The ability to work effectively across difference is essential to student success in serving our national aspirations, meeting employer demands, and participating in the complex national and global grand challenges of our time. The University of Minnesota recognizes the importance of graduating students who demonstrate intercultural competency - the ability to recognize difference and authentically engage different cultures, races, life experiences, and knowledge systems. Skills such as self-awareness, appreciation of differences, tolerance of ambiguity, and understanding diverse philosophies and cultures are formally acknowledged as learning objectives for the University’s Student Learning and Development Outcomes.
CFANS has developed the Working Across Difference Initiative (WADI) to fulfill these outcomes and to meet its own undergraduate strategic priority of enhancing multicultural and global competencies. This comprehensive initiative, poised to serve as a national model, has three core components: curriculum, pedagogy, and student assessment. CFANS students in all majors and in each year of undergraduate education will take courses and participate in activities (e.g., study abroad and service learning) that intentionally incorporate multiple cultural perspectives to develop intercultural competency, learn about cultural similarities and differences, and how those differences frequently result in unequal impacts on peoples and communities. Learn more about this initiative by viewing the WADI Prezi.