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Intercultural Awareness

Requirements and Guidelines for Intercultural Awareness (IA) Courses

Adopted by University of Sioux Falls Faculty: 16 February 2011

Any IA course will be grounded upon one over-arching goal-informed by the mission, faculty-staff handbook, and the 2008-2013 Strategic Plan-and six measurable (assessable) outcomes. Faculty who teach IA courses will include this goal and at least one outcome.


Consistent with the university's mission to develop mature Christian persons for service to God and humankind and the university's commitment to emphasize diversity in all of its forms, students will demonstrate a persistent curiosity about other cultures.


a. Students will identify how what a culture produces-including but not limited to music, literature, the visual and performing arts, goods and services-reflect its values and beliefs.

b. Students will identify how cultural practices reflect a particular culture's perspectives.  

c. Students will identify how cultural products, practices, values, and beliefs are influenced by geography and history.

d. Students will compare and contrast the products, practices, and perspectives of other cultures with those of the culture that they identify as their own. 

e. Students will be able to articulate orally and in writing the significance of the concept of culture and identity.

f. Students will be able to articulate orally and in writing an understanding of the significance of identity within a particular society or societies; within a particular geographical area; or within a group united by a language.

3) CLAE will oversee assessment of the Intercultural Awareness component, ensure that such assessment is completed each year, and report findings to Tracdat.

4) Faculty who teach IA courses will work in collaboration with CLAE to devise assessment measurements for their courses, facilitating CLAE's assessment.

5) CLAE recommends the following changes to the current components of IA courses:

I Credit-Bearing
IA Courses

A. If a course is designated as an IA course, it will be at least a 2 s.h. course and show evidence of instruction and student progress toward the goal of IA and at least one of its outcomes.

  1. An academic encounter with another culture, cultures, or ethnic, racial, or religious identity other than their own and include at least three of the following curricular components: 
        a.   historical background 
        b.   literature and/or the visual and performing arts
    social customs
    religious customs
    contact with people from the culture being studied
    economic systems, business practices, and/or the production of goods and services

2. A forum-classroom learning, experiential learning, travel, or other proposed forums-to meet the goal and outcomes of IA.

3. A means for students to demonstrate familiarity with the culture(s) studied, including but not limited to:

a. exams

b. presentations

c. essays

d. electronic and/or interactive presentations

e. artistic/creative endeavors

f. other means proposed by students and advisors

II Alternative Means of Fulfilling the IA Component

A student may fulfill the IA component through an independent or directed study. Such proposals must meet the following criteria: 1) The course must be at least a 2 s.h. course; 2) The proposal should clearly indicate how the course-i.e., content, work, experiences-correspond to the goal and at least one of the outcomes of IA; 3) The proposal should clearly indicate by what means the student will demonstrate having met the goal and outcome(s)-i.e., exams, essays, a portfolio, memoir, or other form of substantive documentation; 4) The proposal should clearly demonstrate how the IA component will be assessed by the instructor; 5) After the student, advisor, and area chair have signed the proposal, it will be sent to CLAE for consideration and approval. Upon approval, CLAE will submit the proposal to the Registrar.