The Colorado State University School of Social Work recently renamed its online Mediation Certificate of Completion because the curriculum actually covers much more than just the formal mediation process. It is now known as the Conflict Resolution and Mediation Certificate of Completion. Anyone can benefit from conflict resolution training, and this program teaches fundamentals that can be applied in a variety of everyday situations often accompanied by tension, stress, and confrontation.
“Many of the foundational skills and principles offered in our courses are applicable to the world of conflict resolution, formal and informal,” said Nancy Banman, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, part of the College of Health and Human Sciences. “Clear communication – being able to separate the issue at heart from the position a party takes, being able to communicate one’s own story, and being able to listen empathetically to the stories of others – all these skills are necessary in a broad array of conflict resolution contexts from small to large systems, not just a formal mediation process.
“Additionally, students and alumni of our courses have indicated that they aren’t just facilitating formal mediation processes with the skills and knowledge they learn,” she continued. “Rather, they are using the skills and knowledge to resolve any variety of conflicts at home, work and in the community. What the courses offer is not limited just to mediation, but is applicable to helping resolve almost any type of conflict.”
Conflict resolution and mediation training can be applied to many situations. Anyone can benefit from conflict resolution training, and this program teaches fundamentals that can be applied in a variety of everyday situations often accompanied by tension, stress and confrontation, for example:
- As a manager – Dealing with employees feuding over something such as a budget concern
- As a teacher – Addressing a student and his family about a behavioral issue in the classroom
- As a counselor or therapist – Working through marital issues with a couple on the verge of divorce
- As a concerned family member – Making decisions for an aging loved one
- As a parent – Empowering children to responsibly manage conflict among themselves
- As a community member – Being able to resolve a conflict with your neighbor regarding their barking dog, or assisting in facilitating a civil dialogue within your neighborhood association regarding the costs of updating signage.
The online conflict resolution and mediation training uses a strengths-based approach that teaches students how to focus on clients’ strengths rather than deficits, and how those strengths can be used to move toward a resolution. The challenging, practice-based curriculum focuses on this facilitative process throughout the program.
Skills and understanding
In covering conflict resolution as a whole, students will complete the program with a better understanding of:
- The formal process of mediation as a specific method of conflict resolution, including the specific steps needed to come to a formal, written resolution.
- The process of mediation as a facilitator, allowing those involved in the conflict to shape the solution, rather than assigning one as an arbitrator.
- Fundamental communication skills especially important in conflict management such as listening, checking for accuracy of what you’ve heard, asking open-ended questions, reflecting, hearing wholly and empathetically, and more.
- Key negotiation, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills that are transferable to a variety of fields and can help you advance in any career.
To learn more about the Conflict Resolution and Mediation Certificate program, please visit www.online.colostate.edu/certificates/conflict-resolution-mediation/ or contact Siobhan Venman at CSU OnlinePlus with specific questions, (970) 492-4715.
CSU OnlinePlus is a division of the Office of Engagement, which strengthens CSU’s ability to achieve excellence in the areas of teaching and learning, retention and graduation, admissions and access, and engagement and service and assists communities through engagement, scientific discovery, and regional research.
For more information about OnlinePlus, visit www.online.colostate.edu or call (970) 491-5288.