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Professional Studies course focuses on bias in the workplace

mbruun | Mon Aug 23, 2021

Fitchburg State University’s Center for Professional Studies continues its series of offerings on equity and social change this October with a course exploring the complexity of culture and bias in the workplace.

The course, Exploring the Complexity of Culture and Bias in the Workplace, will provide employers and employees with engaging opportunities to explore, examine and assess how they identify themselves to the world, how biases and misconceptions interfere with understanding others around them, and what systems limit diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Throughout the course, participants will respond to the content and reflect on how it has influenced and impacted their perspectives, their personal interactions, and their professional relationships, while also focusing on our shared humanity.

The program will be offered online with self-paced modules, videos, articles, inquiry-based questions and assessments, as well as a one-hour remote live diversity orientation. Among the learning objectives:

  • Participants will learn foundational terms such as diversity, equity, inclusion, racism, prejudice, discrimination, and bias.
  • Participants will consider where they are receiving messages about others and how those messages impact their interactions with others.
  • Participants will explore how intersections of identity traditionally have more or less power. They will examine where power corrupts justice and limits inclusion and how positive relations build community.
  • Participants will expand their understanding of diversity, traveling throughout the world to interact digitally with other cultures.
  • Participants will be able to embrace the humanity of others and choose new avenues to invite dialogue.
  • Based on course content, participants will be asked to share their reflections, takeaways, and action items going forward.

The course is taught by instructor Angele Goss, who has more than 20 years of professional experience connecting low-income and first generation students (middle, high school and college) to resources and experiences that improve their access to and through post-secondary education.

“I welcome participants to be reflective and curious about the messages and dynamics of culture,” said Goss. “This course is designed to be interactive, informative, and inviting."

"Employees value working for a company that strives toward inclusiveness and cultural responsiveness,” said Associate Dean Lisa Moison of Fitchburg State’s School of Graduate, Online, and Continuing Education. “We all want to be treated fairly, be part of decision-making, feel safe, and be seen for our authentic selves during the workday. The Center for Professional Studies’ upcoming training will help employers to understand the importance of cultural and equitable responsiveness, and the impact it has on their workforce and organization as a whole.” 

The course will begin with a one-hour remote orientation session at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 22, followed by three hours of self-paced online modules (for a total of four instructional hours). The cost to register for the course is $70 and registration can be completed online at fitchburgstate.edu/cps.