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Cultural Competence

This rubric is designed as a tool to assess activities aimed at student gains in the follow learning outcome(s) for the Cultural Competence General Education Category:

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand and articulate a multiplicity of meanings of the concept of culture.
  2. Explain how cultural beliefs influence behaviors and practices at the individual, organizational or societal levels
  3. Reflect in depth about critical similarities, differences, and intersections between their own and others’ cultures or sub-cultures so as to demonstrate a deepening or transformation of original perspectives.
  4. Compare and contrast similarities, differences, and intersections among two or more cultures.
  5. Effectively use skills to negotiate cross-cultural situations or conflicts in interactions inside or outside the classroom

Criteria and performance descriptions for the review of student work

Awareness & integration of cultural differences

(Assesses learning outcomes 1, 2, and 3)

Advanced Proficient Beginning Unacceptable

- Anticipates that power and privilege will influence interpretation of differences across social groups

- Recognizes and attempts to mitigate own zones of unawareness or limitations in perspective

- Suggests culturally appropriate responses to blatant & subtle forms of bias

- Actively expands perspective by imagining how others may view situations differently

- Recognizes wide range of contributions from others who differ from self

- Recognizes blatant forms of bias

- Understands that some policies or social norms may lead to unjust treatment or experiences

- Aware that differences exist across social groups

- Judges differences negatively if they are widely discrepant from own beliefs or values

- Reflexively defaults to own values & perspective when viewing or analyzing situations

- Acknowledges that some differences have value

- Denies that differences exist in experiences of social groups

- Lacks awareness of or minimizes ways in which own beliefs and values may differ from those of others.

- Judges others negatively if they do not share own beliefs and values

- Imposes own cultural framework to judge others

Cross-cultural communication skills

(Assesses learning outcome 5)

Advanced Proficient Beginning Unacceptable

- Interacts comfortably & respectfully with others who are different

- Recognizes both common and subtle forms of culturally-loaded or insensitive verbal/nonverbal language and understands why it is offensive

- Able both to articulate own perspective and solicit others’ views to ensure that multiple perspectives are heard

- Sensitively & honestly broaches topics on which there may be disagreement

- Interacts, even if awkwardly or formally, with others who are different

- Recognizes most common forms of culturally-loaded & insensitive language

- Listens to understand others’ views

- Shies away from difficult or challenging topics on which there may be disagreement

- Minimizes interactions with others who are different from oneself

- Is aware of blatant forms of culturally loaded or insensitive language

- Uses nonverbal behavior denoting discomfort (e.g., minimal eye contact, clipped interactions, closed nonverbal behavior)

- Listens primarily to respond or counter others’ views instead of listening for understanding

- Overlooks others who are different from self or engages in stereotyping behavior when interacting with them

- Is unaware of use of culturally-loaded or insensitive language

- Reacts negatively or angrily to others who differ from self

- Asserts own views or position repetitively

Cross-cultural negotiation skills

(Assesses learning outcome 5)

Advanced Proficient Beginning Unacceptable

- Acknowledges own limitations when challenged on cross-cultural interpretations or implicit value judgments

- Listens & asks questions to understand others’ perspective when in conflict

- Responds in ways that acknowledge others’ perspectives or grievances

- Respectfully challenges disrespectful actions or uninformed statements

- Seeks nuanced, integrative resolutions that honor core interests of all parties

- Able to listen when challenged on cross-cultural interpretations or implicit value judgments

- Defends views or actions and/or exits situation when cross-cultural conflict emerges

- Seeks to justify own perspective before inquiring about others’ perspective

- Defaults to “split the difference” or compromise approaches

- Is upset and uncomfortable when challenged on cross- cultural interpretations or implicit value judgments

- Minimizes conflict or cognitive dissonance by focusing on similarities between self & others

- Avoids or is discomforted by emotionally tense discussions

- Relies on win/lose or right/wrong approaches

- Personalizes conflict by denigrating people (vs. ideas) when challenged on cross- cultural interpretations or implicit value judgments

- Interrupts, seeks to silence or dismisses those whose views or perspectives are in conflict OR fully disengages from others

- Seeks to win/dominate discussions at all costs

The Cultural Competence Rubric was developed by the Cultural Competence Faculty Board, supported by the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment with the Cultural Competence instructors upon review of the AAC&U VALUE rubrics and according to standards determined by the Cultural Competence Faculty Board for student performance in the General Education Cultural Competence courses. The rubric defines the standards for student performance in Cultural Competence courses at the University of Maryland.

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