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MSU Awards Badges for Completion of “Diversity & Inclusion” Programs


"MSU hopes this 'high-impact certificate program' will highlight MSU’s commitment to 'diversity and inclusion, enhance students’ capacity to engage respectfully…[and] provide students the opportunity to learn more about themselves and others.'”


Author: Sergei Kelley


Image from Michigan State University's Diversity and Inclusion flyer.

A new program at Michigan State University allows students to build their “intercultural competence” by earning different badges after the completion of certain courses.


There are four badges students can receive upon program completion. They include: “Self-Awareness and Awareness & Understanding of Others Who are Different from You, Recognition of Cultural Differences, Intercultural Engagement and Engagement Across

Difference, and Recognition of Equity and Inequity.”


MSU hopes this “high-impact certificate program" will highlight MSU’s commitment to "diversity and inclusion, enhance students’ capacity to engage respectfully…[and] provide students the opportunity to learn more about themselves and others.”


The three semester program, Diversity, Inclusion & Intercultural Competency, is currently available to 20 undergraduate students with expected graduation in Spring 2020. Each student will be assigned a mentor and will need to earn the four badges before completing an “applied learning/capstone project” to obtain the certification.


The goal, listed on a flyer advertising the program, “is to give MSU students a value added to their degree by cultivating and enhancing these competencies, which employers have indicated are important in a variety of career fields.”


The “Student Expectations” document of the program lists the National Association of Colleges & Employers “Defining Career Readiness” page which includes seven competencies associated with career readiness. Among these include “Global/Intercultural Fluency.”


In this pilot test of the program, students will earn their badges and an eventual certificate through the guidance of their mentor, monthly group meetings, engagement on campus such as “attending campus events put on by...College Republicans and Democrats,” “turning in artifacts to the MSU Co-Curricular Record,” and individual reflection.


There will be 10 mentors with 2 students and they will guide the students along to obtain the badges. Students will have to demonstrate learning in a competency area before they receive a badge. The eventual certificate will be earned through “digital badging” and will be signed by the Senior Advisor to the President for Diversity, President, and Provost.


The Morning Watch received word of this program via email.


Contributor: Sergei Kelley

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