For the first time this fall, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will offer a unique professional development opportunity to graduate students at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.
The Graduate Certificate in Workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be open to master’s and doctoral students through a collaboration with the Graduate School.
The new offering is the brainchild of Senior Manager of Strategic Diversity Initiatives Marlo Goldstein Hode, and it’s developed from work she’s done creating professional development programs for faculty and staff at UMSL, the University of Missouri–Columbia and the University of Missouri System.
“We know that no matter what industry you’re going into – whether it be health care or public sector or business – diversity, equity and inclusion are extremely important,” she said. “Being able to go into a new position with this background, it’s a boon to the company or organization you may work for, as well as your own career.”
The noncredit program will help students become DEI advocates and leaders, work more effectively with individuals from all backgrounds and make workplaces more welcoming and inclusive.
Goldstein Hode structured the curriculum into three parts that cover diversity and inclusion foundations, obstacles to inclusion and finally applying DEI in the workplace. The program includes everything from current terminology, why DEI is important, implicit bias, microaggressions and privilege.
“The final project is to develop a diversity initiative for a particular workplace, whether it be where the students already work or where they are hoping to work,” she said. “With this background, if students are going in for an interview, for example, they’ll be really well versed in how to articulate their understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion and how it applies to this particular organization or to a particular field.”
Students will take the Intercultural Development Inventory assessment before and after the course so that they can measure their advancement and develop a plan for ongoing growth.
Goldstein Hode stresses that the certificate will be very manageable for busy graduate students and is designed to provide a welcome contrast to academic work. Furthermore, attendees will have the unique opportunity to work with people from areas and specialties across campus that they wouldn’t ordinarily come in contact with.
The course runs from Sept. 13 to April 15 and costs $150, and there will be financial assistance opportunities. Registration is now open and space is limited. Visit www.umsl.edu/odei/certificate-workplace-dei.html for more information and registration.
“Companies shouldn’t rely solely on DEI specialists,” Hode said. “Every employee should be equipped to promote and foster diversity, equity and inclusion.”
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