Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Angela Owusu-Ansah, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Anne Grey, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Cathryn Lambeth, Ed.D.


In this study, I explored the possibility of prospective teachers’ development toward cultural competency, fortuitously or incidentally, as a result of intercultural experiences while tutoring diverse preK-12 students. I investigated 25 prospective teachers’ growth toward cultural competency as they participated in a ten-week cross-cultural tutoring program designed to help children from different ethnic, socioeconomic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds develop reading skills. These prospective teachers were composed of first year students in an undergraduate program prior to entering into teacher preparation coursework and pre-service teachers in the final year of teacher preparation program completing their teaching practice in K-12 schools. This phenomenological multiple-case study yielded findings from open-ended online questionnaires, observations, a reflexive journal, review of a final written reflection, and focus group interview sessions and revealed the following findings for prospective teachers: (1) the value of early, community-based field experiences, (2) that fortuitous aspects of intercultural experiences can reduce, to varying degrees, a cultural deficit perspective and (3) how a cross-cultural experience and reflection lead to fortuitous development toward cultural competency. Finally, emerging conceptual change was evidence of prospective teachers’ development toward cultural competency.