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Cultural Competency and Diversity

If we are to educate our students to be culturally competent so that they are prepared to live and work in an increasingly diverse society, we must address the intellectual and experiential dimensions of diversity, the rich cultural traditions of our students and others, as well as the marginality of historically underrepresented groups. Research indicates that compositional diversity, while necessary, is not sufficient if we are to succeed in our goal of educating all students for the needs of a global society. We should strive to embed diversity in our campus culture which is in keeping with the efforts of the American Association of Colleges and Universities

Additional information about Cultural Competency and Diversity can be found on these Internet sites:

  • The Association of American Colleges and Universities “has provided national leadership on the issue of diversity in higher education since 1971.” In regard to diversity, this page lists AAC&U Initiatives, AAC&U Meetings and Institutes, AAC&U Publications, AAC&U Resources, and AAC&U Project Web Sites.

  • The LAB, a program of the Educational Alliance at Brown University, developed The Diversity Kit: An Introductory Resource for Social Change in Education. Section III of the Kit, “Language,” states that “language and culture are deeply intertwined….All language varieties…are equally complex systems of communication that are appropriate to meet the communicative needs of a particular speech community.” The section is divided into four chapters: “Language, Culture and Schooling”; “Learning a Second Language”; “Language and Literacy”; and “Language and Assessment.”

  • Instructional Consulting at the School of Education at the University of Indiana at Bloomington has published “Diversity/Inclusive Teaching Tips.” In all, there are 11 tips dealing with such issues as race, sexual orientation, age, regionalism, and special needs students.

  • National Women's Studies Association Teaching and Learning Resources
  • Teaching a Diverse Student Body is a handbook from the Teaching and Learning Center from the University of Virgina
  • Teaching for Inclusion, published by the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, addresses the diversity of today’s student population and provides teachers with advice, tips, and techniques for dealing with this diversity. Included are chapters pertaining to this disparate makeup, ranging from gender issues to international students. Chapter 1, “Your Diversity, Academic Culture and Teaching and Learning Styles,” is of particular interest because it points out the dissimilitude of not only students but also teachers.



  • Diversity: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography, prepared by R. Neill Johnson
    with Diane M. Enerson and Kathryn M. Plank, The Pennsylvania State University

  • Diversity Web. Sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), Diversity Web is the most comprehensive online resource on diversity in higher education. Diversity Web features hyperlinked essays on topics such as curriculum transformation, faculty and staff development, and accommodating student diversity in classroom teaching. The site also provides links to college offices and centers that specialize in diversity issues as well as the online journal Diversity Digest.

  • The Multicultural Pavilion Teacher’s Corner. The Pavilion was created by Paul Gorski in 1995 in an effort to provide resources for educators, students and activists to explore and discuss multicultural education; facilitate opportunities for educators to work toward self-awareness and development; and provide forums for educators to interact and collaborate toward a critical, transformative approach to multicultural education.