Document Type

Conference Presentation

Publication Date



This study measured changes in the intercultural competency of undergraduate students in a course, Human Relations in a Multicultural Society. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is encouraging teacher preparation programs to foster and measure culturally responsive teaching (2010). The hypothesis for this study was that the intentional, cross-cultural experiences of students will have an impact on the cultural competency of each student. This course is taught each semester at a Midwestern public university. The study included 70 undergraduate students between 18 and 35 years old who voluntarily enrolled in the course and represented students in academic majors such elementary education, sports management, social work, mass communications, journalism, and pre-professional studies (e.g., mortuary science, veterinary medicine, therapy). The theoretical basis of the study was the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) (Bennett, 1996). For this study, the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) (Hammer and Bennett, 1998, 2001) was used as a measure of cultural competency. The IDI was completed by subjects at the beginning of the semester and at the conclusion of the semester. This provided a process to compare pre-instruction and post-instruction scores. Data were analyzed to compare scores and to identify the cultural orientation of each student among six stages of the DMIS: Denial, Defense, Minimization, Acceptance, Adaption, and Integration. Researchers expect that subjects will show positive gains in overall intercultural sensitivity. Results will be used by the local university to facilitate strategic initiative to educate undergraduate students in multicultural diversity.

Faculty Mentor

Elizabeth Sandell

McNabb.doc (53 kB)
McNabb, Camille and Tupy, Samantha. 2011. Change in cultural competency among students during an intentional human relations experience, in the Proceedings of The National Conference on Undergraduate Research, March 31 – April 2, 2011.