Certificate | Cultural Competence

What is Cultural Competence?

Cultural competence is a developmental process that evolves over an extended period. Both individuals and organizations are at various levels of awareness, knowledge and skills along the cultural competence continuum. (adapted from Cross et al., 1989)

The Program

Students may join the program at any point. The cultural competence certificate may also be combined with a master's degree program.

Foundational courses in the program introduce the concepts of cultural competence, the history of oppression in schools, understanding achievement gaps, and working with speakers of other languages.

Beyond Fear, Guilt, & Anger: Moving Toward Cultural Competence explores deeply personal issues of racism and prejudice.

Students may choose between Cultural Competence for Young Children, which includes strategies for working with our youngest students, or Teaching About the Holocaust.

The final course in the program is a 90-hour practicum where participants apply their knowledge and skills while working in a diverse educational setting.

This certificate program is designed for:

  • Teachers, counselors and administrators who want to engage in dialogue and learn more about cultural competence
  • Para-professionals and school support staff who want to engage in dialogue and learn more about working with diverse learners in the schools
  • Community members who want to engage in dialogue and are interested in issues of diversity in our schools


Diana Watkins | Associate Director of Graduate & Professional Admissions
503-352-1435 | teach@pacificu.edu

Catherine Kim | Forest Grove
503-352-1459 | kim5764@pacificu.edu

Nancy Meltzoff | Eugene
541-485-6812 | meltzoff@pacificu.edu

Assistant Professor; Undergraduate Program Coordinator (Eugene)


Cultural Competence Certificate Requirements

Credit hrs

ESOL-540 Language Policy in ESOL Education 2
EDUC-564 Cultural Competence for Young Children (K-3)
EDUC-569 Teaching About the Holocaust (4-12)
EDUC-580 Sexuality & Identity in the Classroom 1
EDUC-562 Foundations of Cultural Competence 3
EDUC-563 Beyond Fear, Guilt, & Anger: Moving Toward Cultural Competence 2
EDUC-566 Practicum in Cultural Competence 2