Hana and Ifeoma


Getting educated in intercultural competency

Participants find learning about our cultural biases to be an illuminating experience.

As a recruiter, what’s most important to Cheryl Probert is finding the absolute best person for a role. That means being aware of any kind of bias that may come up throughout her process in her role as manager, talent acquisition at Solium in Calgary. 

The Intercultural Competencies for Leaders Certificate at Bow Valley College has helped her be more cognizant of some of those cultural biases. The certificate is a Continuing Education program that equips professionals for today’s diverse workplace. Through online learning, its participants develop a global mindset and acquire the tools they need for intercultural sensitivity and intercultural communication. Cheryl, who completed Intercultural Competence 1, the first course of the certificate, says it was “really thought-provoking.”     

Bow Valley College has been offering this program since November 2016. However, we’ve been delivering intercultural training to companies at their corporate offices for about eight years.  The Intercultural Competencies for Leaders Certificate available today was developed by Hana Taleb Imai and Diane Hardy, who are both program coordinators, innovation and research, in the School of Global Access

The certificate has been strongly supported within Bow Valley College, with Human Resources funding the cost for all of the institution’s leaders. Ifeoma Ngwudike, student affairs officer in Learner Success Services, participated in the pilot program. “I felt it was a valuable program to do, especially because we’re in a very diverse community at Bow Valley College and as a whole,” she says.

Ifeoma also thought it would be beneficial to her as a person of visible minority. “I thought it would create more awareness of myself and of my understanding of culture and diversity.” 

Having completed the certificate, Ifeoma says it made her accept that it’s okay to be different. “I feel I have a voice,” she says. “I’m not afraid or ashamed to say that I have a different opinion.”

Cheryl appreciated that the course was online given that she has a busy schedule, and Ifeoma found the online discussion groups enriched the content. 

The next start date for Intercultural Competence 1 is Monday, September 17. To register, go to the course page.   

Is your story waiting to be told? If you’re a learner with an interesting story, we may want to tell it on bowvalleycollege.ca. Email us at newsroom@bowvalleycollege.ca.

Posted on September 11, 2018

Story by Julie-Anne Cleyn, photo by Chris Bolin

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