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Continuous Cultural Competence

About the Initiative

The Continuous Cultural Competence initiative aims to support a range of discussions and workshops designed to provide faculty and staff an opportunity to learn, reflect and apply information centered on one’s knowledge, skills and attitudes in areas of social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Continuing to grow in the area of cultural competence is a life-long journey that requires reflection, commitment to expand learning and intentionality in the application of the knowledge learned. In alignment with this continued growth, faculty and staff are asked to participate in a minimum of three hours of Continuous Cultural Competence content per year. The three hours of Continuous Cultural Competence engagement can include three separate one-hour events, one three-hour event or anything in between. The flexibility is intentional so faculty and staff can select events that meet their interests and stretch their understanding.


Step One

Complete the "Culture at UCO" module. Please note that completion of this module does NOT count towards your three hours of cultural competence engagement.

Step Two

The Continuous Cultural Competence program asks faculty and staff for a minimum of three hours of engagement. However, you are welcome to engage in additional events as your schedule allows. There are two options available for events:

Option A:

Attend an event that has been pre-approved to count toward Continuous Cultural Competence engagement hours. Browse the pre-approved events list.

Option B:

If there is an event you wish to attend, but it has not yet been approved for Continuous Cultural Competence engagement, please submit the event information a minimum of five days prior to the event in order to confirm approval. The event must meet one or more of the Continuous Cultural Competence learning objectives.

Step Three

Complete the required application component of the event, as determined by the event facilitator. The application component acts as a means for participants to reflect on what they have learned and articulate how they will apply that new knowledge. It may be an artifact, shared reflection discussion, written critical reflection, etc.  You may submit the application component either directly to the event facilitator, or via the Online Cultural Competence Drop Box.

Following is some guidance on written critical reflections, as these are the most commonly used application components for Continuous Cultural Competence events.

"A Critical Reflection (also called a reflective essay) is a process of identifying, questioning, and assessing our deeply-held assumptions – about our knowledge, the way we perceive events and issues, our beliefs, feelings, and actions. When you reflect critically, you use course material (lectures, readings, discussions, etc.) to examine your biases, compare theories with current actions, search for causes and triggers, and identify problems at their core. Critical reflection is not a reading assignment, a summary of an activity, or an emotional outlet. Rather, the goal is to [modify] your thinking about a subject, and thus change your behaviour." [source]

Your critical reflection may answer one of the following questions based on the event in which you participated. These are optional, and only provided to give you a place to start.​​​​​​​

  1. Whose identity was reflected in the Continuous Cultural Competence learning event/series? How is that identity currently underrepresented or underheard? If you share the identity being reflected, what steps can you take to make yourself heard? If you do not share the identity being reflected, what steps can you take to amplify those voices?
  2. What is your level of knowledge and comfort with the history of people from various groups that have and continue to experience marginalization?
  3. What steps can you take to increase your own awareness of your biases, beliefs, assumptions, values, attitudes, etc., and how can this information support you during everyday life?
  4. In what context might you experience privilege? In what context might you not experience privilege?
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Continuous Cultural Competence Pre-Approved Events

So You Want Your Event to Qualify for Continuous Cultural Competence Engagement

This section is for those departments, colleges, offices, or organizations who plan to host an event and would like to see if it qualifies for Continuous Cultural Competence engagement hours. If you plan to host an event centered around a topic that meets one or more of the Continuous Cultural Competence learning objectives, and contains an application component in which participants take time to reflect and apply their new knowledge, you are encouraged to submit that event through the Continuous Cultural Competence event approval process. Please be sure that your event is completely finalized before filling out the Event Submission Form. A finalized event has all logistics secured, content determined, learning objectives developed, and the application component set. After you submit your event, the Continuous Cultural Competence Committee will review it to ensure it meets the criteria listed above. The committee will then communicate the status of your event and provide you with a Facilitator Guide if it does indeed qualify for engagement hours.

Please review the Event Submission & Implementation Process Flowchart for a more visual explanation of the event submission process and Continuous Cultural Competence event requirements.

Event submission Form

In an effort to assist those who are less familiar with hosting an event at UCO, the Office of Inclusive Community has gathered the following tips and resources. Please note that the Office of Inclusive Community along with the Continuous Cultural Competence Committee will not be responsible for the planning, implementation, or funding of your event.

Things to Consider When You Want to Host a Campus Event

  • Have you received permission to hold an event from the appropriate parties?
  • Have you informed Environmental Health & Safety so they can perform a risk assessment?
  • Have you secured a venue?
  • Will this event be virtual, hybrid, in person?
  • Do you need a Zoom link?
  • What date/s & time/s will the event occur?
  • Will your participants need materials such as books, etc?
  • Who will pay for these items?
  • How will you market the event - Master Calendar, Centralities message, email blast?
  • How will participants register for the event - Learning Center, Zoom, email?
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Learning Objectives for Continuous Cultural Competence

Each event deemed a Continuous Cultural Competence event will meet one or more of the learning objectives designed to address knowledge, skills and attitudes as they relate to social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.


Demonstration of awareness of one’s social identities and recognition of the complexities of those from different social identity groups.

  • Recognizes how one’s social identity group and experiences have shaped their worldview
  • Demonstrates insight into one’s biases
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the complexity of elements important and impactful to members of a differing social identity group
  • Defines diversity, inclusion, equity, power and privilege and how it is manifested at the University of Central Oklahoma


An ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic and sustained effort to carry out complex functions involving ideas, things and/or people.

  • Creates a plan for engaging in relationships for reciprocal learning with individuals from differing social identity groups
  • Designs an approach for engaging in dialogue around diversity, inclusion, social justice and equity
  • Analyzes barriers faced by multiple social identity groups in various contexts and mitigate those barriers
  • Explains how listening, information-gathering and problem-solving skills support and foster partnerships and dialogue around diversity and inclusion


A settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something that can be reflected in a person’s behavior.

  • Initiates and develops interactions with individuals from different social identity groups.
  • Reflects on changes in behavior as a result of empathy and support with others from differing social identity groups
  • Explains your ability to listen and learn from alternative perspectives
  • Synthesizes multiple perspectives and comes to a shared solution
  • Reflects on how engaging in Continuous Cultural Competence has resulted in a shift in perspective in one’s life and work

Letter from the President

To Our Broncho Community,

This year marks the university’s inaugural effort to bring an intentional and coordinated focus to the importance of inclusion and equity throughout our campus. As our state’s metropolitan university, our power to serve lies in our reflection of those whom we are here to serve. 

We must fold back the husk of our preconceived notions about race, sex, ability and fairness in order to expose ourselves to the experiences of those around us. Our desire to share in a fair and equitable system of personal and professional opportunity must be girded with a commitment to collaboratively work toward a more inclusive environment at UCO.

The university’s requirement for every community member to participate in self-directed cultural competence education throughout the year is representative of our collective commitment to break barriers and build bridges. We’ve been asked to become the student – to reflect, to apply what we learn and to put in the effort. This outward action demonstrates our resolve to confront biases and to nurture an institutional climate in which our differences are what unite us. 

Honor Bronze and Blue. 

Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar
UCO President 

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