By Keshia Abraham
As CIEE has become the national leader in providing opportunities for non-traditional students to study abroad, it has committed to a global training and development program for all CIEE worldwide staff to ensure they are equipped to support the changing face of study abroad.
CIEE’s goal is to foster inclusive excellence, to provide the preparation and support that sets students from all backgrounds up for success in their study abroad program. As part of our efforts to create this equity, in the next year, all student-facing staff at CIEE locations around the world will participate in diversity and inclusion training. In phase one, staff will take training modules that will teach them:
- To build inclusive orientation and predeparture communications
- To understand their own cultural biases and how they might affect students
- To identify and report on bias and discrimination to inform future training and development so that all students feel supported and set up for success
At the beginning of each diversity and inclusion training session, we review CIEE’s core values to build context for the kind of environment we need to foster.
- We believe in excellence and integrity. We provide the highest-quality programs and services, lead by example, and go the extra mile to serve our students and partners.
- We believe in respect. We embrace and celebrate diversity. We practice open and honest communication.
- We believe in access. We strive to open doors for people from all backgrounds to CIEE programs and to CIEE.
- Finally, at CIEE we believe in problem-solving. We develop innovative and practical solutions to help expand access to international exchange opportunities
Grounded in these values, the required diversity and inclusion trainings will help staff understand how crucial it is to support our students through any identity-related issues they might experience, and will give them the tools and vocabulary they need to identify, mitigate, and manage incidents of bias and discrimination.
This first phase of staff training and development is just one element of CIEE’s strategy for mitigating identity-related problems our students might encounter. In future blogs I will share more about CIEE’s Inclusive Excellence Task Force, our “Road to Inclusion” online resources for staff, and more. Stay tuned!