Certificate in Critical Cultural Competence

The Certificate in Critical Cultural Competence is offered for undergraduate students in any major, and is administered by the School of Social Work. The Certificate in Critical Cultural Competence Program will help students to develop an appreciation for their own cultural identities and become critically self-reflective in their orientation toward differences in the cultural identities of others as defined by, for example, race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, religion and sexual orientation. The certificate provides students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to increase their effectiveness in relating across cultural differences and in increasingly diverse domestic and international environments.

Electives for Spring 2021

Goals of Certificate Program

The intended outcomes for students who complete the certificate are a greater appreciation of cultural differences; greater ability to interact with individuals of diverse backgrounds within; adoption of a philosophy of treating people fairly, equitably, and thoughtfully critical self-reflection of and awareness of one's own culture; assessment and understanding of culture-related privilege/disprivilege; and a concern with issues of power and privilege, and social justice.

Course Requirements

18 s.h. of course work is required to complete the certificate, as follows:

  • Foundations of Critical Cultural Competence (3 s.h.), offered in the fall and spring semester. This course is prerequisite to the electives and service or immersion learning course and also meets the General Education Requirement for Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Elective courses (9 s.h.) a minimum of three approved elective courses covering at least two diversity categories. A maximum of two electives may be taken from the same department and only one elective may be below the 2000-level. Completion of the elective courses & experiential course, is a prerequisite for the Integrative Seminar (capstone) course. The academic coordinator provides a list of elective options and may approve elective course substitutions.
  • Experiential elective course (3 s.h.). Course with an immersion learning or service learning component.
  • Integrative Seminar in Critical Cultural Competence (3 s.h.), offered only in the spring semester after completion of all other requirements – usually the final semester at UI.

Students establish study plans while in the foundations course and in collaboration with the certificate program coordinator. The coordinator approves the final plan and coordinates with the student's advisor in their major to shape a study plan that complements their academic program and career interests. The program coordinator schedules required courses, recommends the sequence in which course work should be taken, and keeps a record of each student's approved program and progress. When a student completes an undergraduate degree and fulfills the requirements for the Certificate in Critical Cultural Competence, the program notifies the University Registrar, who records completion of the program on the student's transcript.

Prof. Yolanda Spears
Prof. Yolanda Spears

For more information, contact Yolanda Spears,The University of Iowa School of Social Work, yolanda-spears@uiowa.edu, 319-335-1570.