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Five Lenses for Educating for and Assessing Cultural Competence

Friday, May 15, 2015 
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
Capitol Room, Holmes Student Center

A workshop by James Francisco Bonilla, Ed.D.
Professor Emeritus of Organizational Leadership & Conflict Studies
Hamline University School of Business, Saint Paul, Minnesota 


This workshop will engage faculty, staff and administrators in exploring two questions: "Is there one best approach to educating for cultural competence in higher education?" and, "Is cultural competency measurable?" This workshop emerges from a research study conducted in 2010 and 2012, and that study analyzed student learning outcomes as measured by five assessment instruments and concluded that a multi-perspective approach increased student cultural competence.

Goals for the workshop include the following: 1) to introduce five distinct approaches to educating for cultural competency along with a sampling of corresponding assessment instruments, 2) to provide faculty, staff and administrators an opportunity to identify their own preferred "lens(es)" on cultural competence, 3) to explore some of the comparative strengths and limitations of each lens, and 4) to discuss the implications of the workshop for teaching, service and research at Northern Illinois University.

The workshop will conclude with an exploration of the potential benefits of the Five Lenses Approach to participants’ own teaching, training, and research and/or assessment efforts. This workshop should particularly benefit faculty, faculty developers, staff, and administrators who are interested in: a) examining the strengths and limitations of various approaches to cultural competence, b) addressing resistance to diversity in the classroom, and/or c) designing and assessing learning outcomes for cultural competence.


James Francisco Bonilla, Ed.D. is Professor Emeritus of Organizational Leadership & Conflict Studies in the Hamline University School of Business. He was the founding director of the Hamline University Race, Gender & Beyond Project, a multicultural teaching faculty development program. His current interests include diversity in outdoor and environmental organizations and assisting organizations and communities in becoming more racially and culturally diverse. He has served as founding member of the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity's Latino/a Caucus as well as founding member and past chair of NCORE's (National Conference on Race and Ethnicity) Faculty Advisory Committee. Dr. Bonilla brings to this workshop over a quarter century's experience educating for cultural diversity nationally and internationally.

Tentative Agenda

8:00 a.m.
 Check-in and Refreshments
8:30 a.m.
8:35 a.m.
 Introduction to the Five Lenses Approach
10:15 a.m.
 Refreshment Break
10:30 a.m.
 Exploring and Applying the Five Lenses
12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m.
 Exploring and Applying The Five Lenses Approach (continued)
2:15 p.m.
 Refreshment Break
2:30 p.m.
 Implications of the Five Lenses Approach for Developing and Assessing Cultural Competence
3:45 p.m.
 Conclusion and Workshop Evaluation

Office of Assessment Services
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center

Registration Information

This workshop is open to NIU faculty, instructors, and SPS & Civil Service staff. Participants will receive workshop materials, lunch, and a certificate of participation. Due to the expensive nature of the workshop and the advance notice needed for arranging food and materials, please register by the deadline and plan to attend the entire day. Advance registration is required.

Registration Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2015. Registration is closed for this workshop.

After you register, if you are unable to attend, please cancel your registration by logging in at by Monday, May 11, 2015 so that those on the waiting list can be given the opportunity to attend the workshop and/or workshop costs can be reduced.

Last Updated: 5/4/2015