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San Diego State University

Diversity Starts Here

A Commitment to Diversity

SDSU is one of the most diverse and inclusive universities in the nation. The commitment to diversity is even more apparent with the creation of the first Cultural Competency Certificate Program in the California State University system. Offered through the Division of Student Affairs, the Cultural Competency Certificate Program consists of cultural diversity workshops, seminars, and service learning opportunities available to all members of the SDSU community.
"Acquiring a certificate in cultural competency positions our graduates as leaders in a highly competitive and diverse workforce". Dr. Aaron Bruce, Chief Diversity Officer.

The Cultural Competency Certificate Program links the diversity of the university’s student population, creating an experiential shift in values, attitudes and behaviors that will result in a fully engaged workforce. Upon completion of this program, you will be able to leverage your cultural competencies in order to better access new and emerging markets.

Developing the Culturally Competent Individual

Being culturally competent means having the ability to recognize and respond to the diversity of the world around you and to make better decisions based on that understanding. The Cultural Competency Certificate Program explores cultural assumptions, teaching you to look beyond someone’s race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, family status, or disability. Ultimately, becoming culturally competent is more than recognizing and understanding biases; it is about being able to harness different perspectives that are useful in the workplace and the marketplace.

You will be provided with the tools – workshops, seminars, interactive dialogue programs, feedback – that are embedded in diversity and cultural competence. These exercises help you become aware of your own “blind spots,” i.e., when your best intentions do not align with your actual behavior. The Cultural Competency Certificate Program will allow you to grow, preparing you to achieve your full potential and represent yourself effectively in the world.

Program Curriculum

The curriculum of the Cultural Competency Certificate Program is designed to expand your knowledge and prepare you for professional practice in culturally diverse settings. The curriculum consists of three components:
• Cultural Diversity Seminars
• Service Learning
• Learning Portfolio

Cultural Diversity Seminars

Each seminar will educate you in different aspects of various cultures and social justice issues. Since each workshop will benefit various students differently, you are required to attend all cultural diversity seminars offered throughout the academic school year. You are also required to attend at least one Office of Intercultural Relations-sponsored conference.

Service Learning

The service learning component is incorporated into the curriculum as an incentive for you to become more engaged in cultural and social justice issues. This will provide you with an opportunity to see how what you learn during the seminars apply to today’s society, and to provide you cultural competency skills through concrete experience.. 
Learning Portfolio
You will be required to maintain a learning portfolio that will follow your cultural development during the course of the program. The learning portfolio will highlight your growth throughout the year and you will present it as a part of the graduation requirement.  


After completion of the Cultural Competency Certificate Program, you will be recognized at the President’s Diversity Awards. You will be awarded a Certificate in Cultural Competency along with a stole that may be worn with your regalia upon graduation from the university.

Find out more through the College of Education