Preparing Hawkeyes for the global society and workforce

Iowans come from different communities and have diverse life experiences, making every citizen of the state and the country unique. Learning how to listen, understand, and communicate with others who do not share a similar background or worldview are skill sets that must be acquired. 

Defining Cultural Competency

Cultural and global competency are the skills developed over time through opportunities to engage with individuals and ideas different from one’s personal life experience. Learning how to listen critically and carefully, understand other viewpoints and perspectives, work in diverse teams, and interact respectfully with a variety of individuals is what employers are seeking from employees.

UI’s cultural competency is based on mastering three core elements:



Common Ground

The essential skills we teach to prepare Hawkeyes as culturally competent leaders are:

  • Perspective taking: Engaging with and valuing diverse backgrounds and viewpoints.
  • Critical thinking: Communicating effectively, listening critically to distinguish facts from opinions, and engaging in complex discussions with respect and civility.
  • Awareness: Understanding the role of history in shaping society.
  • Reflection: Recognizing personal beliefs and values, taking responsibility for actions, engaging in challenging discussions with an open mind, and seeking, understanding, and respecting different perspectives.
  • Critical listening: Actively analyzing and assessing information, allowing for informed decision-making.