There’s a growing demand from employers and from students for graduate-level education on how to assist organizations in their efforts to achieve inclusive, diverse workplaces.
More organizations are looking to understand how to effectively manage inclusion and diversity initiatives to improve employee performance and satisfaction.
And at Villanova, students sought out an elective course on diversity in the Human Resource Development (HRD) program, filling it to capacity semester after semester.
Recognizing this demand, the HRD program launched a new certificate in Inclusion and Diversity Strategy this fall. The program will provide students with the tools to lead and support strategic inclusion and diversity efforts in a variety of organizational settings.
The new offering also aligns with one of the tenets of Villanova’s Strategic Plan, Rooted. Restless., to actively foster an environment in which different perspectives are respected and all voices are valued.
"We created this certificate to drive meaningful change that will make work better for everyone," says Bethany J. Adams, associate director of Graduate Programs in HRD, who proposed the program. "Research shows that fostering more inclusive practices leads to better outcomes for people and companies. Our students, as HR professionals, will be called upon to lead these initiatives."
The program is designed for students at any stage of their careers—working in human resources, at nonprofit or government agencies, or in supervisory roles managing diverse teams.
Planning for the program began in 2019, and the curriculum was developed with the input and expertise of two Villanova HRD adjunct faculty members who have extensive experience in this area—Jameel Rush, vice president, Diversity and Inclusion, at Aramark, and Todd Corley, who previously served as the Global Chief Diversity Officer for Abercrombie & Fitch and as chair of the Georgetown University Chief Diversity Officer Consortium.