Diversity Competence and the Link to Institutional Accountability

The world of work has been transformed by the dramatic power of globalization that has reshaped when, where, and how work is performed. By eroding the barriers of time and distance, the global workplace requires individuals to communicate meaningfully with diverse others to solve problems that transcend geographic, economic, cultural, and social divides. In this rapidly changing global society, college and university graduates need to have the awareness, knowledge, and skills to succeed in a diverse, interconnected workplace and social context. As Thomas Friedman points out, high-wage, middle-skilled jobs have disappeared, and the capacity to innovate, as well as skills like communication and critical thinking, are more important than academic knowledge. Whereas prior generations tried to find existing jobs, the new generation instead has to invent jobs. As a result, the goal of education has changed. Individuals must be “innovation ready”—ready to add value to whatever they do. The result is the need for greater accountability in educational processes, or what Friedman terms “Accountability 2.0.”

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