Master's Diversity Track Prepares You for Today's Workplace


Master's Diversity Track Prepares You for Today's Workplace

Employers who value diversity are increasingly looking to hire people who understand different cultures and how they interact. The OU Extended Campus Master of Arts with a Major in Integrative Studies Diversity Track can prepare you for today’s dynamic workplace by giving you a deeper understanding of populations, as well as the ability to exhibit tolerance and acceptance in a variety of situations.

Designed to meet the needs of working adults, the Master of Arts with a Major in Integrative Studies is a 33-hour, 100% online program that is fast-paced, affordable and flexible.

“We all come into contact with people whose lives differ from us, some in significant ways. We can learn to be the bridge that brings people and communities together.”

In addition to 15 hours of required Integrative Studies courses and a six-hour thesis or non-thesis completion option, the Diversity Track includes the courses Cultural Communication in Leadership, Global Challenges in Leadership, Addressing Diversity in the United States and a diversity elective. The courses are engaging, relevant and taught by experts in the field.

Roksana Alavi, OU Extended Campus associate professor of interdisciplinary studies, said although diversity of race, gender, ethnicity and culture of populations have been a part of United States history, until a few decades ago the concepts weren’t a part of our culture and analysis.

“We held, and to some extent still hold, very elementary beliefs about what these concepts mean, and that was the end of the conversation about them,” Alavi said. “In the last 20 years or so, we have moved our pluralist society to a global level.”

The MAIS Diversity Track engages students with both historical and contemporary analyses of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, religion and more, Alavi said.

“The goal of this program is to prepare our graduates to effectively navigate our pluralist society and work in diverse situations with diverse groups of people,” Alavi said. “Together, we learn to go through the world being mindful of our differences, and the fact that our actions can have a significant effect in the world, and on individuals, regardless of our intentions.”

The MAIS Diversity Track will prepare you to be a better leader, coworker and citizen. It’s a great complement to almost any career, including human resources, policymaking and implementation, and for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

“We all come into contact with people whose lives differ from us, some in significant ways,” Alavi said. “We can learn to be the bridge that brings people and communities together.”

In addition to focusing on diversity, you will learn theoretical perspectives from the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities, giving you a well-rounded understanding of interdisciplinary issues, as well enhanced research, critical thinking and communication skills.

All courses are 16 weeks long, and advisors are available to help you select the number of credit hours you take each semester, as well as what courses best suit your goals.

In addition to the Diversity Track, OU Extended Campus offers an online Minor in Diversity Studies for undergraduate students. The minor is a total of 15 hours taken concurrently with major degree requirements. The minor includes six hours of required courses and nine hours of elective courses.

Visit the OU Extended Campus website to learn more or find out if this degree option is the right choice for you.

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Tami Althoff

Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.