Graduate Certificate in Multicultural Education

Rationale & Program Objectives

The Graduate Certificate in Multicultural Education will benefit students by providing them with the requisite awareness, knowledge, and skills to work effectively with students and families from diverse cultural backgrounds in their roles as teachers, counselors, or administrators in P-12 school settings. The objectives of the certificate program are as follows:

  • To develop an understanding of the field of multicultural education.
  • To increase students’ awareness of personal assumptions, values, and biases and the effects these have on our actions and roles as professionals.
  • To understand the benefits of multicultural sensitivity as well as the costs associated with insensitivity.
  • To understand how culture shapes one’s worldview and the worldview of their culturally diverse students.
  • To increase understanding of characteristics of multicultural organizations and to develop systemic strategies for changing monocultural organizations to promote equality and social justice.
  • To enhance skills in effectively teaching students from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • To enhance students’ multicultural competencies for working with diverse individuals, groups, and organizations.

Type of Graduate Certificate Program

The Graduate Certificate in Multicultural Education is designed both as a stand-alone and a degree-affiliated graduate certificate program. As a stand-alone certificate program, it is available to all non-degree-seeking graduate students. Students who seek to be admitted to a master’s or doctoral program in the College of Education after completion of the certificate may be allowed to transfer up to 12 hours of the certificate courses to the master’s or doctoral degree at the discretion of the student’s committee.

Sequence of Courses

Students are required to complete 15 hours, or four three-credit courses, to receive the certificate. All of the courses will use a strengths-based approach for working with diverse students and families. The requirements for the certificate are listed below:

  • A minimum of 15 credit hours
  • All credits must be taken at the University of Missouri
  • A minimum of 6 credit hours must be taken within the core area (see listing below)
  • A minimum of 9 credit hours must be taken within the electives area (see listing below).

I. Core Courses (Six credits/two courses; these two courses serve as pre-requisite courses for the elective classes and must be taken in the following sequence: Diversity Issues I followed by Diversity Issues II)

Diversity Issues for School Personnel I (ESCP 8087)

The purpose of this course is to increase the multicultural competencies of educators working with diverse student populations. As the racial, ethnic and cultural make-up of U.S society changes, educators can expect that they will interact will students and families from culturally diverse groups and that they will have a primary role in socializing students about diversity issues.

The course is designed to be experientially oriented. Activities and assignments in the class are designed to assist, encourage, and challenge each student to more fully develop awareness and knowledge of self, and to use this information to improve intercultural interactions with others in a professional setting.

This course aims to facilitate increased understanding of self, worldviews, and the worldview of others in an environment that feels safe and promotes growth. Students are encouraged to share information and ideas from their own personal experiences and professional work that will promote effective interactions with culturally diverse students and families.

Course Goals:

  • Introduce students to the field of multicultural education
  • Introduce students to the multicultural and pluralistic trends in our society
  • Increase awareness of students’ assumptions, values, and biases
  • Facilitate students’ respect for, and valuing of, human diversity
  • Facilitate awareness of how culture shapes worldview and how this impacts students understanding of and interactions with others from diverse groups
  • Increase students’ knowledge of the role of multicultural competencies in promoting educational achievement and psychosocial development across diverse student groups.
  • Facilitate knowledge on how diversity in families might impact learners
  • Develop awareness, sensitivity, and understanding of the experiences of diverse racial, cultural, and ethnic groups
  • Provide students with the skills to educate students, colleagues and others about diversity and its impact on learning, growth, and relationships
  • Grow towards fluency as multicultural educators

Diversity Issues for School Personnel II

The prerequisite for this course is ESCP 8087: Diversity Issues for School Personnel.

The purpose of this course is to take a more in depth look at the field of multicultural education as it applies to curriculum, instruction and assessment. Students will examine current developments in multicultural education and use that knowledge to interrogate their current educational situations. Finally, students will design an action plan that will infuse newly acquired knowledge into their current job situation.

Course Goals:

  • Introduce students to multicultural education research and theory that address curriculum, instruction and assessment.
  • Students will evaluate the multicultural climate of their current work situation.
  • Students will design an action plan that implements their new found knowledge to promote both affective and behavioral learning objectives.

II. Elective Courses (Students can select three courses for nine credits)

African American Education: Historic and Current Issues

This course will explore the historical, cultural and socio-economic factors that shape the school experience and academic achievement of African Americans. Students in this class will examine how legal decisions supporting desegregation and affirmative actions have been supported and undermined the educational advances of African Americans. Students will also examine the effects that No Child Left Behind has had on African Americans. Finally, we will identify and study institutions that have effectively educated African Americans and design actions plans to implement within our current situations.

Course Goals:

  • Introduce students to the historical, cultural and socio-economic factors that shape African-Americans school experience
  • Examine educational frameworks that effectively educate African Americans
  • Design an action plan that utilizes newly acquired knowledge

Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Issues in the Schools

This course will explore the historical and social factors that shape the school experience   and academic achievement of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students. Students will learn about identity development models, experiences of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students in the schools, and issues relevant to the learning and development of gay, lesbian and bisexual students. Students in the class will also examine the effects of homophobia on students and will learn strategies for reducing homophobia in the schools and creating a safe environment for gay, lesbian, and bisexual students in the classroom and the schools.

Course Goals:

  • Introduce students to social events that have shaped the same-sex rights movement.
  • Explore the impact of homophobia on gay, lesbian, and bisexual students’ learning and development.
  • Design classroom activities for reducing homophobia and creating a safe space for gay, lesbian, and bisexual students to learn.

Immigrant Issues in Education

[see comments and learning outcomes from previous students]

The purpose of this course is to increase the level of cross-cultural awareness, knowledge and skills of school personnel working with immigrant students and their families. As the cultural make-up of U.S society changes, school personnel can expect to interact more with students and families who have been touched by immigration. While most educators appreciate the immediate impact of immigration, they are at times unsure how to best assist families in navigating the demands of their new environment. Additionally, some families may still exhibit and respond according to values from the country of origin despite being in the US for several generations. Educators are called upon to provide more than curricular knowledge in helping their students become successful in their new home country. The anticipated outcome includes improved skills in conceptualizing the unique needs of and responding with appropriate interventions to immigrant children and families.

Course Goals:

  • Introduce students to the field of cross-cultural education.
  • Introduce students to the changes in our society related to immigration issues.
  • Increase awareness of students’ assumptions, values, and biases related to immigrant populations.
  • Increase cross-cultural competencies in educational settings.
  • Develop awareness, sensitivity, flexibility, and understanding of immigrant students and families from diverse backgrounds.

We encourage students to explore other graduate level courses related to multicultural education in other departments in the COE. Any multicultural education focused graduate level courses offered outside of the certificate program must be approved by one of the certificate program directors.

Sample Plan to Study and Completion Timeline

Year 1:

  • Fall Semester: Diversity Issues for School Personnel I
  • Spring Semester: Diversity Issues for School Personnel II

Year 2:

  • Fall Semester: Elective Course #1, Elective Course #2
  • Spring Semester: Elective Course #3

Most students will be able to complete the certificate program in one to two years. Five years will be the maximum time allowed for completion of the certificate program.

Click here to Download detailed information about the certificate.

Click here to Download the application forms.

Click here to see the comments and learning outcomes students had for the courses.