Why get the certificate?

The ITC certificate is not identical to a major or minor, but an additional credential that is available to GVSU students who have completed the program requirements. Requirements include both academic courses and co-curricular experiences. The Certificate was created to increase the student’s level of intercultural competence but does not guarantee a certain measurable level of competence.

The certificate is an enhancement of your professional qualifications. ITC graduates receive an actual certificate from GVSU that serves as an attraction for potential employers or graduate school programs.

The goals for the certificate are compatible with the robust general education program that serves as the cornerstone of the GVSU curriculum. The ITC program simply builds on the existing general education program, going even further than World Perspectives, U.S. Diversity, Issues, or other courses. It also bridges Study Abroad experiences with domestic intercultural immersion experiences in the central component: the intercultural practicum.

Who should complete the certificate?


The program has been designed with every student in mind. There are three major components of the program which make it an ideal fit for any student:

  1. You can complete the certificate and still graduate within four years. 
  2. It is a credential that many employers actively seek. The certificate will be recognized on your University official transcript. 
  3. The ITC program is not a minor, but functions similarly. There are two courses required through the ITC program, but the other three are flexible to not only fit your schedule but also your interests. It is your program.

This program will equip you with the tools necessary to navigate in the diverse world we live and work in. Intercultural competence is not a stagnant state of mind.

What employers want...

The Association of American Colleges and Universities [AAC&U] has a national initiative called Liberal Education and America's Promise.  As part of this initiative AAC&U conducted a survey on what learning outcomes business leaders want colleges and universities to emphasize. 

The results of this study are below, and outcomes that can be gained through completion of the ITC certificate are underlined.

Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World

Science and technology 82%
Global issues 72%*
The role of United States in the world 60%
Cultural values/traditions (U.S./global) 53%*

Intellectual and Practical Skills

Teamwork skills in diverse groups 76%*
Critical thinking and analytic reasoning 73%
Written and oral communication 73%
Information literacy 70%
Creativity and innovation 70%
Complex problem solving 64%
Quantitative reasoning 60%

Personal and Social Responsibility

Intercultural competence (teamwork in diverse groups) 76%*
Intercultural knowledge (global issues) 72%*
Ethics and values 56%
Cultural values/traditions--U.S./global 53%*

Integrative Learning

Applied knowledge in real-world settings 73%

* Three starred items are shown in two learning outcome categories because they apply to both.

These findings are taken from a Survey of Business Leaders commissioned by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and conducted by Peter D. Hart Associations in November/December 2006.

Certificate Benefits

The benefits for the Intercultural Training Certificate (ITC) stem from a continuum -- moving between increased understanding, changes in attitude, and added skills. The intercultural learning experiences students will experience 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 certificate also helps students develop in the following areas:

I.  Knowledge -- Defined as awareness and understanding one needs to live and work in a diverse world. Areas include:

  • Cultural Self
  • Diverse Groups
  • Social/Political/Economic/Historical Frameworks
  • Changing Demographics
  • Diversity Implications for Career

II. Personal Attributes -- These are traits one needs in order to live and work in a diverse world. These include:

  • Flexibility
  • Respect
  • Empathy

III. Skills -- These are behaviors and performance tasks one needs to live and work in a diverse world. They include:

  • Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Listening
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Critical Thinking
  • Language Development
  • Leadership Development

Page last modified September 14, 2018