Queen’s University enhances intercultural training program
An expanded version of an intercultural training program at Queen’s University significantly increased the number of participants in 2017-18 from the previous school year.
Queen’s University has offered the Intercultural Awareness Certificate Program for several years. In the fall of 2017, the program was expanded to include content related to indigenous history and cultural safety. By February 2018, some 1,520 students, mostly in leadership positions, had participated in the program. Of this total, 152 students had completed the expanded version, nearly double the number that took the program throughout the entire previous school year. The program, delivered by the Queen’s University International Centre and the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, has received satisfaction scores of 4.2-4.7 out of 5.
In five 90-minute, or three 150-minute, workshops, participants learn skills such as identifying dimensions of culture to help engage effectively in an intercultural context; recognizing their own strengths and challenges with respect to cultural commonality and difference; and gaining greater awareness of Indigenous culture, including the lived experience of Western colonialism by Indigenous peoples in the Americas.
In alignment with recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force and the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI), the Division of Student Affairs has also expanded recruitment activities focusing on under-represented student populations, enhanced peer mentor and transition programs, and created a new position to support diversity, equity and inclusivity. The floor space of the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre has also doubled.