Multicultural Competencies, The K-State Tilford Group

The K-State Tilford Group has worked since the mid-1990's to further the infusion of multicultural competencies into the curriculum at KSU. A key step in doing so was to create the following summary of learning objectives. This was created through input from industry leaders, faculty and students. As you will see it applies to all multicultural situations.

Multicultural Competency Development:
Preparing Students to Live and Work in a Diverse World
Copyright © 2001 Kansas State University. All Rights Reserved.

Multicultural competency is defined as the knowledge, skills and personal attributes needed to live and work in a diverse world. Kansas State University acknowledges the importance of helping students develop these multicultural competencies. In 2000-2001 the Tilford Group conducted focus groups with faculty and students. The following synthesis of multicultural competencies was compiled as a result of what was learned from those and subsequent discussions.

  1. Knowledge -- Awareness and understanding needed to live and work in a diverse world.

    • Cultural Self -- The ability to understand one's ethnic identity and how it influences identity development.

    • Diverse Ethnic Groups -- Knowledge of diverse ethnic groups and their cultures.
      Social/Political/Economic/Historical Frameworks -- Awareness of how social, political, economic and historical issues impact race and ethnic relations in the world.

    • Changing Demographics -- Understanding population dynamics related to ethnic minority and majority citizens.

    • Diversity Implications for Career -- Understanding how diversity impacts the academic discipline, career and professional development.

  2. Personal Attributes -- Traits needed by those who live and work in a diverse world.

    • Flexibility -- The ability to respond and adapt to new and changing situations.

    • Respect -- An appreciation for those who are different from one's self.

    • Empathy -- The ability to understand another person's culture by listening to and understanding their perspective.

  3. Skills -- Behaviors and performance tasks needed to live and work in a diverse world.

    • Cross Cultural Communication -- Verbal and nonverbal communication skills in interaction with those who are culturally different from one's self.

    • Teamwork -- The ability to work in culturally diverse groups toward a common goal.

    • Listening -- The intention and ability to attend to what others are saying.

    • Conflict Resolution -- The ability to resolve cultural conflicts that occur between individuals and groups.

    • Critical Thinking -- The ability to use inductive and deductive reasoning to understand diverse perspectives.

    • Language Development -- The ability to speak and write more than one language.

    • Leadership Development -- The ability to provide multicultural leadership.