Fostering Intercultural Competence Among Undergraduate Students: Course Design for Growth

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Publication Date



Tertiary education can provide students with experience with and understanding about other cultures, toward the goal of intercultural competence (ICC). This investigation examined the impact of two undergraduate courses on students’ ability to understand and adapt their behavior to cultural differences. The two courses were: (1) Introduction to Critical Race Theory (CRT) and (2) Human Relations in a Multicultural Society (HRMS). Researchers reviewed archived data of students’ scores on the Intercultural Development Inventory during the Fall 2021 semester. The hypotheses included: (1) students who completed the CRT course (called CRT group) will begin the HRMS course at a higher developmental stage of ICC compared to students who did not complete the CRT course (called non-CRT group) and (2) students who completed the CRT course will make larger gains in their ICC during the HRMS course compared to the non-CRT group. Data analysis found statistically a significant difference between groups at the beginning of the HRMS course (Hypothesis 1). In other words, the CRT course may have had a statistically significant impact on students. Analysis also found that there was no statistically significant difference between groups by the conclusion of the HRMS course (Hypothesis 2). The initial difference between groups seems to have dissipated; the non-CRT group caught up with the CRT group. The investigators report course instructional strategies that may have led to this development. Universities may use this information to consider the effectiveness of course design for growth in ICC among undergraduate students.


Elementary and Literacy Education Department

Publication Title

Fifteenth Global Studies Conference