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Monday, October 5, 2015

New Certificate Helps Educators Develop Culturally Relevant Teaching Strategies

cultural competence
The College of Education has developed a Professional Certificate in Cultural Competence, narrowing the scope of diversity in today’s classrooms.


Also referred to as cultural proficiency, cultural competence deals with the positive outcomes of those from different backgrounds. In the classroom, understanding a student’s background can be the difference between success and failure, so Dr. Tanis Starck and the College of Education are taking steps to ensure that more educators are able to exercise cultural proficiency through this certification process.

“Classrooms nowadays are much more diverse,” Dr. Starck says. “We want to embrace all sorts of diversity from our program and ensure that our educators are properly equipped to deal with that in a classroom setting.”

One of the goals of the one-year program is to link learners’ prior knowledge, skills, interests, and backgrounds to challenging academic standards that students need to learn. However, much of that process involves adaptive learning from the educator, and the certification process ensures that teachers and students alike can prosper from each situational learning outcome.

San Diego State has been a top-performing institution in areas of social justice and cultural awareness, and the cultural competence certificate program only adds to that repertoire. The program strives to ensure equity of opportunity and achievement by providing personalized support services that support success for all students.

“Educators become culturally competent over time,” Starck says of the adaptive process of cultural proficiency. “There is a high need at the College of Education for teachers to meet the needs of our community, and we are training educators to meet that need.”


The COE Professional Certificate in Cultural Competence will begin in January 2016. Visit the Cultural Competence certificate website for more information on how to enroll for the certificate program.