Document Type

Conference Presentation

Publication Date



Our research question was "how does the timing of coaching feedback have an impact on cultural competency of undergraduates?" Cultural competency (the capability to understand and adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities, Hammer & Bennett, 2010) is beyond knowledge and understanding (cognitive activities). It involves reflection, critical thinking, and adaptation of behavior. Other investigators have noted that support and encouragement of critical thinking played an integral role in participant growth. Pederson (2009) promoted the importance of guided activities, reflection, recognizing and using teachable moments, and facilitation of conversations and debate about issues of race, culture, society, and values. Their report supported prior research on the need for structured intercultural support. So something more than classroom instruction may be necessary to foster cultural competency.If cultural competency is beyond knowledge and understanding and a result of more than study abroad or classroom diversity, this team of student researchers wondered if experience with diversity combined with structured coaching might make a larger difference in cultural competency. Subjects included 70 students participating in EEC 222w (Human Relations in a Multicultural Society) during Fall 2015. The students were between 18 and 30 years old and included male and female participants. Outcomes of the study will be used for program assessment by the College of Education. The university may use this information in considering the effectiveness of its cultural diversity goal: experience diversity with supervised reflection and recognize and respond to conditions of marginalized populations.

Faculty Mentor

Elizabeth Sandell