UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of the University’s ongoing commitment to combating bias and intolerance and building a more diverse, equitable institution that welcomes community members from all backgrounds and identities, Penn State will launch Track 2 of the BUILD @ Penn State program on Nov. 3.
BUILD @ Penn State, the University-wide diversity education initiative that stands for “Broadening Understanding and Inclusion through Learning and Dialogue,” has been positively received by both faculty and staff since launching for all employees in November 2022, according to program co-chairs Marcus Whitehurst, vice provost for educational equity; Suzanne Adair, associate vice president for equal opportunity and access; and Christy Helms, senior director of talent management in Penn State Human Resources.
The program includes three tracks intended to be completed in successive years. Track 1, which opened last November, focused on recognizing the importance of inclusion in the workplace and is available through the Penn State Learning Resource Network (LRN). To date, more than 17,000 employees have completed Track 1, and over 2,600 supervisors/managers have completed the Leadership Track. Of those who completed the first track, 84% of participants gave the program four or five stars (out of five), while 76% of supervisors/managers who participated gave the leadership track four or five stars (out of five).
Penn State’s Board of Trustees, as well as several local nonprofit organizations, also have completed Track 1. In addition, several units at University Park have held group watch sessions where employees were able to view the courses as a group and engage in reflection and dialogue during the session. Plans are underway to conduct group watch sessions, as well as more comprehensive facilitated conversations based on the program’s content, with other units this fall.
“We continue to be excited by the level of interest in the BUILD program since it launched last year and are encouraged by the number of employees who have been inquiring about the launch of Track 2 this fall,” Adair said. “It’s our hope that new employees who have recently joined Penn State demonstrate a similar level of enthusiasm for the program as they begin Track 1.”
Each BUILD track is intended to build on the knowledge explored in the previous tracks. Track 2 will be available in the LRN on Nov. 3 to all University employees who were hired before July 31. The second track focuses on adopting an inclusion mindset at work. Employees hired on or after Aug. 1 will have access to Track 1 beginning on Nov. 3, so that they have the opportunity to participate in the program from the beginning. These employees will be able to access Track 2 in fall 2024 to continue on in the program.
All Penn State employees are encouraged to complete this year’s BUILD courses by February 2024 through the Learning Resource Network. The program should take no more than 90 minutes and can be completed in multiple sessions to best fit employees’ schedules. Incentives for employees who participate include social media badges and digital certificates upon program completion.
All employees will receive an email inviting them to participate in either Track 1 or Track 2 in early November. Penn Staters with questions about the BUILD @ Penn State program can contact Penn State Human Resources at 814-865-1473.
This content was originally published here.