How Online Learning Communities Prepare Students For the Global Workforce
The global market has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 10 years. As a result, the majority of medium- to large-sized organizations are looking for employees who demonstrate a high level of comfort in diverse groups. In today’s world, employees are expected to work well with others, to voice their opinions, and to actively listen to the opinions of their colleagues. They are also expected to demonstrate respect for individual differences and to show appreciation for diversity. In sum, the most sought after candidates for most positions display cultural competence.
In 1989, a monograph entitled Towards a Culturally Competent System of Care defined cultural competence as “a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals and enable that system, agency, or those professions to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.” More recent research has identified several strategies for increasing one’s cultural competence, including learning about oneself, learning about other cultures, interacting with diverse groups, and attending diversity-focused conferences. Based on a multitude of research, it is clear that one of the single best ways to acquire cultural competence is to spend time interacting in meaningful ways with individuals whose backgrounds differ from our own while, at the same time, working to increase our self-understanding.
That’s where online learning communities come into play. You likely already know the benefits of earning a master’s degree online—it’s convenient for working professionals, for example—but here’s one you may not have already thought of: online learning communities provide students with environments that are rich in diverse viewpoints, which helps to build comfort with diversity (and ultimately, helps you become one of those sought after candidates with cultural competence.)
In case you aren’t already familiar with the online M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology program at Adler University, here is some relevant information you may find helpful:
- First of all, our online program is designed to provide students with an environment in which they are exposed to many situations that lead them to successfully build their level of cultural competence.
- Founded on the principles of Alfred Adler, social justice is a key focus of Adler University. As a student, you would be provided with multiple opportunities to increase your level of self-awareness and your level of comfort with diversity issues.
- Additionally, you would be placed in diverse groups to discuss varied views of difficult issues, exploring the impact of personal experience on views.
- In fact, faculty complete required diversity training sessions in preparation to lead students throughout their journey to becoming socially responsible and culturally competent practitioners of industrial and organizational psychology.
Think you could benefit from building your level of cultural competence? Request information about our M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. See for yourself how we have created a virtual environmental that will bring immense value to your career in the global workforce.
- Rebecca Clay, "How do I become culturally competent?," American Psychological Association
- T Cross, et al., "Towards a culturally competent system of care," Georgetown University
- "Diversity and the Online Classroom," Online Colleges
- Jane Sherwin, "Cultural Competence in the Workplace: Challenges and Solutions," Leading Age