An online special topics course offered by the University of North Georgia (UNG) is providing a greater understanding of the strengths of diversity and the hurdles that minorities still face in the modern world.
Offered through UNG's College of Education, the course — Studies in Diversity Issues — is the first of three courses that are part of a developing graduate-level certificate program.
"This series of courses is focusing on issues involving diversity and multiculturalism from a variety of perspectives and academic disciplines. It features a specific global issue that is investigated through a cross-national comparative study, and issues will differ each semester," said UNG President Bonita C. Jacobs. "Initiatives like this help equip all members of the university community to contribute to our mission of educating and preparing students to become leaders in a diverse and global society."
Some 20 UNG faculty and staff are enrolled in the current course, which is being taught by Dr. Carly Womack-Wynne, associate professor and associate director of UNG's Center for Global Engagement.
Exercises thus far in the course have discussed topics such as cultural identity and preconceptions, white privilege, internal and external oppression, and discrimination.
"This course will enable our faculty and staff to make a greater impact in the university's initiative to grow the diversity of its constituents," said Sheila Caldwell, UNG's advisor to the president on diversity. "Having team members who have formally studied diversity issues is a unique strength, and our school can only bear more fruit as the result of this effort."
The second course in the series, Special Topics in Education, will begin in January 2016. The third course, Diverse Issues in Professional Settings, will follow immediately after in Spring 2016. The courses are open to anyone with a bachelor's degree or higher, including students, faculty and staff from other institutions.