Colorado Christian University

News: Emphasis Addresses Cultural Competency

New Graduate Emphasis Addresses Cultural Competency

Colorado Christian University's College of Adult and Graduate Studies launched a new emphasis in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) for the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction (MACI) program. The program is designed to prepare graduates to work with students where English is not their first language.

"Most classrooms today are multicultural classrooms," shared Dr. Wendy Wendover, dean of the Curriculum and Instruction Education division in CCU's College of Adult and Graduate Studies. "We are training our students to understand how someone's culture greatly affects how they learn."

The new program is timely for students who desire to work in the Denver Public Schools (DPS) system because teachers are required to meet English Language Acquisition Teacher (ELA-T) qualification requirements. As of this year, the DPS system reports over 34,000 English-language learners representing over 170 languages in this district alone.

Dr. Wendover believes that in order for students to succeed, it's important for teachers to seek cooperation and support from the student's family. "The trend used to be that the students needed to adjust to the teacher, but we are taking a more collaborative approach by equipping the teacher to adapt to the individual needs of the students and their parents."

Wendover continued, "When you demonstrate an appreciation of culture and diversity to their parents, you are providing a way to facilitate community. A teacher who has the CLD background can build upon strengths of both their learners and family units."

Dr. Bush White, director of CCU's Graduate Education programs, sees this new emphasis as an opportunity for CCU to partner with international organizations such as the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and English Language Institute for China (ELIC) who need highly qualified educators to be able to teach in their schools.

"The classroom is the greatest mission field," said Dr. White. "There are thousands of ACSI schools abroad that have expressed interest in CCU graduates who are not only excellent educators, but who also have the CLD background. It's an incredible opportunity for our students to make an impact for Christ."

Learn more about the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse emphasis for CCU's Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction.