NC State Launches Cultural Competence Training for Faculty

Older white male professor

The new Increasing Cultural Competence Initiative aims to provide a common framework and resources to assist faculty in providing not only a stellar educational experience for their students but also one of inclusivity and understanding.

In response to requests from students, administrators and faculty members, the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity has worked for several years to transform the goal of providing cultural competence training for faculty into a reality.

What is Cultural Competence?

NC State defines cultural competence as:

“The ability to successfully interact with people of different backgrounds and recognize differences in experience.”

The four components of cultural competence, awareness, attitudes, knowledge and skills, manifest across individual, interpersonal, institutional and structural dimensions. Learn more about these constructs at

It is important to note that cultural competence is an ongoing process, whether you are a new learner or someone experienced in the field. Definitions and knowledge change and evolve with time, making it critical to continually invest and engage in cultural competence as a practice.

About the Program

The Foundations of Cultural Competence and Inclusivity Certificate program provides three modules for NC State faculty. We strongly recommend that all faculty take the online training and, if desired, continue with the next two components to complete their certification.

Online Training

DiversityEdu for Faculty: Personal Skills for a Diverse Campus is an online training course designed for faculty that focuses on engaging with diversity and growing inclusive culture and provides information and skills for building inclusive environments. (No cost to participants, two hours.)

Cultural Intelligence Assessment

The CQ Cultural Intelligence Assessment session is an introduction to the cultural intelligence model using the CQ instrument with an emphasis on communication across cultures as it relates to participants’ roles within NC State. ($100 cost per participant, three hours.)

In-Person Session

Building Cultural Competence Knowledge and Skills is an in-person session in which participants practice skills for engaging effectively across differences and explore identities and the impact of socialization on identities. The online module is a prerequisite for this session. (No cost to participants, three hours.)

Why Faculty Should Take the Training

The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity encourages faculty to sign up early to take advantage of the current availability of 500 online training sessions in the 2019-20 academic year.

“The demonstrated skill of faculty to practice the tenets of cultural competence in the classroom is a critical aspect of student retention, success and connectedness to the material under exploration. Facilitating an equitable classroom where each learner feels valued, seen and heard creates a mutually beneficial learning environment. The Foundations of Cultural Competence and Inclusivity Certificate program aims to provide a personal exploration of diversity and a theory-to-practice model that establishes a sound basis for inclusive excellence,” says Associate Vice Provost for Diversity Engagement, Training and Education Stephanie Helms Pickett.

Within the context of an increasingly diverse community, these skills are more important than ever.

Elizabeth Snively writes for the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.