Why get the certificate or badge?

The ITC certificate and badge are academic credentials that enhance your professional qualifications and dossier. The certificate is available to any GVSU students and can be earned in addition to your major program requirements. The badge is open to anyone including currently enrolled students at GVSU as well as to professionals and interested community members residing anywhere around the globe. Requirements for both the certificate and the bade include academic courses and co-curricular experiences. 

Earning an ITC certificate or badge serves as an attraction for potential employers or graduate school programs. Both are academically supported and rigorous credentials that are backed by GVSU and the Liberal Studies Department in which the ITC Program is housed.

The goals for the certificate and badge are compatible with the robust general education program that serves as the cornerstone of the GVSU curriculum. The ITC program builds on the existing general education program. It also bridges Study Abroad experiences with domestic intercultural immersion experiences through the intercultural practicum (for certificate earning students) and integrated coursework (for badge earning students).

Who should complete the certificate or badge?


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. Degree-seeking students at GVSU can complete the certificate and still graduate within four years. 
  2. Anyone can complete the ITC badge in one year or less. Because it can be completed in a fully online format it is available to professionals located anywhere across the region, country, or the globe who wish to enhance or build their credentials. 
  3. These are credentials that many employers and graduate programs actively seek. The certificate is recognized on your University official transcript. The badge is granted digitally via Acclaim.
  4. Both the certificate and the badge are flexible programs, allowing to customize your studies to meet your professional goals, needs, and interests.
  5. You can complete the certificate and the badge through fully online, hybrid, or face-to-face classes. 


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 connect to outcomes that can be gained through completion of the ITC certificate and badge.

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 and Badge Benefits

The benefits for the Intercultural Training certificate and badge 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 and badge also help 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 April 2, 2019