Experiences in Cultural Competency
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