The Cultural Competence Leadership Institute is a cohort based professional development and leadership program for academically successful sophomores and juniors. The program consists of 15 sessions, each facilitated by an industry leader or non-profit partners on different aspects of cultural competence. The entry into the program is competitive. For the pilot year we have 27 students from very diverse majors, experiences and backgrounds. Each selected scholar is given all their required reading materials, a portfolio and a financial scholarship on successful completion. The curriculum builds over the course of the program with the ultimate goal of instilling in scholars, the value of integrating cultural competency frameworks into organizational processes and distinct learning environments. The scholars are also encouraged to gear their experience towards an internship experience in the summer following the program.
- The scholars engage in 3 experiential projects as part of their curriculum, a service learning project, an innovation challenge and a community leadership experience. They work in teams as well as have individual deliverables.
- The Institute is a university–corporate partnership. The corporate partners(CAPs) not only provide financial sponsorship and internship opportunities for the program but also represent the organization and its commitment to diversity through attending networking events and providing valuable insight into market needs for new hires.
- The Institute has an Advisory Board of corporate and university representatives who oversee the curriculum and the scholar selection process.
- The Institute has a dedicated ‘Diversity Expert in Residence (DEIR)’ – who is the communication liaison between the scholars, the CAPs and the Advisory Board members. The DEIR also plays a pivitol role with the scholars by coaching them on a one on one basis.
- Upon completion the scholars have the opportunity to continue to be connected to the program at an advanced level and also mentor the incoming cohort.