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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate Builds 'CQ' of Employees

by pilot participant Karen O'Hara, university communications and marketing

Some university employees rarely enter a classroom—but others feel like they never leave it. That's not too surprising, considering the variety of duties among staff, administrators, and faculty.

But in Spring 2020, they will all have the opportunity to become students again, collaborating on a new learning initiative designed to foster a welcoming and inclusive learning and professional environment at Miami.

From FLC to Pilot Program

Carolyn CraigCarolyn S, Craig, FSB Marketing Faculty, is an Advanced Certified Cultural Intelligence Professional (ACCQP) and a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) with over 20 years of professional experience in diversity, equity and inclusion. She knew that the university wanted to deepen employees' knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion. "The goal is to increase understanding of differences and the impact they have in the workplace and classroom, and to build cultural competences and skills," she said.

But she also envisioned an integrated program, with a holistic approach to diversity, delivered over an extended period of time. This kind of program would offer opportunities for continual learning that could result in greater progress, impact on decision making, interactions with others, and sense of belonging for all in the university community. 

During the 2017-2018 academic year, she served as Lead Facilitator to a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) entitled "Inclusive Excellence: Designing and Implementing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate Course for Faculty, Administrators, and Staff." The FLC conducted extensive research: reviewing scholarly literature, assessing similar programs at other universities, and performing an inventory of Miami's current diversity and inclusion professional development options.

In July 2018, the FLC submitted a comprehensive certificate proposal. After additional meetings and refinements, Craig received approval to pilot a 16-hour certificate program over four months in Spring, 2019. Components of the pilot included:

  • required workshops
  • electives
  • cultural intelligence assessments
  • a personal development plan
  • a signature capstone

What is Cultural Intelligence (CQ)?

Source: Cultural Intelligence Center, About Cultural Intelligence

You may have heard of emotional intelligence (EQ), and you might be familiar with standardized assessments of preferences and behaviors (MBTI, DiSC.) So how is Cultural Intelligence (CQ) different?

According to the Cultural Intelligence Center, CQ is the capability to function and relate effectively in culturally diverse situations. CQ measures four primary capabilities.

  • CQ Drive: your level of interest, persistence, and confidence during multicultural interactions
  • CQ Knowledge: your understanding about how cultures are similar and different
  • CQ Strategy: your awareness and ability to plan for multicultural interactions
  • CQ Action: your ability to adapt when relating and working in multicultural contexts

Cultural Intelligence can be enhanced by multicultural experiences, training, travel, and education. Anyone can improve their CQ, at any point in their lives. Published scholarly research demonstrates stability across samples, time, and cultures.

All of the certificate pilot participants completed a CQ self-assessment designed for U.S. domestic audiences, as well as a pre- and post-assessment during the core series workshop. At the close of the pilot, each person also completed a Personal Development Plan to continue to develop their CQ strengths and address areas of improvement.

Forming the Pilot Cohort

The pilot of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate received enthusiastic support from university leadership. Sponsors included the President’s Office, Office of the Provost, Office for Institutional Diversity & Inclusion, Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and Department of Human Resources.

When the pilot was announced in January 2019, the response was equally enthusiastic. Ten faculty and ten staff members representing all three Ohio campuses, several areas of the university, levels of professional backgrounds, and various dimensions of diversity were selected. Their experiences in the pilot would shape the certificate program in the future.

The twenty participants committed to meet approximately once a month in core workshop sessions. Each session focused on a different aspect of diversity, equity, and inclusion, while offering time for discussion, small group work, and learning.

Pilot participants also received a textbook, David Livermore's Leading with Cultural Intelligence; lunch at each core workshop session; staff job enrichment points; and a free Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Assessment Self-Report.

And since they were now a cohort of students, they were also expected to complete all 'homework', including assigned reading, online modules, and additional diversity training and events.

Inside the Classroom

The cohort was eager to get started. For the first two weeks, they discussed the campus climate and the needs of students and fellow employees. Guest speakers included a representative from the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity (OEEO) who presented information about inclusive workplaces. Ron Scott, Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, facilitated a discussion of unconscious biases, which are deeply ingrained but are not necessarily aligned with our conscious values and beliefs.

Homework included reading and online modules, such as Harvard University's Project Implicit and Miami's Blind Spots training, offered in conjunction with PwC. This offered good preparation for the Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Assessment, which was completed by each person and discussed during the next two sessions (see sidebar.)

In the final session, everyone came together again to share their impressions of the program.

Outside the Classroom

Pilot participants also selected two elective diversity, equity or inclusion related workshops to attend, plus two Miami diversity, equity or inclusion events. After each event, they wrote a short reflection.

Several people completed training in established programs, such as Miami's Supervisor Development Series and SafeZone 101/201. Others attended symposia or lectures, ranging from Native American land management to presentations on race relations at the Humanities Center.

Some participants even attended events that were hundreds of miles from Miami. Craig and Bennyce Hamilton, Regional Director of Diversity and Multicultural Services, attended two symposia: Measurement and Evaluation in Diversity and Strategic Planning in Diversity. These sessions were led by CoopLew, Inc. at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

Signature Experience Projects

After the classroom workshops and electives ended, participants proposed and completed capstone projects to synthesize what they'd learned. In order to make the greatest impact, Craig encouraged the cohort to address issues and problems that related closely to their workplace.

Jamie Anzano, Director of Communications and Research in biology and Project Dragonfly, knew that first-year undergraduate students are required to complete three EverFi digital learning modules, including a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) module. Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants also completed the DEI training as a condition of employment. "However, all of Project Dragonfly's 950 current Miami graduate students and our future incoming classes were not slated to take this training," she said. Anzano is working with Vice President Scott and other diversity experts to provide and develop digital training and face-to-face training for all graduate students.

Ruchelle Dunwoody, director of intramural & summer camp sports, developed a diversity and inclusion council for her student employees at the Recreational Sports Center. "The council will offer training and resources for student employees to provide a work environment in which everyone is treated fairly and respectfully. Equal access to opportunities and resources contributes to the success of the program, organization, and team," she said.

Jennifer Yamashiro, teaching professor in humanities & creative arts at the Regionals, revised the way she taught several of her courses. For an upper-level art history course, she modified course materials and content, and developed specific assignments for students to examine a range of cultural practices and values, including their own. In the honors courses she teaches, she expanded units on privilege and service.

But Yamashiro didn't stop there. "This year, I decided to volunteer weekly alongside my students to see what the experience is like and to get to know kids in the neighborhood who are not in college yet. This provides an excellent opportunity for me to use CQ strategy to volunteer, to benefit the students in the afterschool program, and my college students in the course," she said.

Program Expansion

As the pilot wrapped up, Craig took a moment to celebrate its successes: faculty and staff learning, growing together, building deeper understanding and bridges across differences, and enjoying fellowship.

But at the same time she began actively planning the Spring, 2020 full-length iteration of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate. Once again, a blend of faculty and staff will be chosen to fill the cohort. Cultural Intelligence (CQ) will continue to be a primary focus.

The program's goals also remain unchanged:

  • to educate and empower our employees;
  • to provide ongoing professional development opportunities to appreciate differing perspectives; and
  • to foster a more inclusive campus community and workplace environment. 

However, the program will now run for 12 months. Craig anticipates covering much more material than in the pilot. "This gives everyone more time to expand their knowledge and capabilities," she said. "I will be adding courses like SafeZone to the certificate, and we'll continue to evaluate and grow the program over time. We want to tap into the wonderful diversity-related initiatives and events that are happening on campus."


Interested in the certificate program? Contact Carolyn Craig for details and visit One Miami: Diversity and Inclusion for additional resources.

Feedback from Pilot Participants

Video Transcript

Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Matter: Thoughts from 2019 Pilot Participants

(no spoken word; background piano music only)

In January, 2019, 10 faculty and 10 staff members committed to a four-month pilot program designed to help them foster a welcoming and inclusive learning and professional environment at Miami.

"If you want to understand yourself, others, and the world in greater depth and from multiple perspectives, don't miss this professional development opportunity."

"You'll learn more about yourself and your own potential biases and blind spots—biases you may have thought you didn't have. And that's important so that we can all work to become better allies to all people."

"The core workshop sessions allowed members of the campus community members of the campus community—of diverse backgrounds and levels of experience—to share with each other. It enriched the educational process and allowed for more in-depth and complex discussions."

"Interacting with so many of the university's experts on harassment and discrimination, LGBTQIA issues, cultural intelligence, and institutional diversity was valuable to my understanding and growth surrounding diversity and equity. The work we did together and between sessions helped round out the learning."

"This is a wonderful program that has allowed me to broaden my understanding of Miami's Diversity and Inclusion goals while also being a valuable resource within the campus community to help others achieve their goals."

"I encourage everyone to take this course as part of your own professional and personal development. We owe it to our students and our colleagues to be aware of our own and systemic bias."

Sponsors: The President's Office, Office of the Provost, Office for Institutional Diversity & Inclusion, Department of Human Resources, Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE)

Participating Departments: Spring Pilot
Program Director: Carolyn S. Craig

Academic Personnel, Campus Services, Civic Education, College of Arts & Science, College of Engineering & Computing, Academic Departments: Biology, Educational Psychology, French & Italian Studies, Humanities & Creative Arts, and Psychology; Enrollment Management, Farmer School of Business, Global Initiatives Studies-LAS, Human Resources, Intramurals & Summer Camps, LGBTQ+ Services, Project Dragonfly, Regional Office of Multicultural Services, University Communications & Marketing, University Libraries.

Learn More. Visit MiamiOH.edu/Diversity