Special Assignments Reporter
This fall, Pierce College started a new program for students who wish to improve their leadership skills and cultural awareness.
The Identity, Culture and Inclusion Leadership Certificate is a new extracurricular program that is free to all students. The program is designed to provide students with ongoing leadership development, which includes learning about the diversity around them so that students can create an inclusive environment for everyone. ICI’s learning outcome aligns with the college’s mission of creating an equal education for a diverse community.
ICI was created after Pierce students expressed a desire for more diversity awareness training. Since Pierce can only hire a limited number of student leaders, something needed to be created that could include a larger amount of students.
“We wanted to create a way to provide development that was ongoing, but didn’t take the commitment of a part time job,” Office of Student Life Coordinator Sonja Morgan said.
ICI may be great for students who are interested in learning more about themselves, the world around them and gaining leadership skills. It is also a way for students to add leadership and diversity training to college and job applications.
“By participating, they can really learn more about their own leadership style, how it relates to living in a multicultural world and skills to apply this knowledge to their future goals,” Morgan said.
The program focuses on three main themes.
The identity part of the program helps students learn more about themselves and how their past affects who they are. Students will come up with goals based on their interests, strengths and ethics.
“In order to understand others, you have to understand yourself,” Morgan said.
The culture aspect of the program helps students discover more about not only their own culture, but about those around them. Students will learn about the multicultural past of the United States. Topics such as equity, diversity, power, privilege and the connections and gaps between cultural identities will be discussed.
The last focus of the program, inclusion, brings all the other pieces together. Students will learn how to apply the knowledge that they have learned to everyday situations. They will be taught tools to help students create relationships despite differences and how to effectively communicate.
ICI is a self-paced program. To earn the certificate, students must have a total of 25 hours completed by spring quarter, but can finish early. These hours are broken down into sections. Four hours must consist of ICI group meetings. Seven group workshop hours are required, as well as a 14-hour weekend retreat.
A portfolio workbook will be completed throughout the program as well. This workbook helps students solidify the learning they do in each session and assists with the concluding project.
The final piece of the program requires students to create a one to two page diversity statement. This statement can be used for things such as college and job applications.
Students who wish to join the program must pick up a registration form in room C210 and return it to Morgan upon completion.
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