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Online Workplace Intercultural Competence Certificate


Managers need to navigate multiple cultures and bridge cultural differences to be successful in an increasingly diverse work environment. In fact, as foreign-born skilled and unskilled labor grows in business, hospitality, construction and agriculture across the nation, industries are demanding more interculturally competent professionals whose ability to understand differences, identify commonalities and promote integration can foster a more inclusive work environment and maximize productivity.

In SDSU’s Department of School of American and Global Studies, we prepare students who meet these needs of future employers. Our Workplace Intercultural Competence Certificate provides intercultural management skills for professionals in Agriculture, Dairy Sciences, Animal Sciences, Hospitality Management, Operations Management and Business Management, among other fields.

A Practical, Current and Complementary Degree

The interdisciplinary Workplace Intercultural Certificate combines a set of required core courses that directly address intercultural communication. Taking 2 semesters of a modern language (French, German or Spanish) students will gain a basic understanding of the challenges of second-language acquisition and will gain insight into a culture different from their own. This knowledge is then expanded with coursework in intercultural competence (SPCM 470 or GLST 280), which provides theoretical tools to compare and contrast different cultural frames, hones essential intercultural communicative skills, and helps students to develop strategies to better adapt to cultural differences. In addition, students are required to take 1 elective management course in their chosen field (e.g., Agricultural Business Management or Supply Chain Management).

The International Market

A Workplace Intercultural Competence Certificate will make you stand out to potential employers. In fact, many domestic employers (e.g. Tyson, Bel Brands, Hilltop Dairy, etc.) have reached out to SDSU expressing their interest in graduates with intercultural management skills. Furthermore, their interest reflects a growing national and international need for workplace global competence, which—according to the Center for Global Education—foster productivity far beyond the workplace:

  1. Global competence is the toolkit a productive, involved citizenry uses to meet the problems and opportunities of the world.
  2. A new generation of students requires different skills from the generations that came before.
  3. More than ever before, individual actions reach around the globe.
  4. Global competence integrates knowledge of the world and the skill of application with the disposition to think and behave productively.
  5. Success in career and life will depend on global competence, because career and life will play out on the global stage. 

Being interculturally competent will strengthen your ability to engage with a wider variety of people, help you find creative solutions to problems, and will further your communication skills, making you a superb asset for a myriad of employment opportunities in both domestic and international job markets.

Program Contact

Dr. Christine Garst-Santos, Director and Associate Professor of Spanish
Phone: 605-688-5101

SDSU Continuing and Distance Education

Phone: 605-688-4154

SDSU Admissions

Phone: 605-688-4121