Creating and Assessing Faculty Training on Global, Intercultural, and Inclusive Practices

Creating and Assessing Faculty Training on Global, Intercultural, and Inclusive Practices

Bryan Waite (Utah Valley University, Orem, USA) and Janet Colvin (Utah Valley University, Orem, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTEPD.2018070105

Abstract

This article first discusses literature on the importance of diversity work in higher education, and second, how it can and should be implemented. It will also examine Utah Valley University's journey to create faculty diversity training in order to meet the needs of an increasingly global society as well as how those trainings were assessed. The article explores this institution's global/intercultural initiative designed to increase cultural awareness in the classroom and share assessment results from faculty who have participated in this initiative.
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Introduction

Many universities around the nation are looking for ways to increase their diversity awareness for students and faculty (Torres, Howard-Hamilton, & Cooper, 2003; Burt et al., 2016) and implement inclusive practices both in and outside of the classroom. Although there can be many ways to think about inclusive practices on a university campus, in this paper, the authors look at this issue as an environment where each person, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or any other cultural characteristics, is fully accepted, valued, and able to participate in the overall learning and/or work process.

Since as early as 1995, the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) has identified the types of educational practices, programs, and pedagogies implemented in universities across the nation, such as faculty conversations about diversity with students, bridging cultures to foster democratic engagement and democratic thinking, and embracing international and domestic diversity. The AAC&U’s (2017) report indicates that 63% of higher education institutions require that a diversity curriculum be implemented into students’ educational programs in some way before graduation can be completed.

Many institutions are implementing diversity initiatives that examine how students feel about being on campus and the extracurricular side of education, as well as students’ and faculty members’ perceptions and beliefs about diversity (Smolen, Colville-Hall, & Liang, 2006; Bowman, 2012; Diggles, 2014). While these are important steps, it is equally important to look at what is happening pedagogically regarding issues of diversity and inclusion. Sciame-Giesecke, Roden, and Parkison (2009) claim that content, teaching methods, teachers, and students need to be the focus of diversity issues that are emphasized on a university campus. All of these points are important for educators to explore and understand in order to do global/intercultural work in the most effective way.

This paper will explore how one institution works to meet the needs of higher education inclusivity by helping faculty incorporate more inclusive pedagogical practices into their classrooms. The Global and Intercultural (G/I) initiative centers on supporting faculty in reexamining what they are doing to help connect culturally to their students, as well as assisting their students in making personal connections to course content.

Thus, the objective of this paper is twofold. First, to emphasize the need for diversity training on the university campus. The second objective is to present a qualitative description of how Utah Valley University, in response to this need, implemented an institutional training program. In connection with this second objective, the paper discusses how this G/I program was developed, its theoretical framework, how faculty members were recruited, how the program was realized, as well as its goal to increase global and intercultural awareness across campus. Finally, the paper will examine the initial assessment data realized through a survey process from faculty and administrators who participated in those training sessions.

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