When you’re the only Asian American in your college class and you’re in a position of power and influence, it can be hard to be heard and respected.
It’s why Kapiolian community college students and their supporters have a new program they’re calling, WorkDay Community.
Kapiolian Community College is one of four schools in California to offer WorkDay, a six-week intensive course to teach students about diversity, inclusion and social justice.
“It’s really a chance for our students to talk about their experiences,” said Alana Alberts, co-director of the college’s Diversity Resource Center.
Students learn about diversity in their communities, as well as how to apply that knowledge to their own lives.
And they’ll also learn about issues like racial and sexual harassment, workplace bias and discrimination.
“We want to help them understand how to use the power of their education to empower themselves and their communities to be more inclusive,” said Katie Alberton, co founder of the WorkDay group.
“And also to take their work, whether it’s writing essays or writing a check, and put it toward their community.”
In 2017, Kapiolan Community College became the first California community college to offer a work-based course called WorkDay.
The course has been on the rise for a few years now.
Students have taken it twice, in 2019 and again in 2020.
The work-in-progress portion of the course, which includes two hours of readings, three hours of writing, an introduction to the syllabus and an overview of the work, will last for five weeks.
Students will also spend a minimum of 10 hours studying for a mock interview and three hours on an in-person interview.
Alberts says she hopes the course will spark conversation and awareness for other communities in the Bay Area, as it has in the Kapiolanian community.
She said the focus of the program is not only about education, but about being a better person.
“There are a lot of really positive things that come out of the community, that come from people who are involved in it,” she said.
“It’s not just about the education that’s provided by the school, but the support that’s given by other people that are involved.”
The course starts Monday and runs through May.
The group is seeking a $1,500 grant from the California Higher Education Investment Fund to continue the program.KAPIAI COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS HERE: How to connect with Kapiolians about diversity and inclusion in the community