Cultural Competence at a Community College

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Bill Boozang, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Michael Butcher, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Matthew Basham, Ph.D.


Cultural competence of teacher educators is a significant issue in the educational system. Research indicates that teachers are unprepared to understand and facilitate student success among the increasingly diverse demographics in schools. The perspectives held by educators unfamiliar with the topic of culture and diversity struggle to connect with students different from themselves. Leadership at institutions of higher education are tasked with creating and employing educational strategies and curriculum that emphasize culture and enhance teacher educators’ ability to become culturally competent. An explanatory case study was used to assess teacher educator perspectives on culture and the diverse curricular offerings at a rural community college in Washington State. Participants were practicum teachers completing the teacher education program at the college. The study revealed the perceptions held by teacher educators prior to and after exposure to cultural competence education. The study evaluated the cultural educational offerings at the college that facilitated cultural competence. Interviews prior to a cultural competence seminar and follow-up interviews combined with focus groups after the seminar provided data and assisted with the development of themes for the study. The study revealed that the institution did not provide adequate learning opportunities for the development of cultural competence and teacher educators felt cultural competence was important. Potential changes to practices and policies were recommended for the institution to provide educational offerings that support the development of educator cultural competence.

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