency | BCTC

Experiences in Cultural Competency

Published on Aug 28, 2016

This fall BCTC has two newly appointed groups to address our approach and challenges to developing and supporting culturally competent faculty, staff, and students. We need everyone at BCTC to contribute to a positive, appreciative, and respectful campus climate. The Experiences in Cultural Competency Quick Action Committee (QAC) will be working on updating our training efforts. As an open door educational community, we have a responsibility to make all students, faculty and staff feel welcome and to support them to be able to meet their goals with us. In recognition of these responsibilities, the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) and our community college system have established draft expectations and challenges.

Cultural Competency is a term used by CPE in its draft plan. It is overarching and concerns all the concepts we have called over the years "diversity, minority, international, LGBTQ, achievement gaps, multiculturalism, inclusion, sensitivity," etc. Sometimes we still don't have the right words to convey understanding of separate identities and experiences while promoting respect and inclusion. This group can think more broadly about experiences we all should and could have together to foster appreciation, communicate well, and expand our knowledge. Some areas of work will include planning to gain an appreciation of our own cultural identities and understand cultural differences; understand issues of power, privilege, and social justice; and participate in setting and monitoring college diversity goals.

Another initiative we are beginning this year is the Global Learners and Equity Support Project Team which is focusing mostly on creating appropriate and supportive student experiences in areas like recruitment, outreach, and retention of 21st century college students; academic strategies to actively facilitate persistence and completion for at-risk students; exposure to and appreciation of many cultures including organizations, events, travel, and study abroad; and resources needed to meet increasing demands and forge deeper relationships with burgeoning communities.

As we engage in a globally competitive world, in which every day may bring multicultural experiences, we can all get better at it. We are working together to make that happen at BCTC.

Augusta A. Julian, Ed.D