Course Description

HHS Office of Minority Health merged several existing definitions to conclude the following:

“Cultural and linguistic competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations. “Culture” refers to integrated patterns
of human behavior that include the language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious,
or social groups. “Competence” implies having the capacity to function effectively as an individual and an organization within the context of cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Improving Cultural Competence. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series No. 59. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4849. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014)

Objectives: Participants will

  • Explore cultural competence and elements necessary for the culturally competent clinician to develop and possess
  • Review guidelines for culturally responsive clinical services
  • Complete “Application to Practice” discussion questions

Course Modality: This is an independent home-study course. Students will take the course according to their own timeline. 

Course Completion: To receive the course certificate, each student is required to agree to Student Learning Contract, read all text-based materials, view any media posted, complete and pass course examination, and complete and submit course evaluation. 

Note: Posted materials are free from SAMHSA and other public domain sites. 

Course fee applies for continuing education hours and a certificate of completion.

Senior Instructor

Diane Sherman, PhD

Dr. Diane Sherman, Ph.D., a substance abuse profession since 1975, beginning her career while serving in the U.S. Army for in the capacity of Behavioral Science Specialist.  She holds the national advanced credential of Master Addiction Counselor, Certified Clinical Supervisor, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor-II, and E-Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Diane earned her Doctorate in Industrial / Organizational Psychology from Capella University in 2007. Since 2008 she has taught and supervised students who are in pursuit of the certified addiction counselor credential. She is a national, regional and state presenter offering topics relevant to addiction professional, clinical, and ethical practices and clinical supervision. In 2015 was honored to receive the Georgia School of Addiction Studies, Bruce Hoopes Pioneer Award in Addiction Treatment, a personally meaningful award, for excellence in the addiction profession.

Course curriculum


5 star rating

youngor berete

5 star rating

Improving Cultural Competency

Anisa Grantham

The website was easy to navigate. Dr Sherman made use of resources that are available to all. The questions were thought provoking and held me accountable. ...

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The website was easy to navigate. Dr Sherman made use of resources that are available to all. The questions were thought provoking and held me accountable. Thank you!

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4 star rating

Shaniece Lewis



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