Salve community invited to join 2023-24’s Intercultural Competency Development Program
Last academic year, Salve Regina created the Intercultural Competency Development Program (ICDP) with an inaugural cohort of 72 members consisting of faculty, staff and students.
This year, the ICDP is looking for a new cohort to join cross-cultural discussions and learn from one another in a warm and engaging atmosphere.
Read below for more information on what the ICDP is, last year’s results, and how to get involved this upcoming semester.
The history of Salve’s Intercultural Competency Development Program
Fueled by feedback from Salve’s community and stakeholders, Dr. Letizia Gambrell-Boone, vice president for student affairs, petitioned Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong, president of Salve, for resources to invest in a research-based methodology to assist the community in establishing a common narrative around difference.
The Intercultural Competence Development Committee, a small cross-functional team, was appointed to create a program that would develop common diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) terminology and measure the impact of these efforts at Salve.
The committee developed a pilot program with two tracks: the Intercultural Competency Development Program (ICDP), which is a curricular cohort approach, and Interculturalism 101, which is a programming track for the University community to engage in DEI focused learning and engagement.
Dr. Sami Nassim, assistant vice president for the Office of Multicultural Programs and Retention aimed to recruit and retain the initial cohort of 30 faculty, 30 staff and 30 students. While this goal wasn’t fully reached, everyone was excited about the 72 members who committed to improving the culture at Salve by being the inaugural cohort of the ICDP.
The 2022-23 cohort members took Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) pre and post assessments. The evaluation gave a set of orientations toward cultural diversity and commonality, as well as a description of an individual’s IDI mindset.
The instrument provides both descriptive and prescriptive information on how individuals and groups experience cultural difference and provide opportunities growth.
The results from 2022-23’s ICDP cohort
Throughout the last academic year, ICDP offered intentional programming that included group and individual IDI debriefs with cohort members. In addition, the program offered professional development opportunities, brown bag lunch discussions, a student retreat focused on intercultural development, two Multicultural Education Weeks, a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Week, and concluded with a well-received Mercy Summit on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in April 2023.
The ICDP was pleased that as a community, the group developmental score on the IDI moved from a 100.63 to 107.61, which indicated significant growth in understanding cultural differences.
To evaluate the pilot year, the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness distributed a survey to cohort members, with a 35.14% response rate from faculty and staff, as well as a 46.43% response rate from students.
According faculty and staff, the highest ranked areas of learning were around:
- I am aware when I am centering myself in a conversation.
- I have improved my active listening skills.
- I feel empowered to continue growing my intercultural competence
- I actively participate in opportunities to learn about different cultures.
Students’ highest ranked learning items indicated:
- I am aware of when I am centering myself in a conversation.
- I am more aware of who is not speaking in a group.
- I can better identify commonalities across cultures.
- I am more aware of my own biases.
- I actively think about how to be more inclusive in new settings.
- I have a greater understanding of how power dynamics impact one’s sense of inclusion.
The analysis of findings confirmed that the initial program design met participant expectations and challenges us to address perfectionistic tendencies and help people feel safe enough to be vulnerable while talking about difficult subjects.
“The ICDP Program enhanced my cross-cultural understanding, and I plan to incorporate it during my time at Salve,” said one anonymous student in survey results. “I might commit to incorporating this into my future career by continuing to build on understanding my biases — and from there attempting to get deeper understandings.”
An anonymous employee wrote, “I learned the importance of listening carefully to others and to think about the voices that are not being heard or given the opportunity to be included in the conversation.”
Participating in the new ICDP cohort for 2023-24
The ICDP intends to utilize the knowledge gained from the pilot experience and survey into the planning of this year’s programs, as well as new and continuing cohorts. The ICDP is actively recruiting a whole new group of members for a new cohort for 2023-24: a goal of 20 faculty, 30 staff and 30 students. There is also a high level of commitment from last year’s cohort to continue on in an advanced ICDP 2.0 curriculum.
“The purpose of the ICDP program is to build a common language and culture while developing intercultural competence skills and assess the impact of our efforts to create a more inclusive and welcoming community at Salve,” said Dr. Nassim. “It also allows us a space to have vulnerable conversations in a non-judgmental way. Having intentional learning opportunities around diversity, equity and inclusion are also beneficial to our campus community as we can have tangible outcomes to inform our practices.”
Dr. Gambrell-Boone is also very excited about growing a community of scholars, staff and students who can actively contribute to improving Salve’s culture around diversity, equity and inclusion.
“We have created a feedback loop that can help us influence how Salve employees and students deepen their feeling of community,” she said. “The thing that most excites me is that we can create a daring environment where people can be curious about one another and thoughtfully consider how each person came at their point of view without passing judgment. Given that these principles may benefit you both personally and professionally throughout your life, this can lay the groundwork for further development.”
For questions or if a faculty, staff or student wishes to join this year’s ICDP cohort, please contact Dr. Nassim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New participants will be starting the ICDP programming mid-September, so please contact Dr. Nassim as soon as possible.