Intercultural Learning and Academic Success
Dr. Debra Bolton, Director
Intercultural Learning & Academic Success
020 Multicultural Student Center
Intercultural Learning and Academic Success promotes equitable representation of under-represented and historically excluded student populations in higher education by providing workshops, publications and events with other training opportunities that advance inclusive policies and best practices to address the academic, social, and emotional needs of students.
Programs and services include:
Intercultural Learning and Development: Introduces students, faculty, and staff to the varying ways humans form their identities including race, ethnicity, color, national origin, tribal citizenship, class, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, age, religion, spiritual beliefs, political beliefs, or status as a veteran. This unit promotes intercultural learning and development through assessments, coaching, classroom teaching, webinars, and publications.
LGBT Resource Center: Coordinated by Dr. Brandon Haddock supported by student-led support staff. The Center provides support, workshops, scholarships, events, and representation of the LGBTQ campus community to engage in multiple platforms to advance learning around intersectional identities through educational presentations, student supports, and committee representation.
Safe Zone: Safe Zone introductory and advanced workshops train students, staff, faculty, administration, and community collaborators as allies who help to create and sustain safe, socially equitable spaces on campus and in the broader community. We do this with a variety of campus-wide partners who share similar missions to support and give voice to historically under-represented and silenced groups.
Recruitment and Retention: Intercultural learning and development programs actively engage in recruitment and retention efforts across the student population through programming, outreach, and intentional cooperation within student life and across academic units.
Our Celebration of Human Diversity Seeks to:
- Introduce students to the vast array of backgrounds of the KSU student body, faculty and staff.
- Introduce students to the various ways people form their identities, including race, ethnicity, color, national origin, tribal citizenship, class, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, age, religion, ability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran.
- Create opportunities where KSU students may share their stories in safe settings within the ongoing goal of building an intercultural community where all experiences and identities have value.
- Encourage students to consider their rights and responsibilities as part of the KSU family.
- Serves as a foundation for recognizing difference in a non-threatening way while being a launching point for building intercultural relationships.
- Encourages students to understand that they are at a place that is welcoming and celebrates the human diversity continuum.
- Helps students learn to identify explicit and subtle ways that group differences exist on campus and in society.
- Encourages self-reflection on personal biases and social exclusion of those who are different.
- Raises awareness of ways that privilege and forms of advantage may contribute to cultural bias.
- Introduces students to concepts such as implicit bias, stereotype threat, and attributional ambiguity.
- Helps students understand how the resulting prejudice and discrimination can harm groups and individuals, even unintentionally.
- Explores the possible ways that individuals experience the transition to the KSU family.
- Provides students with the opportunity to practice positive interaction in ways that recognize rather than repress identity issues.
- Provides students with templates and patterns for inclusive practice in the use of language and other forms of interaction.
- Introduces students to the dangers of aversive racism.
- Overviews with students the rights and responsibilities of being a member of the KSU family.
- Provides students with effective techniques for active intervention in situations where the values of respect and celebration of human diversity are threatened or undermined.
- Introduces students to the many ways they can celebrate human diversity during their KSU experience, and encourages them to learn more about the study of human difference through the curriculum.
Intercultural learning leads us to strengthen our self-awareness and awareness of others. Intercultural development helps us to understand how to respond, behave, and reflect when around people like us or different from us. Intercultural learning and development does not ask us to change who we are or what we value. Intercultural development guides us to work successfully in community with others who are different than us in the classroom, personally, and professionally.
When we reach "intercultural confidence", we may state:
“I feel comfortable and do not feel threatened by others who may come from different backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles, faith communities, or socio-economic ‘classes’.”
- I participate in intercultural activities without hesitation and when opportunities arise
- I can freely adapt to other cultural groups without giving up my own, inter-sectional identity
- I am aware of myself and how I interact with others
- I am curious about others
- I feel comfortable asking questions when I don’t understand
"I am inter-culturally confident"