Building Intercultural Competencies for Catholic Colleges and Universities
In 2015–16, over 40% of the student body population in Catholic higher education was non-white. Over the past six years, the number of white students enrolled in Catholic colleges and universities decreased by 8%, while the number of Hispanic students increased by 38%. Currently, 29 ACCU member colleges are identified as Minority-Serving Institutions, including Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Predominantly Black Institutions, and one HBCU (Historically Black College or University). An additional 17 institutions serve student body populations that are over 50% non-white. Given these statistics, ACCU is initiating several efforts to assist those at our member campuses:
- The manual Building Intercultural Competence for Catholic Colleges and Universities is in development. Once completed, the manual can be used as a resource to support the increase in racial and ethnic diversity at our member institutions.
- The free resource Ministering to All: Building a Spiritual Home for Hispanic/Latinx Students suggests a number of practical ways to integrate Hispanic/Latinx culture into campus.
- "Integrating Intercultural Competencies on Your Campus" workshops, a series of "train the trainer" sessions to build the abilities of campus personnel to meet the needs of diverse students and administrators (see below).
These interactive intercultural competency pilot training workshops are meant for Catholic higher education faculty, staff, and administrators. During these "train the trainer" workshops, attendees will learn from practical examples, recommendations, and modules that will help them better meet the diverse needs of their students and fellow administrators. Using the manual Building Intercultural Competence for Catholic Colleges and Universities, the trainings will frame issues of diversity from a theological perspective in terms of the Church’s identity and mission to evangelize. These workshops are distinct from other intercultural trainings that provide a more secular approach.
Workshops will be conducted at Chestnut Hill College, Loyola University Chicago, and Loyola Marymount University. Each workshop will cover the following modules:
Module 1: Frame issues of diversity theologically, in terms of the Church's identity and mission to evangelize.
Module 2: Seek an understanding of culture and how it works.
Module 3: Develop intercultural communication skills in higher education settings.
Module 4: Expand knowledge of the obstacles that impede effective intercultural relations.
Module 5: Foster integration rather than assimilation in college and university settings, with a spirituality of hospitality, reconciliation, and mission.