ITC's Mission, Vision, and Goals
The ITC Program is a part of the Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies Department within GVSU's Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies. It is the mission of this program to provide students with an opportunity to discover and build new knowledge of people within different groups. This includes: different cultures, languages, classes, genders, sexual orientations, sexual identities, races, abilities, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and other diversity groups of the United States and across the globe.
Our mission also includes teaching students skills to respond respectfully and effectively to people in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families, and communities. We do this by combining theoretical understanding and practical tools gained through experiential learning.
Classes in ITC are taught by a range of excellent faculty who are committed to putting students first. For a current list of teaching faculty and contact information please visit the IRIS Department faculty and staff directory.
What is Intercultural Communication?
Intercultural Communication are the beliefs, values, and skills used for cultural awareness and an understanding of how to use those beliefs, values, and skills to communicate and collaborate effectively within and across professional and community settings.
Beliefs of Intercultural Communication:
- Awareness of the historical, social, and cultural circumstances that create systematic oppression and how those systems impact policy and practice in workplace, educational, and community-based settings.
- To have productive and successful professional spaces, there must be an investment in equity, diversity, inclusion, and non-hierarchical relationships.
- Knowledge making is written, verbal, visual, digital, non-verbal, and non-alphabetic. By studying how knowledge is made, one is learning how to effectively communicate based on different audiences and for different purposes.
- Community knowledge and leadership provides important perspectives on how to practice cultural self-awareness and cultural competency.
Skills of Intercultural Communication:
- Self-awareness, reflexivity, perspective taking, and critical reflection
- Relational leadership and empowering delegation
- Listening, deliberation, and facilitation to effectively communicate and collaborate in rich and diverse settings
- Create texts, conduct speeches, and conduct research that values cultural competency
The intercultural learning experiences include:
- deepening and broadening students’ knowledge of their own culture and other cultures
- opening their minds to other perspectives and cultures
- providing them with skills in moving successfully between and within various cultures and perspectives
The ITC Practicum Experience
One of the primary elements of the Intercultural Communications Program is gaining experience! Through these experiences, students gain intentional, long-term experience in developing successful relationships in diverse communities, working with individuals and groups of cultures different from the student’s culture.
Throughout the Program, students will be asked to reflect on and consider how community-based relationships can provide a model for cultural competency and intercultural communication. The practicum experience provides students with an opportunity to work on a special project of their choosing while examining how intercultural communication and cultural competency is practiced within a specific organization, workplace, or community.
In the past, students have been placed in a health-care setting, working with non-profit organizations, done grant writing, took advantage of the Study-Abroad program, facilitated workshops related to Inclusion and Equity, and so much more!
There are three tracks that one can select for the practicum:
Working with a local organization, students would implement, design, or facilitate a project. Students have two options, they can select to work within the GVSU community or within the larger community in which they are located.
Working with their employer and the ITC Coordinator, we can develop a special project for students to design and implement in their workplace.
Working with the ITC Coordinator and Study Abroad, we can develop an immersive experience that meets the goals for the ITC practicum and your own interests.