Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A hierarchical analysis of how institutional, faculty, and student characteristics relate to intercultural maturity
by Neufeld, Amy A., Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2013, 165; 10184454
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between institutional characteristics of colleges and universities and Intercultural Maturity. More specifically, the study looked at two relationships: (1) the institution's emphasis on diversity and faculty emphasis on Intercultural Maturity in the classroom, and (2) the institution's emphasis on diversity and student gains in Intercultural Maturity. This national study included 4,274 senior college students, 1,371 general education faculty members, and 80 four-year higher education institutions.

Findings that focused on faculty emphasis on Intercultural Maturity indicated that the strongest predictors were those that represented how faculty spent their time in class: the extent to which faculty emphasized diversity in their course content and the inclusion of a service learning project were significant positive predictors of faculty emphasis on Intercultural Maturity. The institution's emphasis on diversity varied in predicting faculty emphasis on Intercultural Maturity: emphasizing student contact with diverse others was a strong significant positive predictor, inclusion of diversity in the undergraduate curriculum was a negative significant predictor, and inclusion of diversity in the mission statement was not a significant predictor. Female faculty, faculty of color, faculty in a soft discipline, or those who were not on the tenure track were more likely to emphasize Intercultural Maturity than their respective peers who were male, white, in a hard discipline, or tenured /on the tenure track.

When looking at variables that predicted student gains in Intercultural Maturity, student experience variables were the strongest predictors. Those experience variables included participating in a learning community, incorporating diverse perspectives in class, participating in class group work, and practicing reflective learning. Institutional promotion of student contact with diverse others was a strong significant predict of student gains in Intercultural Maturity but emphasizing diversity in the mission statement and the undergraduate curriculum were not significant predictors of the outcome measure. Faculty emphasis on diversity and reflective learning in the classroom was also not a significant predictor of student gains in Intercultural Maturity. Students who were female, non-white, or traditional aged made greater gains in Intercultural Maturity than their respective peers who were male, white, or non-traditional aged.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wolf-Wendel, Lisa
Commitee: Kim, Dongbin, Patterson, Meagan, Roney, Marlesa, Twombly, Susan, Wolf-Wendel, Lisa
School: University of Kansas
Department: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- Kansas
Source: DAI-A 79/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Higher education
Keywords: College, Diversity, Faculty, Intercultural maturity, Student development
Publication Number: 10184454
ISBN: 9780355279498
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