First Graduate of the Certificate in Critical Cultural Competence Program
Why did you decide to pursue a certificate in critical cultural competence?
"Diversity is a fact of life, it's everywhere, yet most people don't think about it and don't know that so many jobs will require that you have experience and awareness of people different from yourself. I was hoping that the program would give me an advantage when applying for jobs and now that I am graduating, that has proven to be true. When a job description requires that you work well with others, I can say that I have spent considerable time and effort learning about cultural and ethnic differences and examining my biases and I have the certificate to prove it! Most people think they can work well with others, but you really need to have the education in order to develop those skills."
The program requires three electives. Which ones did you take?
The electives I took were Basic Aspects of Aging and some women's studies courses. Both really opened my eyes to things that I never had any idea about. I had never thought about the struggles of others. The Foundations in Critical Cultural Competence course with Dr. Vershawn Young really challenged me. Initially I was unsure whether I could do it, but now some of what I produced in that class is going into my portfolio."
What did you choose as your immersion learning experience?
"My immersion experience was to participate in a women's Think Tank with women who are residents at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women. I loved it so much that I am doing it again this semester. I am also doing an internship at Hope House." (Hope House is a half way house for men coming out of prison.)
How do you think the certificate will benefit you and would you recommend it to others?
"The CCCC program was so enlightening that I changed my major from business to sociology and the experiences I've had have opened so many doors for me in terms of jobs. I would definitely recommend the Certificate for every student. I think the Foundations class or something like it should be a requirement for every sophomore!"