Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

James P. Keen

Abstract

Multicultural practitioners promote cultural competence among individuals to create awareness and tolerance of others who are culturally different. Yet, current research on cultural competence education primarily focused on practitioners in the traditional school setting instead of individuals in nonschool settings. This basic qualitative study investigated how multicultural practitioners in nonschool settings experience their attempts to develop cultural competence in constituents. Bennett's intercultural sensitivity, Koehn and Rosenau's multicultural competence, and Quappe and Cantatore's cultural awareness models informed the semi-structured interviews with 8 multicultural practitioners obtained via snowball sampling. Data were manually coded and analyzed to develop themes. Results indicated four ways participants conceptualized cultural competency, a five-part approach to cultural competence promotion, seven varying efforts to develop cultural competence, seven challenges that hindered their work, and four areas of success. Future studies might investigate differences in cultural competency efforts used by specific cultural groups and multicultural practitioners' growth as professionals to help to determine professional development programs that warrant implementation. This study will generate interest in developing cultural competence in groups and settings beyond the reach of traditional educational settings, thereby contributing to social change.

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