Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Diversity Climate in One California Community College: A Descriptive Quantitative Study
by Song, Sokha, Ed.D., Pepperdine University, 2017, 139; 10682080
Abstract (Summary)

Although significant relationships have been found between cultural diversity and organizational performance as perceived by faculty and staff members at four-year public universities and faculty and staff members at two private universities, no contemporary studies could be located that explored the perceptions of public community college faculty and staff members relative to their college’s climate of cultural diversity. This gap is a major shortcoming in the diversity climate literature given that community colleges are becoming increasingly characterized by cultural diversity.

This quantitative research study is designed to analyze the diversity climate at one California community college considering the three pronged model of Cox (1994) which describes three levels for determining diversity climate: individual, group/intergroup, and organizational. Out of the 1,099 identified employees who received an invitation to participate in an online diversity climate survey, 190 (17.2%) submitted responses to an electronic survey. Analysis showed that 95 (50%) of participants were employees who have worked in the college for 11 or more years and; approximately 19 (10%) participants were employees who have worked in the college less than five years.

Participants were asked to complete a survey with a total of 29 items divided between four sections of which responses were based on their level of frequency and/or agreement with each item. The quantitative items designed to analyze employees perceptions of diversity climate in the area of Sensitivity and Inclusion, Communication and Intergroup Relations, Employment and Professional Development, and Institutional Viability and Vitality at the one community college.

The analysis of the survey explains that employees value concepts such as opportunities for recruiting diversity, adequate opportunities for professional development, and where to go for job related problems. However, the findings show that employees do not believe there are concerns related to disparaging comments about age, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and disability. This leads the researcher to believe there are paradoxes and confusion in what employees value in their jobs and treatment of one another.

The researcher concludes that the college needs to focus on addressing needs at all three levels (individual, intergroup, and organizational) in order to affect positive change with diversity at the college. Part of this challenge has to include analyzing obstacles that may prevent continuation of future studies. A collaboration with all stakeholders is essential to the success of implementing positive changes to diversity climate at the college.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mallete, Leo
Commitee: Davis, Kay, Dellaneve, James
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Organization Theory, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Community college, Diversity, Diversity climate
Publication Number: 10682080
ISBN: 978-0-355-49636-9
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