Pilot cohort for Advancing Cultural Competency Certificate (ACCC) Program. (SUNY Geneseo/Keith Walters '11)
The Advancing Cultural Competency Certificate (ACCC) successfully completed its pilot initiative this week and will launch campus-wide in Fall 2019 as an opt-in program open to all SUNY Geneseo and Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) employees. The ACCC is designed to further participants’ knowledge of issues of identity and power, promote skills for fostering inclusion, and provide structured opportunities to directly apply their learning to benefit the larger campus community. This program is intended to provide a strong foundation of understanding in these broad areas and to be a useful supplement for any identity-specific trainings like Safe Zone.
Pilot facilitators chief diversity officer robbie routenberg and professor of psychology and co-chair of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Community Monica Schneider said the program’s intentional system of continual assessment and feedback helped it evolve throughout the year. The pilot cohort reported tangible learning after each session, regardless of their previous exposure to cultural competency issues. Participants indicated that as a result of their engagement in this program, they are rethinking how they lead department-level conversations, support new members of their teams, supervise student staff, or structure their classroom learning environment. Facilitators routenberg and Schneider shared that “people are thinking with more intentionality about where they have impact and how they can apply concepts like implicit bias or stereotypes or identity and power to affect their sphere of influence.”
This summer, an ACCC planning committee will convene to analyze the assessment from the pilot and make program modifications in preparation for the fall launch. This will involve training additional facilitators from the pilot cohort to support the program’s expansion.
Participants receive stickers upon completion (similar to the Safe Zone program) as visible markers of this subset of campus community members who are committed to growth and learning and who care significantly about creating a campus climate that is inclusive and welcoming. “It will be exciting to see the presence of these stickers grow on campus as more people participate in this program,” said routenberg. “If we’re doing our job right, people across campus will be able to feel the difference from a campus-climate perspective,” said Schneider.
“This isn’t just the next new thing,” concluded the pilot facilitators. “A lot of people have done a lot of work getting the campus to the point where this program could succeed, and we’re very grateful.”
The ACCC pilot was coordinated by the Office of Diversity and Equity, the President’s Commission on Diversity and Community, and the Teaching and Learning Center with financial support from a SUNY Performance Improvement Fund (PIF) grant awarded to the Biology Department to further cultural competency among employees on campus.