The changing complexion of our society, the diversification of America, and expanding globalization forces within and beyond national borders make it imperative that the counseling profession, counselor educators, practicing counselors and counselors-in-training take a proactive stance on and appreciation of cultural diversity and human rights. Toward this end, the Department of Counselor Education faculty is committed to facilitating honest and respectful discussions regarding different points of view pertaining to values and cultural issues.
Consistent with the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, the Department of Counselor Education at The College of New Jersey requires that its students commit themselves to respecting the dignity and promoting the welfare of as well as affirming individuals evidencing diversity in age, color, culture, ethnicity, disability, gender, language, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, and socioeconomic status.
The department further recognizes the culturally competent counselor, or counselor-in-training, is one who is actively (a) in the process of becoming aware of his or her own assumptions about human behavior, biases, preconceived notions, and personal limitations, (b) attempting to understand the worldview of his or her culturally different clients, and (c) in the process of developing and practicing appropriate, relevant, and sensitive intervention strategies and skills in working with his or her culturally different clients.
As such, the Department of Counselor Education at The College of New Jersey fully endorses the Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development’s (AMCD) Multicultural Counseling Competencies and expects that its students will commit themselves to an ongoing learning process devoted to increased knowledge, personal awareness, sensitivity, and skills pertinent to working with a diverse client population.
When students accept admission into the counselor education programs at The College of New Jersey, they agree to uphold this departmental position on cultural diversity and human rights.
In support of our student’s commitment to this position, faculty in the department agree to create and nurture an inclusive learning community, and to commit to:
1) fostering the holistic development of all students, not just their academic adjustment;
2) developing lines of scholarship and fostering student research on multiculturalism (e.g., confronting and coping with racism; racial identity development);
3) infusing multicultural issues into all courses, not just our course on multicultural counseling;
4) genuinely sharing with all students our own experiences of crossing cultural boundaries, while supporting the multicultural journeys of our students;
5) creating classroom environments in which it is safe for all opinions to be expressed;
6) confronting insensitive comments and behaviors; and
7) being available outside of the classroom to offer support and encouragement to explore the student’s biases, preconceived notions, and personal strengths and/or limitations, while attempting to understand the worldview of his or her culturally different clients.
Understanding that we are embedded within an increasingly multicultural society, the faculty believe that this commitment by students and faculty alike will help to create and support an inclusive learning community within our department, the School of Education, and the College.