Navigating Difference Cultural Competency

Navigating Difference© Cultural Competency Training

Navigating Difference© is an optional professional development opportunity that was developed by Washington State University Extension. It enables participants to create a safe and welcoming environment for all learners with activities that respect and support individual learning styles.

What is cultural competence?

Cultural competence is the ability to interact and communicate effectively with people from diverse cultures, including those of a different age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, race, and more.

Navigating Difference© is not about specific cultural groups, trying to change your values, blaming or fault finding, or creating guilt or angry situations.

Navigating Difference© covers five cultural competencies: Cultural Awareness, Cultural Understanding, Cultural Knowledge, Cultural Interaction, and Cultural Sensitivity.

What do participants learn?
  • Become more aware of our personal and organizational cultures
  • Examine how these cultures both positively and negatively affect our ability to work across difference
  • Build skills to increase our cultural competencies as we work with others who are different from us
What do participants gain?
  • Skills to enhance your work with diverse audiences
  • A solid foundation in intercultural communication theory and practice
  • Opportunities to apply new learning in your work
  • An opportunity to learn how you can be more welcoming in your daily life

Course Brochure

Upcoming Events

Course Information

 Time Requirement

Training on all five competencies takes 18 hours, spread over two and a half days.  We also offer the training module by module, starting with Cultural Awareness. Navigating Difference© can be delivered in a virtual educational format.

 Cost to Participants

There is no fee for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach faculty and staff to participate.


Not Affiliated with ISU?

Our primary responsibility is to serve Extension and Outreach colleagues. As part of our organization’s mission to serve all Iowans, many of our programs, opportunities, and resources are available to others.

If you have questions or are interested in a particular program, reach out to that program’s contact or to Brenda Allen, Professional Development Manager.