History of the Office
To be a leader in developing interculturally competent students and celebrating diversity in an inclusive campus community where differences are embraced as strengths.
Diversity enriches students’ educational experiences and holistic development. The Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity (OSID) at UNC Pembroke is committed to the development of interculturally competent students and an inclusive campus culture. OSID employs collaborative, innovative, data-driven and student-centered programming to foster awareness, equity, mutual respect and social justice in relation to, and at intersections of: race, age, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, faith, religion, national origin, citizenship, social and economic class, ideology and other identities present in the institution’s diverse community. As a result of this commitment to intercultural engagement, students will be better prepared to engage in and contribute to a diverse and interdependent global society.
Diversity at UNC Pembroke is rooted in the institution’s historical mission of service to the Lumbee and other American Indian nations, which dates to the institution’s establishment in 1887. Today, the UNC Pembroke community reflects diverse ethnicities, backgrounds, perspectives and experiences. U.S. News & World Report recognized UNC Pembroke as among the most ethnically diverse universities in the South.
The Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity (OSID) at UNC Pembroke values the opportunity to celebrate and showcase the institution’s rich diversity as reflected in community members’ race, age, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, faith, religion, national origin, citizenship, social and economic class, ideology and other identities.
OSID is committed to advancing equity and inclusion for all community members through intercultural engagement, social justice initiatives, education and student-centered programming. OSID is building an inclusive culture, based in alliances across differences, that addresses and removes barriers to success, fosters freedom from prejudice and promotes a community of empathy and mutual respect for the identities of all members. OSID recognizes creating a culture of inclusivity is an ongoing collaborative process that requires a community member to be actively engaged, aware of one’s self and other community members, address personal biases, and lean into the discomfort that often accompanies growth.
The work of the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity (OSID) at UNC Pembroke is informed through an intercultural engagement framework. This framework guides OSID’s approach to developing interculturally competent students and celebrating diversity in an inclusive campus community.
Engagement is a “powerful means” for students to enhance their cognitive and psychosocial development (Astin, 1996, p. 590). Kuh (2009) defined student engagement as “the time and effort students devote to activities that are empirically linked to desired outcomes of college and what institutions do to induce students to participate in these activities” (p. 683). His definition emphasizes the self-efficacy of students and the role and responsibility of institutions to provide programming and promote student engagement in those activities that enhances student learning and development. OSID embraces the responsibility to provide opportunities for intercultural student engagement, especially as engagement is recognized as a critical determinant to student success in higher education (Pace, 1984).
Intercultural engagement is essential to preparing students to engage in and contribute to a diverse and interdependent global society. But how is intercultural engagement different from multicultural engagement? Lee (2018) noted the difference between “multicultural” and “intercultural” and defined “intercultural community” when she wrote:
While multicultural refers to the existence of different cultural groups alongside each other within a community, intercultural suggests greater interaction between these different groups. An intercultural community is one where there is engagement between various identities and the exchange of ideas and norms to develop healthy relationships. (para. 2)
Intercultural competence is cognitive, affective and behavioral skills that facilitate effective and appropriate behavior and communication during intercultural interactions (Deardorff, 2009; Messner & Schäfer, 2012). The development of interculturally competent students is “a dynamic process of active participation or engagement in communication guided by the awareness and understanding of culture” (Van Houten, 2015, p. 163). OSID’s conceptual framework also considers how the process is guided by an awareness and understanding of diverse communities and the intersections of: race, age, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, faith, religion, national origin, citizenship, social and economic class, ideology and other identities.
Three Stages to Becoming an Interculturally Competent Student
Consequently, at the heart of the intercultural engagement framework is OSID’s model for developing interculturally competent students. The model’s three stages are awareness, understanding and action. The first step to becoming an interculturally competent student is the development of an awareness of self and others (Howard-Hamilton et al., 1998; Pope & Reynolds, 1997; and Sue & Sue, 2012). Through the development of attitudes of curiosity and discovery (tolerating ambiguity), openness (withholding judgement) and respect (valuing other cultures), the student acquires an understanding of and knowledge about diverse cultures, identities and communities (Deardorff, 2006). The student sees things from multiple perspectives, gains an understanding of difference in multiple contexts and understands how oppression affects marginalized cultures and identities (Howard-Hamilton et al., 1998). Last, the student learns strategies and techniques for taking action to communicate and work with diverse groups, identify and openly discuss cultural differences and issues, challenge biases and discrimination and facilitate the development of a culture that is inclusive (Howard-Hamilton et al., 1998). The student develops advanced intercultural competencies through an ongoing process that promotes regular opportunities for student engagement in and reflection on intercultural encounters (Van Houten, 2015).
- Of self, including one’s culture, identity and underlying assumptions, values, limitations, worldview and biases.
- Of others, including their culture, identity and how they are similar and different to one’s own culture and identity.
- Understanding of Other Groups
- Develop attitudes of curiosity and discovery (tolerating ambiguity), openness (withholding judgement) and respect (valuing other cultures).
- Ability to see things from multiple perspectives.
- Understand difference in multiple contexts.
- Knowledge about issues of oppression and its effects on marginalized cultures and identities.
- Learn strategies and techniques for:
- Identifying and openly discussing cultural differences and issues;
- Working with diverse groups, including interpreting and relating;
- Communicating interculturally;
- Combating biases;
- Challenging acts of discrimination; and
- Facilitating the development of culture that is inclusive.
- Develop advanced intercultural competencies through regular opportunities for student engagement in and reflection on intercultural encounters.
- Learn strategies and techniques for:
Assessment of Intercultural Competence
Throughout the three stages of growth, interculturally competent students:
- Commit to intrapersonal development;
- Exhibit knowledge of diverse cultures, identities and communities;
- Use critical and reflective thinking in conjunction with effective reasoning and creativity to foster awareness, equity, mutual respect and social justice;
- Develop meaningful, interdependent and collaborative relationships within and between diverse communities that facilitate a culture of inclusivity;
- Celebrate differences in culture and identities as strengths and in ways that are socially and civically responsible; and
- Pursue personal, educational and professional goals that support, enrich and continue to develop their intercultural competencies.
Astin, A. W. (1996). Involvement in learning revisited: Lessons we have learned. Journal of College Student Development, 37(2), 123–134.
Deardorff, D. K. (2006, September 1). The identification and assessment of intercultural competence as a student outcome of internationalization at institutions of higher education in the United States. Journal of Studies in International Education, 10(3). 241-266. DOI: 10.1177/1028315306287002
Howard-Hamilton, M. F., Richardson, B. J., & Shuford, B. (1998). Promoting multicultural education: A holistic approach. College Student Affairs Journal, 18(1), 5-17.
Kuh, G. D. (2009). What Student Affairs professionals need to know about student engagement. Journal of College Student Development, 50(6), 683-706. https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.0.0099
Lee, J. (2018, March). Intercultural engagement resources and concepts from the Dean of Students office. Yale-NUS College Centre for Teaching and Learning. https://teaching.yale-nus.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2019/03/DI_Intercultural-Engagement-Resources-and-Concepts…
McKinnon, S. (n.d.). What is intercultural competence? Glasgow Caledonian University Global Perspectives Project. https://www.gcu.ac.uk/media/gcalwebv2/theuniversity/centresprojects/globalperspectives/Definition_of_Intercultural_comp…
Messner, W., & Schäfer, N. (2012). The ICCA Facilitator’s Manual: Intercultural communication and collaboration appraisal. GloBus Research.
Pace, C. R. (1984). Measuring the quality of student experiences: An account of the development and use of the college student experiences questionnaire. Higher Education Research Institute, University of California.
Pope, R. L., & Reynolds, A. L. (1997, May-June). Student Affairs core competencies: Integrating multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills. Journal of College Student Development, 38(3), 266-277.
Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2012). Counseling the culturally different: Theory and practice (6th edition). John Wiley & Sons.
Van Houten, J. (2015, June 22). Intercultural engagement. Foreign Language Annals, 48(2), 163-164. DOI: 10.1111/flan.12142