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Inclusion of Cultural Diversity in Curriculum

Most MICUA members include cross-cultural components in their general education requirements. Students satisfy these diversity requirements by taking courses in areas such as ethnic studies, nonwestern civilizations, foreign languages, diversity, and inclusion. Described below are a few examples of undergraduate and graduate courses and programs that promote diversity.

Washington Adventist University has discussions on a regular basis regarding the importance of embedding diversity into the curriculum. For example, the Department of Education consistently emphasizes diversity throughout the curriculum. The Department offers the elementary education and special education dual certification program, and evidence of instruction in diversity can be seen in the course objectives and activities. All teacher candidates are required to complete a course on exceptionalities, which focuses on recognizing and planning for diverse needs of students in a variety of classroom learning experiences. In addition, the program requires teacher candidates to take coursework in working with diverse students.

McDaniel College’s general education requirements are part of the McDaniel Plan, and “Global Citizenship” is an example. The description states, “Student must develop an understanding of the world within and beyond the United States to develop into critical, sensitive, respectful, and compassionate global citizens.” To fulfill the requirement, students must take one course with a multicultural focus, and two courses with an international or cross-cultural focus. In addition, McDaniel’s Global Fellows Program, launched in 2012, is a curricular/co-curricular program that creates a formal opportunity for students from all academic programs to deepen and broaden their understanding of global issues, develop heightened intercultural competency, and cultivate the skills and attitudes necessary to lead successful personal and professional lives in a global context. At Commencement celebrations in May 2016, the College graduated the first 12 students who completed these requirements, thereby earning the Global Fellows distinction on their academic records.

Maryland Institute College of Art includes cultural literacy as a component of the institution’s general education requirements and elective programs. For example, the Animation Department offers students the opportunity to learn about other cultures through both the Paris study abroad program and the History of Animation course. In the Ceramics Department, students are exposed to a diversity of works both in historical and in contemporary art. They study images/techniques and genres of work from every continent where ceramic materials are utilized. Diversity and inclusion also play a role in visiting artist lectures and programs. In spring 2016, MICA sponsored a talk and class demonstration by Tana Kellner and Ann Kalmbach, co-founders and co-directors of the Women’s Studio Workshop (WSW). The mission of the WSW is to operate and maintain an artists’ workspace that encourages the voice and vision of individual women artists, provides professional opportunities for artists at various stages of their careers, and promotes programs designed to stimulate public involvement, awareness, and support for the visual arts.

Capitol Technology University values and incorporates diversity into the curriculum. For example, the Business and Information Sciences department embeds global and cultural diversity topics throughout the program. Case studies are used to examine topics and issues associated with cultural diversity. Textbooks are examined to ensure they include diversity issues appropriate to the topic of study. The University states as one of its assessment principles that, “Graduates will be able to demonstrate an understanding of different cultures and values.” Additionally, the curriculum is examined and taught using a global lens, and students are encouraged, and in some cases required, to address cultural diversity in course assignments.

In fall 2015, a cultural competency workshop was piloted for incoming students at Johns Hopkins University. As part of the Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion, the institution has committed to making the cultural competency workshop mandatory for incoming students. A working group is organizing the training, piloting the training with students, and developing a “train the trainer” session as well.  The University’s School of Education offers multicultural education and culturally responsive teaching courses for its Master of Arts in Teaching, Ed.D., and Ph.D. programs.  The courses explore the social, organizational, and structural factors influencing educational opportunities, experiences, and outcomes of culturally diverse students. Through personal reflection and analysis, teacher candidates determine the best way to positively impact students, regardless of ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation.  A recent audit completed by the University’s Carey Business School demonstrated that the “business with humanity in mind” approach is a component in over 80 percent of its course offerings.
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