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The impact of diversity courses in student affairs graduate programs on multicultural competence of student affairs professionals

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The impact of diversity courses in student affairs graduate programs on multicultural competence of student affairs professionals
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THE IMPACT OF DIVERSITY COURSES
IN STUDENT AFFAIRS GRADUATE PROGRAMS
ON MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE
OF STUDENT AFFAIRS PROFESSIONALS











By

JEANNA M. MASTRODICASA


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004





























Copyright 2004

by

Jeanna M. Mastrodicasa















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Several individuals deserve appreciation and acknowledgement for their efforts in

assisting me through this process, beginning with my dissertation committee members at

the University of Florida for their guidance, time, and dedication: Dr. Art Sandeen,

faculty advisor and committee chair; Dr. Lamont Flowers; Dr. David Honeyman; and Dr.

Albert Matheny. Dr. Sandeen's eternal patience and encouragement and Dr. Flowers'

guidance on the methodology were particularly invaluable.

In addition, other individuals from across the United States have also provided

assistance and support for this research and should be acknowledged. I thank the

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators for their assistance on this

research, including providing me with the sample. I thank Dr. John A. Mueller for

allowing me to utilize the Multicultural Competency for Student Affairs-Preliminary 2

instrument, and for answering numerous questions about its use and the construct of

multicultural competence in student affairs. Dr. Donna Talbot also deserves recognition

for inspiring my topic of study and for providing me with the idea to give out pencils as

token incentives.

In addition, I would like to express my gratitude for those teachers, students,

student affairs professionals, and friends who contributed their time, ideas, and effort.

There are so many individuals at the University of Florida and across the United States

who helped me through this process and it could not have been completed without them.








The support and encouragement of my supervisor, Dr. Sheila K. Dickison has always

inspired me to do my best and to move forward.

Finally, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Jason Hinson, who has

supported me and encouraged me throughout this process. As my best friend and

co-parent of our two dogs, Snoop and Lucy, he has been eternally patient and helpful

throughout the entire graduate school experience, and I know that he will especially

grateful when I finally pack up all of the boxes, books, and papers from this dissertation.















TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKN OW LEDGEM ENTS............................................................................................... iii

A BSTRA CT ........................................................................................................................ x

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 1

Context of the Problem ................................................................................................ 1
Statem ent of the Problem ............................................................................................. 3
Theoretical Fram ework................................................................................................ 5
Boyer's Cam pus Com m unity.................................................................................. 5
M multicultural Com petence....................................................................................... 8
Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................... 9
M ethod ...................................................................................................................... 10
Definition of Term s................................................................................................... 10
Diverse Populations............................................................................................... 10
Diversity Course.................................................................................................... 11
M multicultural Com petence..................................................................................... 11
Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 (MCSA-P2)........... 11
Student Affairs ...................................................................................................... 12
Student A affairs Graduate Program s ...................................................................... 12
Student Affairs Professionals................................................................................ 12
Years of Experience.............................................................................................. 13
Significance of the Study.......................................................................................... 13
Lim stations of the Study............................................................................................ 15
Outline of the Rem ainder of the Study...................................................................... 16

2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE........................................................................... 17

Changing Dem graphics for College Students......................................................... 17
Challenges of Diverse Student Populations for a College Campus.......................... 18
Responding to those Challenges ............................................................................... 20
Boyer's Vision of a Cam pus Com m unity................................................................. 21
Im plem enting a Cam pus Comm unity....................................................................... 25
Student Affairs' Role in Creating a Campus Community........................................ 27
Student Affairs Graduate Program s.......................................................................... 32
General Skills and Competencies for Student Affairs Practice................................. 38









M multicultural Training for Student Affairs Practice................................................... 39
Diversity Course Requirem ents ................................................................................. 43
M multicultural Com petence in Student Affairs............................................................ 46
Measuring Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs.......................................... 51
Research U sing the M CSA-P2................................................................................... 53
Call for Further Research Using the M CSA-P2......................................................... 55

3 M ETHODOLOGY ..................................................................................................... 57

Introduction................................................................................................................ 57
Sam ple........................................................................................................................ 58
Instrum entation........................................................................................................... 60
Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 Scale..................... 60
M arlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale......................................................... 64
Survey of Student Affairs Master's Programs-Diversity Requirements .............. 65
Research Design......................................................................................................... 66
Data Collection Procedures........................................................................................ 67
Pilot Study.................................................................................................................. 69
Data Analysis ............................................................................................................. 69

4 RESU LTS................................................................................................................... 72

Survey Responses....................................................................................................... 73
Sam ple and Dem graphics of Respondents............................................................... 74
Student Affairs Graduate Programs and Diversity Course Requirements................. 79
Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs-Preliminary 2..................................... 82
Research Question 1 ................................................................................................... 83
Research Question 2................................................................................................... 84
Research Question 3................................................................................................... 86
Other Data Analyses................................................................................................... 87
Sum m ary .................................................................................................................... 90

5 SUM M ARY AND DISCU SSION ............................................................................. 95

Sum m ary and Discussion of Findings........................................................................ 96
Sam ple and Dem graphics of Respondents......................................................... 96
Student Affairs Graduate Programs and Diversity Course Requirements........... 98
Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs-Preliminary 2............................. 100
Research Question 1................................................................................................. 100
Research Question 2................................................................................................. 101
Research Question 3................................................................................................. 102
Overall Analysis....................................................................................................... 103
Im plications for Student A affairs Graduate Program s............................................... 104
Im plications for NA SPA .......................................................................................... 106
Suggestions for Future Research.............................................................................. 106










APPENDIX

A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL........................................1..... 11

B LETTER OF INTRODUCTION AND CONSENT FORM................................... 113

C INSTRUMENT INFORMATION ......................................................................... 116

D NASPA REGION MAP......................................................................................... 118

R EFEREN CE LIST ......................................................................................................... 119

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................... 129















LIST OF TABLES
Table page

1 Gender, Race, and Sexual Orientation of Respondents............................................. 75

2 A ge of Respondents ................................................................................................... 76

3 Primary Professional Functional Area....................................................................... 77

4 Current Primary Status in Student Affairs................................................................. 79

5 Current W ork Setting ................................................................................................. 80

6 Percentage of Campus that is White......................................................................... 80

7 Master's Degree Program Characteristics................................................................. 82

8 Diversity Course Requirement.................................................................................. 83

9 Multicultural Competence Scores by Diversity Course Requirement...................... 85

10 Multicultural Competence Scores by Race............................................................... 87

11 Multicultural Competence Scores by Diversity Course Category and
R acial C category ......................................................................................................... 88

12 Multicultural Competence Scores by NASPA Region of Current Work Setting..... 89

13 Multicultural Competence Scores by Gender and Sexual Orientation..................... 89

14 Multicultural Competence Scores by Current Work Setting.................................... 92

15 Multicultural Competence Scores by Functional Area............................................. 93

16 Multicultural Competence Scores by Race Category and Years of Experience....... 94

17 Multicultural Competence by Percentage of Campus that is White......................... 94















LIST OF FIGURES

Figure Page

1 Percentage of White Students on Campus................................................................. 78

2 Respondents Scores on the MCSA-P2....................................................................... 84















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

THE IMPACT OF DIVERSITY COURSES
IN STUDENT AFFAIRS GRADUATE PROGRAMS
ON MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE
OF STUDENT AFFAIRS PROFESSIONALS

By

Jeanna M. Mastrodicasa

May 2004

Chair: Art Sandeen
Major Department: Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations


The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a diversity course in student

affairs graduate programs by examining the level of multicultural competence of student

affairs professionals. This study measured the multicultural competence of 211 student

affairs professionals who are members of the National Association of Student Affairs

Professionals. A mail survey collected the data in January 2004.

This study utilized the Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs-Preliminary 2

to measure multicultural competence in student affairs. This study also assessed the

relationship between race and years of experience, as well as other demographics, with

the multicultural competence of the participants.

In order to prepare multiculturally competent student affairs professionals, student

affairs graduate programs are utilizing a diversity course requirement to educate its









students about working with diverse student populations. This study also collected

information about the student affairs graduate programs of the participants using the

Survey of Student Affairs Master's Programs-Diversity Requirements.

Analysis of survey results showed that there was no statistically significant

difference between those who had taken a diversity course and those who had not, despite

a higher mean score on the MCSA-P2 for those who had done so. However, the majority

of the respondents had not taken such a course, which was attributable to the age and

years of experience of the respondents.

The results supported other research that shows individuals of color and gay,

lesbian, and bisexual student affairs professionals are more cognizant of multicultural

issues, as non-White participants and gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals scored higher

on the MCSA-P2 than Whites and heterosexuals, respectively. In addition, the years of

experience of the participants had a slightly significant correlation with multicultural

competence. As individual student affairs professionals gain experience in the field, they

come into contact with more students from various backgrounds and presenting different

situations. As such, more experienced student affairs professionals demonstrate higher

levels of multicultural competence.

Implications of interest to student affairs graduate programs and to NASPA, and

suggestions for future research using the MCSA-P2 were also presented.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Context of the Problem

The majority of Whites will eventually become the minority as the rapid growth

of various minority groups becomes a fact within the United States (Fears & Cohn,

2003). The Census Bureau reported that non-Hispanic whites remain the largest single

group at roughly 200 million, but that population grew by less than 1% between April

2000 and July 2002 (Armas, 2003). The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the Hispanic

population grew at nearly four times the rate of the U.S. population overall over the past

two years, and Hispanics passed non-Hispanic blacks in size in 2001 (Anrmas, 2003).

Accordingly, Hispanics are currently the nation's largest minority group (Annrmas, 2003).

College campuses reflect the national trend of more minority constituents (Dixon,

2001), not only due to a sheer increase in population, but also because of the use of

systematic initiatives to increase the representation of minority students (El-Khawas,

1996). A major shift in college demographics is that non-white students will become the

majority on many campuses (Dixon, 2001). It is expected college enrollment of

Hispanic students will increase by 73% and African-American students by 23% between

1995 and 2015 (Camevale, 1999).

In 2000, The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) reported an increase

from 15.4% in 1976 in total minority college students to 28.2% in 2000 (NCES, 2000).

During that same time frame of 1976 to 2000, Hispanic students have increased from 3.5









to 9.5%, and Asian or Pacific Islander students have grown from 1.8 to 6.4% of the total

fall enrollment in degree-granting institutions (NCES, 2000). Overall, diverse

populations of college students have increased nationally on college campuses,

continuing a shift from a predominately male, white, middle-class population perceived

to be heterosexual, to a female, ethnically and racially mixed, poorer, and older one of

varying sexual orientations (Talbot, 1992, 1996a).

Faculty, students, and administrators in higher education cite campus diversity as an

important factor in creating the kind of learning environment that will prepare the next

generation for effective participation in a multicultural world (Brown, 1998; Pope &

Thomas, 2000; Woodard, 1998). Therefore, institutions of higher education strive to

provide effective learning environments in reaction to the significant shift in enrollments

on college campuses (Woodard, 1998). A better understanding of the campus climate for

diverse populations is a critical component of enhancing diversity in institutions of higher

education (Edgert, 1994; Pope & Thomas, 2000).

Student affairs professionals are those most actively involved in working with diverse

populations, so their work is affected by these demographic changes (Brown, 1998;

Creamer, Winston, & Miller, 2001; Dixon, 2001; Komives & Woodard, 1996; Liang &

Sedlacek, 2003; Manning & Coleman-Boatwright, 1991; McEwen & Roper, 1994a;

Mueller, 1999). Upcraft (1998) states that the survival and effectiveness of the

profession of student affairs relies on three main points: (a) providing basic services, (b)

promoting students' academic development, and (c) responding to the increasing

diversity of the students. Banning, Ahuna, & Hughes (2000) found numerous articles,

books, and other professional texts that discuss the effects of the growing minority groups








on higher education. That professional literature provides a theoretical and practical

basis for action by student affairs professionals (Banning et al., 2000).

Yet implications of an increasingly diverse student body include tensions, conflicts,

overt racism, alienation, discrimination, and potentially unwelcoming environments on an

increasingly diverse college campus (Boyer, 1993; Levine, 1993; Levine & Cureton,

1998; Mueller, 1999; Smith, 1990). Incidents of racial incidents and conflicts, racial and

sexual harassment, and hate crimes based on race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation all

continue to be reported in the national media and the Chronicle of Higher Education

(Moore & Carter, 2002; Sanlo, Rankin, & Schoenberg, 2002; Talbot, 1992). Since the

events of September 11, 2001, there has been increased scrutiny on international students

who study in the United States, and the federal government is placing additional

responsibilities on colleges and universities to monitor those students solely because of

their ethnic background and country of origin (Amone, 2002).

Statement of the Problem

The changing population of college students toward a more diverse student body

has provided numerous opportunities and challenges for higher education, including the

need to give more attention to cultural dynamics on the college campus (Brown, 1998;

Pope & Thomas, 2000; Woodard, 1998). Problems, tensions, and conflicts continue to

occur on college campuses based on race, sexual orientation, and ethnic background

(Moore & Carter, 2002; Sanlo et al., 2002; Talbot, 1992; Upcraft, 1998).

Student affairs professionals are the educators who are among those most actively

involved in working with diverse populations and creating a campus community (Brown,

1998; Creamer et al., 2001; Dixon, 2001; Komives & Woodard, 1996; Liang & Sedlacek,








2003; Manning & Coleman-Boatwright, 1991; McEwen & Roper, 1994; Mueller, 1999).

Upcraft (1998) states that the profession of student affairs faces a powerful challenge in

the increasing diversity of college students. It is important to ensure that student affairs

professionals are adequately prepared to work with a diverse student body in order to

enhance development of college students and improve the campus community (Brown,

1998; McEwen & Roper, 1994a; Mueller & Pope, 2003; Pope & Reynolds, 1997; Talbot

1992, 1996a). In other words, student affairs professionals need to be multiculturally

competent; the concept of multicultural competence in student affairs, as defined by Pope

and Reynolds (1997), is made up of three components: (a) awareness, (b) knowledge,

and (c) skills (King & Howard-Hamilton, 2002; Mueller, 1999; Mueller & Pope, 2003;

Pope & Reynolds, 1997; Pope, Reynolds, & Mueller, 2004).

Student affairs preparation programs have been charged with improving the

preparation for student affairs professionals to work with diverse populations, with the

goal of them becoming multiculturally competent (King & Howard-Hamilton, 2003).

The most recent set of Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education

(CAS) Standards and Guidelines at the Masters-Level Graduate Program for Student

Affairs Professionals reiterates the need for the inclusion of diversity issues in the

graduate training for student affairs (CAS, 2002; Creamer & Winston, 2002; Flowers,

2003). Improvements are being made to student affairs graduate programs to help

prepare new professionals to work with diverse students, or to become multiculturally

competent (King & Howard-Hamilton, 2003; McEwen & Roper, 1994a; McEwen &

Talbot, 1998; Talbot, 1996a, 1996b). Specific courses about diversity issues are






5


becoming more commonly required within graduate programs for student affairs but are

not required by all programs (Flowers, 2003; Pope et al., 2004).

In developing the concept of multicultural competence within student affairs,

Pope and Reynolds (1997) envisioned that student affairs professionals would obtain

basic multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills to work effectively with a diverse

student population to demonstrate that they are multiculturally competent student affairs

professionals (Pope et al., 2004). By assessing the multicultural competence of student

affairs professionals, this study will examine the impact of diversity course requirements

in graduate programs in student affairs and whether student affairs professionals do

possess multicultural competence according to Pope and Reynolds (1997).

Theoretical Framework

Boyer's Campus Community

In his report about campus life, In Search of Community, Boyer (1990) discussed the

need for creating a campus community to prevent a fragmented student body. He found

that the quality of campus life has been declining because of the diminished commitment

to teaching and learning, and that there are two needs in higher education: to begin the

process of community building across the nation, and to find ways to create and

strengthen the campus community (Boyer, 1990).

Boyer "conveys the goal of intellectual and personal growth and understanding for

every member of the college community" with his depiction of a campus community

(Pope & Thomas, 2000, p. 116). Boyer (1990) proposed a set of six principles for

institutions of higher education to follow in order to create a community of learning on a

college campus. By creating a more integrative vision of community in higher education,








colleges could follow a standard to make decisions to become the type of community that

a college should be by following six principles of a (a) purposeful, (b) open, (c) just, (d)

disciplined, (e) caring and (f) celebrative community (Boyer, 1990).

Pope and Thomas (2000) reiterate that Boyer's concept of a campus community is

what each higher education institution should aspire to create, particularly as society

becomes more complex with changing demographics. Building community in higher

education requires leadership at the highest level, and the president of the university

should inspire a vision to guide the institution toward those goals (Boyer, 1990; Brown,

1991, 1998). Brown (1991, 1998) discussed the necessary leadership from a campus

president in supporting efforts to enhance campus diversity, and how those leadership

efforts should be visible to all campus constituencies in endorsing diversity efforts to be

successful. Those efforts include ensuring that there has been sufficient training about

diversity on campuses (Brown, 1991, 1998; Levine & Cureton, 1992). Specifically, one

must ensure that those who work on a college campus are able to adequately develop

such a campus community by possessing the appropriate level of skills, awareness, and

knowledge about diverse student populations (Brown, 1991, 1998; Pope & Reynolds,

1997; Talbot, 1992, 1996a).

Student affairs professionals are typically among the persons most responsible for

creating and nurturing a sense of campus community (Boyer, 1993; Brown, 1998;

Levine, 1993; Liang & Sedlacek, 2003), as the mission of student affairs is to treat the

student as a whole person and to address all aspects of the development of students

(Fenske, 1991). Through professional development, formal training in graduate

programs, and through work experience, student affairs professionals are becoming more









prepared for working with a diverse student population (McEwen & Talbot, 1998). A

graduate diversity course is one method used to prepare student affairs graduate students

(Flowers, 2003; Pope et al., 2004), giving the future student affairs professional the tools

to create a campus community as envisioned by Boyer (1990).

Professional standards for teaching in the K-12 school system have reinforced the

recent need for schools of education to demonstrate how they are including new

knowledge about student diversity in their teacher preparation programs (Holm & Horn,

2003; Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, 1992; National

Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2002; National Board for Professional

Teaching Standards, 2003). Similarly, the most recent set of CAS Standards and

Guidelines at the Masters-Level Graduate Program for Student Affairs Professionals

reiterates the need for the inclusion of diversity issues in the graduate training for student

affairs (CAS, 2002; Flowers, 2003). CAS states that programs should include studies of

student characteristics and how those characteristics impact the effects of college,

satisfaction with the college experience, student involvement in college, and factors

which correlate with student persistence and attrition (CAS, 2002). The CAS standards

state that those student characteristics should include, but are not limited to, age, gender,

ethnicity, race, religion, sexual identity, academic ability and preparation, learning styles,

socioeconomic status, national origin, immigrant status, disability, developmental status,

cultural background and orientation, transfer status, and family situation (CAS, 2002).

The result of K-12 teachers exploring and experiencing diversity through courses and

internships is that "they are better prepared to understand and create meaningful

connections for diverse learners" (Holm & Horn, 2003, p. 376). Similarly, in order to









meet the needs of increasingly diverse college students, student affairs professionals must

be prepared to meet their needs by also understanding and creating meaningful

connections (Upcraft, 1998).

Upcraft (1998) defines effective efforts by student affairs professionals working with

diverse college students as

focusing our services and programs on traditionally underrepresented groups, both
individually and collectively.. .helping both minority and majority groups relate to
one another in positive and collaborative ways... [and] going beyond a narrow
definition of diversity to include meeting the needs of our students who differ on
other dimensions (p. 230).

Multicultural Competence

Pope and Reynolds (1997) stated that student affairs professionals need to obtain

basic multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills to work effectively with a diverse

student population and to be considered multiculturally competent student affairs

professionals. Their work represented the first time that multicultural competence has

been applied to the field of student affairs (Pope & Mueller, 2000). Multiculturally

competent student affairs practitioners are important not only to work with diverse

student populations, but also to create and sustain a diverse teaching and learning

environment at their institutions (Pope & Reynolds, 1997).

Taken from the literature of multicultural counseling, the concept of multicultural

competence has been extended by Pope and Reynolds (1997) to the profession of student

affairs by asserting that multicultural knowledge, skills, and awareness must be integrated

into the work of student affairs (Pope et al., 2004). Mueller (1999) used the Pope and

Reynolds (1997) framework to define multicultural competence as a concept that

considers awareness of one's own assumptions, values, and biases; an understanding of








the viewpoints of culturally different individuals; and developing appropriate intervention

strategies and techniques. Multicultural competence is generally considered to be a

tripartite model, of multicultural awareness, multicultural knowledge, and multicultural

skills (Mueller, 1999; Pope et al., 2004).

In their model of multicultural competence for student affairs, Pope and Reynolds

(1997) expanded the competency areas to seven major groups of skills for student affairs

professionals, which include: (a) administrative, management, and leadership skills; (b)

theory and translation skills; (c) interpersonal and helping skills; (d) ethical and legal

knowledge and decision-making skills; (e) training and teaching skills; (f) assessment

and evaluation skills; and (g) multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills (p. 268).

Pope and Mueller (2001) designed an instrument, the Multicultural Competence

for Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 Scale (MCSA-P2), specifically to assess the level of

multicultural competence of student affairs professionals based on the concept created by

Pope and Reynolds (1997) (Mueller, 1999). Using the MCSA-P2, along with a measure

for social desirability and a descriptive questionnaire that gathers information about the

respondents' graduate school experience, this study assessed the impact of a diversity

course requirement and multicultural competence among student affairs practitioners.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a diversity course within a

student affairs graduate program by examining the level of multicultural competence

within a selected sample of student affairs professionals in the United States. This study

used Pope and Reynolds' (1997) concept of multicultural competence in student affairs,

and an instrument (the MCSA-P2) specifically created to assess multicultural competence









in student affairs (Mueller, 1999; Pope & Mueller, 2001; Pope et al., 2004). In order to

create a campus community based on Boyer's (1990) principles, a multiculturally

competent student affairs professional will need to possess the knowledge, awareness,

and skills to work effectively with a diverse student population (Pope and Reynolds,

1997). In addition, this study examined the relationship between multicultural

competence and the race and years of experience of the student affairs professional.

Method

The data for this study was collected using three self-report measures: The

Multicultural Competence for Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 Scale (MCSA-P2), (Pope &

Mueller, 2000); the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability-Short Form C (MC-SDS),

(Crowne & Marlowe, 1960, Reynolds, 1982), and a questionnaire adapted from the

Survey of Student Affairs Master's Programs-Diversity Requirements (SSAMP-DR)

(Flowers, 2003).

The following research questions were addressed in this study:

1. Is there a difference between multicultural competence of student affairs
professionals who have had a diversity course in their student affairs graduate
program, and those who did not?

2. What is the relationship between the reported scores of multicultural competence
in student affairs and the race of student affairs professionals?

3. What is the relationship between the reported scores of multicultural competence
in student affairs and the years of experience of student affairs professionals?

Definition of Terms

Diverse Populations

Diverse populations of college students are students such as African-American

students, Hispanic students, Asian students, biracial students, and other racial minorities.








Based on personal communication with the MCSA-P2's author, the instrument was not

designed to include gay, lesbian, or bisexual students but is limited to racial minorities

(J. A. Mueller, personal communication, January 8, 2003). Used interchangeably with

"multicultural," "diversity," or "multiculturalism" when indicating a population of

college students.

Diversity Course

A course "developed and taught with the express intent of promoting the

development of culturally proficient student affairs professionals who were

knowledgeable and sensitive to the histories, circumstances, and needs of culturally and

racially diverse individuals" (Flowers, 2003, p. 5).

Multicultural Competence

A conceptual framework developed by Pope and Reynolds (1997). Multicultural

competence is generally considered to be a tripartite model, of multicultural awareness,

multicultural knowledge, and multicultural skills (Mueller, 1999; Pope & Reynolds,

1997; Pope et al., 2004). Multicultural competence considers awareness of one's own

assumptions, values, and biases; an understanding of the viewpoints of culturally

different individuals; and developing appropriate intervention strategies and techniques

(Mueller, 1999).

Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 (MCSA-P2)

The instrument designed by Pope and Mueller (2000) to measure multicultural

competence within student affairs.









Student Affairs

The term "student affairs" describes the organizational unit on college campuses

that is responsible for out of class education and the development of students.

Professionals who work in student affairs have traditionally served in functional areas

such as financial aid, residence halls, counseling, judicial programs, career planning, new

student orientation, multicultural programming, and more (Mueller, 1999; Miller &

Winston, 1991).

Student Affairs Graduate Programs

The terms "student affairs graduate programs," "student affairs preparation

programs," and "master's degree preparatory program in student affairs," are all terms

that refer to student affairs graduate programs. Student affairs graduate programs

typically meet the criteria set forth in the American College Personnel Association

(ACPA) Professional Preparation Program Standards for Student Services/Student

Development preparation programs (Coomes & Gerda, 2003; Coomes & Talbot, 2000).

Those criteria are (a) a full-time faculty member to direct the program, (b) at least four

courses about student services/affairs/development and the college student/environment,

(c) a two year curriculum or its equivalent, and (d) at least one required and supervised

practicum/field experience (Coomes & Gerda, 2003; Coomes & Talbot, 2000; Flowers,

2003).

Student Affairs Professionals

This study surveyed student affairs professionals who are members of the

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Those individuals

work within the organizational unit of student affairs.









Years of Experience

Participants were asked to self-identify the number of years working full-time as a

student affairs professional. Respondents were asked to exclude the years in graduate

school in their responses.

Significance of the Study

Although recent studies have broadly determined the necessary skills and

competencies for entry-level professionals in student affairs (Robertson, 1999; Waple,

2000), diversity issues were only a small part of those studies. This study explored more

thoroughly the actual effect of graduate preparation programs on diversity issues with the

use of a diversity course requirement, which would impact the practice of student affairs.

Talbot (1992, 1996a) found that students in graduate student affairs preparation

programs do not represent a diverse student population, and those students have a limited

exposure to diverse populations before entering those graduate programs. White female

student affairs professionals dominate the profession in numbers (Liang & Sedlacek,

2003; Talbot, 1992, 1996a).

In addition, several studies conducted approximately ten years ago have revealed

that little or no training in multicultural issues has been included in student affairs

preparation programs (Hoover, 1994; McEwen & Roper, 1994b; Talbot, 1992, 1996a;

Upcraft, 1998). Beyond those studies conducted in the early 1990's and the limited study

by King and Howard-Hamilton (2003), there is little current research that assesses how

the knowledge, skills, and awareness of diverse student populations may influence those

who are in the profession of student affairs (Pope & Reynolds, 1997). Accordingly, this

study adds to the literature by examining the impact of diversity courses on multicultural









competence in student affairs. This study also assesses the correlation between race and

years of experience and the multicultural competence of student affairs professionals.

Pope and Reynolds' (1997) model of multicultural competence for student affairs

professionals, based on knowledge, skills, and awareness of diverse populations, has

emerged as a model in the past two years (Pope et al., 2004). This study will update

research conducted in the early to mid-1990's, and will provide a general assessment of

the level of multicultural competence of student affairs professionals. This study will

further utilize the concept of multicultural competence within student affairs and test it

with a potentially different subset of student affairs professionals. The population of the

student affairs professional association, the National Association of Student Personnel

Administrators (NASPA), will provide the sample to be tested. Previous use of

multicultural competence in student affairs has used a similar professional association,

the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).

Further, this study will provide additional information about the psychometric

properties of the Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 (MCSA-P2).

Currently, there are limited studies that have evaluated the instrument, and this study will

continue to examine those psychometric properties (Pope & Mueller, 2000; Mueller,

1999).

Finally, this study benefits student affairs graduate programs by providing a

general assessment of those programs currently including a diversity course requirement,

and possible other factors that lead to multicultural competence. Such knowledge can

help graduate program faculty develop an appropriate curriculum that would assist in

preparing multiculturally competent student affairs professionals.









Limitations of the Study

The study used a self-report mechanism for student affairs professionals to

indicate their perceptions of their own ability to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and

awareness on diversity, so that they rely on their own best judgment and there is no

independent source of corroboration. Although this study will use the social desirability

scale of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability-Short Form C (MC-SDS), (Crowne &

Marlowe, 1960, Reynolds, 1982) to help reduce such bias, there is still may be a desire by

the respondents to be considered multiculturally competent student affairs professionals.

Respondents could underrate their abilities because they acknowledge how much more

they would have to learn, or overrate them because they ate so aware of their growth in

this area (King & Howard-Hamilton, 2003).

The study may be limited by only sampling from a portion of one professional

association within student affairs. This study only focuses on members of the National

Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Younger professionals may

not be members of any professional organization due to lack of guidance and prohibitive

costs to join. Finally, those who choose to join may represent the more active and

engaged student affairs professionals who may make an extra effort to be multiculturally

competent student affairs professionals.

Another possible limitation of the study is the exclusion of sexual orientation in

the definition of diversity as used in the term of multicultural competence. This study is

strictly limited to racial and ethnic minorities on college campuses, and does not extend

to the area of gay, lesbian, or bisexual (GLB) student issues. Although many definitions

of diversity and multiculturalism do include GLB student issues, the primary instrument









used in this study was designed with just racial and ethnic minorities in mind (J.A.

Mueller, personal communication, January 8, 2003). This same type of study could

easily focus on the level of competence of student affairs professionals on GLB issues by

itself.

Finally, there are many variables that may lead to an individual being

multiculturally competent in student affairs, which are not limited to the material learned

within a graduate program in a diversity course on student affairs. The number of years

of experience indicated by the participants will vary as they assess their own professional

backgrounds to respond to the item on the instrument. Also, seasoned student affairs

professionals with numerous years of experience in the field are likely not to have had a

required course on diversity issues within their graduate programs, but their level of

multicultural competence could be very strong. Although this study will correlate some

of the variables to multicultural competence, other factors may impact that information.

Outline of the Remainder of the Study

In Chapter 2 a review of the literature as it relates to student affairs graduate

preparation programs, competencies for the practice of student affairs, and the

development of multicultural competence for student affairs is presented. In Chapter 3, a

discussion of the proposed methodology is presented, including details about research

design, description of the sample, instrumentation, data collection procedures, and data

analysis. Chapter 4 reports the results and statistical analysis of the data and Chapter 5

presents the summary of the study, a discussion of the results, the implication of the

findings, limitations of the study, and recommendations for future research.















CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Changing Demographics for College Students

Persons of color will become the majority in the United States within the twenty-first

century (Dixon, 2001; Fears & Cohn, 2003; Zusman, 1999). The U.S. Census Bureau

reported that the Hispanic population grew at nearly four times the rate of the U.S.

population overall over the past two years, reinforcing that Hispanics are the nation's

largest minority group, and Hispanics passed non-Hispanic blacks in size in 2001

(Armas, 2003). In addition, the Census Bureau reported that non-Hispanic whites, who

make up about 7 of 10 U.S. residents, remain the largest single group at roughly 200

million. That population grew by less than 1% between April 2000 and July 2002

(Armas, 2003). The U.S. Census Bureau considers Hispanics an ethnicity, not a race, so

people of Hispanic origin can consider themselves any race (Armas, 2003).

At the same time, college enrollment within the United States has nearly doubled over

the past twenty-five years to more than 14 million students in 1994 (Zusman, 1999).

Further, those enrollments are expected to set records through the first decade of the

twenty-first century across the United States, with a 10% increase of high school

graduates during that time (Kuh, 2001).

As a result of the national change in demographics and large increases in college

enrollments, there are different students on today's college campuses. Compared to

twenty years ago, students in colleges and universities in the United States are very








different in their demographic makeup (National Center for Education Statistics, 1996;

Zusman, 1999). The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) shows an

increase from 15.4% in 1976 in total minority college students to 28.2% in 2000 (NCES,

2000). Dixon (2001) reiterates predictions that non-white students will become the

majority on campus within the next decade. Further, by 2010, it is estimated that the

number of public school students from a mixed ethnic background will reach six million

and will eventually trickle into college and university settings (Dixon, 2001).

Challenges of Diverse Student Populations for a College Campus

These shifts in demographic characteristics of college students are making the role of

higher education more important and more challenging than at any other time in history

(Kuh, 2001; Levine, 1993; Smith, 1990). Woodard (1998) states that

the characteristics, competencies, and interests of today's and tomorrow's students
are so diverse and reflective of societal needs that institutions will need to continually
redesign the learning environment in order to effectively meet the educational and
career interests, preparation, and needs of these students (p. 8).

Tensions as a result of diverse student populations have been called one of the major

crisis points in higher education (Altbach, 1993). Boyer (1990), Levine (1993), Levine

and Cureton (1998), and Mueller (1999) also cite tensions, conflicts, and unwelcoming

environments as one of the challenges presented to campus communities with an

increasingly diverse college campus. Fenske, Rund, and Contento (2000) describe the

pressure of new communities being formed within an increasingly diverse student body,

and how interactions between and among those groups may result in increased tensions.

Smith (1990) describes the education of minority students as inadequate, and finds an

increasingly pessimistic tone in the literature that assesses how higher education has met

that need. The campus climate for minority students has been shown to include overt








racism, alienation, and discrimination as well as other problems (Smith, 1990). Barr and

Strong (1998) state that "resistance to multiculturalism is well-entrenched in higher

education. The structure of higher education is a well-oiled, rationalized, inherently

racist system providing many privileges to the dominant groups. Why would anyone

who benefits from this system want to change it?" (p. 88)

Further, Smith (1990) states that "not only will successful involvement of diverse

populations mark the difference between institutional survival and failure, and between

educational quality and mediocrity, it will have significant social implications as well" (p.

54). Fenske et al. (2000) call the need to acknowledge and understand multicultural

communities on a college campus to be the most critical issues within higher education to

advance students' goals and institutional objectives.

The former president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

and Chancellor of the State University System of New York, Ernest L. Boyer is

considered to be one of the foremost leaders in higher education, who advocated for the

improvement of the quality of the educational experience for each student (McDonald,

2002; McDonald et al., 2000).

Boyer (1993) similarly felt that the changes in demographics on college campuses

were a crucial problem in higher education, saying that

the increased diversity stirred tensions and resulted in a growing separation among
students along racial and ethnic lines at a time when there was growing evidence that
the push for social justice that had so shaped the priorities of higher education twenty
years before had dramatically diminished (p. 324).









Responding to those Challenges

Because of this increasingly diverse student population, colleges will have to respond

effectively to different types of students (Pope & Thomas, 2000; Zusman, 1999). In

particular, Zusman (1999) says that those changes

require college climates and curricula that welcome students' differing backgrounds
and perspectives as opportunities to enlarge the range of voices and experiences and
to build upon students' diverse language and cultural backgrounds in preparing them
for a more interdependent global society. (p. 120-121).

An open letter in the Washington Post in 1998 asserted that colleges and universities

must make a deliberate effort to build healthy and diverse learning environments for the

future of higher education. The letter, entitled "On the Importance of Diversity in Higher

Education" was endorsed by nearly 50 national professional associations within higher

education, including the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators

(NASPA), the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), and the American

Association for Higher Education (AAHE). This statement also served as a call to action

for higher education to take the leadership role in this mission (Wilkinson & Rund, 2000;

American Council on Education, 1998).

Dey and Hurtado (1999) call for colleges to continue restructuring, in order to

become multicultural environments as a result of those increases in minority students on

college campuses. Altbach (1993) directly states that the increased diversity on a college

campus "has meant that the student community is less of a community. There are fewer

common bonds among students and less of a common culture" (p. 206). He cites Boyer

(1990)'s In Search of Community as a call for the need to create a campus community to

solve problems such as ethnic divisions and declining participation of minority students

on a college campus (Altbach, 1993).








Boyer's Vision of a Campus Community

Numerous educators have stated that one aspect of the mission of higher education is

to create a sense of community in higher education amongst its students, citing Boyer's

(1990) work (Altbach, 1993; Glassick, 1999; McDonald et al., 2000; Pope & Thomas,

2000). A college seeking to deliberately create a campus community is more than just

defining a campus community, as such a college is seeking opportunities to do so (Coye,

1997). Gardner (1989) calls for the modem community to include wholeness

incorporating diversity; caring, trust, and teamwork; group maintenance and government;

development of young people; and connections to the outside world.

Not only do campuses face problems trying to create community in general,

diversity issues provide a further challenge toward that goal. Strange (1996) states "the

creation and maintenance of community on campus is particularly challenging to

educators, especially at institutions that are redundant or fragmented by various

subgroups" (p. 263). Coye (1997) discusses the differences with today's college students

and how they might miss out on a campus community if they are part-time, or choose to

take advantage of distance education rather than a traditional campus setting.

In his report about campus life, In Search of Community, Boyer (1990) surveyed

college presidents and chief student affairs officers in order to study the social conditions

on the college campus for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

This report was intended to showcase the values that exist within a community of

learning, and he believed that it was necessary to create a more integrated concept of

community in higher education (Boyer, 1990; McDonald et al., 2000;).









Considered a "pertinent document for generations" (Glassick, 1999, p. 22), Boyer's

(1990) In Search of Community discussed the purpose and necessity of creating a campus

community. Boyer's (1990) findings indicated that the quality of campus life has been

declining because of the diminished commitment to teaching and learning on a college

campus. The report identifies two needs in higher education: to begin the process of

community building across the nation, and to find ways to create and strengthen the

campus community (Boyer, 1990).

Boyer (1990) reports numerous problems on college campuses related to differences

amongst students, including racial intimidation/harassment (p. 18), racial tensions and

hostilities (p. 27), and describes the issue of interracial/intercultural relations as one of

the major campus life issues of greatest concern, reinforcing the implications that a

diverse college campus is significant to the community of learning.

Glassick (1999) emphasizes that Boyer believed that the quality of the institution

relied upon the "heads and hearts of the individuals in it" (p. 23), and that the goal of

education is to help students understand that they are part of a larger community to which

they are accountable. Boyer (1990) and Brown (1998) state that building community in

higher education requires leadership at the highest level, and that the president of the

university should inspire a vision to guide the institution toward those goals. At the same

time, partnerships between academic affairs and student affairs to create learning

environments are crucial (Schroeder, 1999).









Sanlo et al. (2002) cite Boyer's work to reiterate that

in order to build a vital community of learning a college or university must provide an
environment where: intellectual life is central and where faculty and students work
together to strengthen teaching and learning, where freedom of expression is
uncompromisingly protected and where civility is powerfully affirmed, where the
dignity of all individuals is affirmed and where equality of opportunity is vigorously
pursued, and where the well-being of each member is sensitively supported (p. 12).

In the report In Search of Community, Boyer (1990) proposed a set of six principles

for institutions of higher education to follow in order to create a community of learning

on a college campus. By creating a more integrative vision of community in higher

education, colleges could follow a standard to make decisions to become the type of

community that a college should be by following six principles (Boyer, 1990). Boyer

(1990) defines these six principles as an effective formula to define the kind of

community each higher education institution should strive to be. By following the

standards, the institution of higher education would be able to respond to many of the

numerous challenges facing the campus life of a college or university (Boyer, 1990).

Coye (1997) describes these principles as the heart of the institution.

Boyer's (1990) six principles are:

First, a college or university is an educationally purposeful community, a place where
faculty and students share academic goals and work together to strengthen teaching
and learning on the campus.
Second, a college or university is an open community, a place where freedom of
expression is uncompromisingly protected and where civility is powerfully affirmed.
Third, a college or university is a just community, a place where the sacredness of the
person is honored and where diversity is aggressively pursued.
Fourth, a college or university is a disciplined community, a place where individuals
accept their obligations to the group and where well-defined governance procedures
guide behaviors for the common good.
Fifth, a college or university is a caring community, a place where the well-being of
each member is sensitively supported and where service to others is encouraged.
Sixth, a college or university is a celebrative community, one in which the heritage of
the institution is remembered and where rituals affirming both tradition and change
are widely shared. (p. 7-8).









While all six of the principles focus on the goal of creating a learning community

within higher education, the concepts of the just community, the open community, and

the caring community all relate very directly to the necessity that students from all

backgrounds are given the appropriate level of support by the campus (Boyer, 1990).

"Academic communities must be developed in which people learn to respect and value

one another for their differences, while at the same time defining the values shared by all

those who join the university as scholars and as citizens" (Boyer, 1990, p. 35). More

specifically, the diverse populations on a college campus have resulted in "disturbing

evidence that deeply ingrained prejudices persist. Faculty, administrators, and students

are now asking whether community can be achieved" (George, 2001, p. 4).

A just community honors the "sacredness of the person" and celebrates and

aggressively pursues diversity (p. 7). George (2001) interprets Boyer's just community

as a university that provides "support for all populations including gender, race, ethnicity,

sexual orientation, older students, international, different religious groups" (p. 6). An

open community promotes civility on a college campus, particularly by those who are in

the leadership role to make an example (p. 21). Finally, a caring community sensitively

supports the well-being of each member (p. 47). Those principles all support the need for

those who provide leadership to be able to work with a diverse student body.

Since Boyer's study in 1990, college campuses have faced more issues related to the

growing number of college students from a racial minority group (Levine & Cureton,

1998). The desire to create a community of learning in an institution of higher education

is still important to college presidents-97% of the college and university presidents

surveyed said that they strongly believed in "the importance of community" (Boyer,








1993; Carnegie Foundation & American Council on Education, 1989). Brown (1998)

reiterates the responsibility of a college president in endorsing work that enhances

campus diversity as well as demonstrating leadership in working with trustees, alumni,

and donors in addition to individuals on campus.

George's (2001) study researched how college students felt connected to a university

based on Boyer's six principles of community. She focused only on one university but

found that students did find almost each item to be very important or important in feeling

connected. As such, colleges are making a difference in reaching the students (George,

2001).

In the pursuit of the campus community as described by Boyer (1990), there has been

an increase in the training about diversity issues on a college campus for faculty, staff,

and students (Boyer, 1990; Talbot, 1992). Most specifically, information about working

with a diverse college campus has been included in student affairs graduate programs, to

prepare student affairs professionals to work directly with students in a variety of fields

with the goal of aiding student learning (McEwen & Talbot, 1998).

Implementing a Campus Community

Campus communities are deliberately designed, with shared purpose, shared

values, and sacrifices (Boyer, 1990; George, 2001). The creation of such communities

provide lessons for faculty, staff, and students who are working to build those

communities of learning (George, 2001). The National Association of State Universities

and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) (1997) suggests that in order for those institutions

to overcome challenges of today's society, they must become learning communities, be

student-centered and committed to teaching excellence, and should aim to develop a








healthy learning environment for students, faculty and staff. To reach those goals,

institutions should follow a set of principles that include access and opportunity, defining

itself as a learning community, and providing graduates with skills, attitudes, and values

necessary for success in life and citizenship (NASULGC, 1997).

Similarly, Bogue (2002) describes colleges and universities as places that develop

knowledge and skill in students, but which strive beyond those boundaries to also be

"sanctuaries of our personal and civic values, incubators of intellect and integrity. And

so the values that mark the community of higher learning are the values that are most

likely to be caught by our students" (pp. 7-8).

Watson, Terrell, Wright, Bonner, and Cuyjet (2002) call for institutions to focus

not only on academic needs of students, but also to meet their social and psychosocial

needs. In particular, the most important part of the collegiate experience is engagement

in an out of class experience, especially for the minority student (Watson et al., 2002).

Many of the negative experiences of minority students discussed in Watson et al.'s

(2002) study demonstrate that institutions are not committed to promoting diversity and

multiculturalism, and they have created communities which are uninterested in meeting

the needs of a diverse student body.

In another study, the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) asked

senior officials how changes in higher education would affect the educational experiences

of college students (Johnson & Cheatham, 1999). One of the major issues submitted to

ACPA was the access and success for diverse learners, in addition to collaborative

partnerships, learning and teaching in the 21 st century, and more (Johnson & Cheatham,

1999).








Dixon (2001) cites the changing expectations of the consumers of higher

education as one factor supporting diversity issues on a college campus. That support is

reiterated in the inclusion of a measure assessing campus diversity within the rankings of

colleges and universities by U.S. News and World Report magazine as well as the

increasing numbers of parents and students who are examining diversity and

multicultural environments in their considerations of colleges (Dixon, 2001).

Student Affairs' Role in Creating A Campus Community

All of these calls for a focus of diversity issues in higher education fall into the

same concepts of a campus community proposed by Boyer (1990). The president of a

university is the individual most responsible for setting the agenda and leading an

institution toward a campus community (Boyer, 1990; Brown, 1998). However, in order

to create campus communities with diverse student populations, college and universities

typically look to student affairs professionals (Boyer, 1993; Brown, 1998; Creamer et al.,

2001; Dixon, 2001; Komives & Woodard, 1996; Levine, 1993; Manning & Coleman-

Boatwright, 1991; McEwen & Roper, 1994a; Mueller, 1999). Upcraft (1998) describes

the increase in college student diversity as "a powerful factor in the future of student

affairs," (p. 228) where he predicts the profession of student affairs will have to focus

services and programs on traditionally underrepresented students to create a community

and a dialogue between majority and minority students. In response to these changes in

higher education, institutions have greatly expanded their student affairs staffs, created

new codes of conduct, and improved orientation programs to meet those needs (Boyer,

1993; 1990).








Because student affairs practitioners have such a strong influence in shaping and

managing significant parts of the university environment (Brown, 1998; Manning &

Coleman-Boatwright, 1991), they can "directly influence the formation of a multicultural

environment, build an inclusive campus environment, and transform institutional

structures" (Manning & Coleman-Boatwright, 1991, p. 367). As Levine (1993) points

out,

in general, the administration has delegated the issue of diversity to student affairs.
They have hired staffs that include larger numbers of underrepresented populations
than the rest of their campuses, developed staff training programs on diversity issues,
established new residence options, added counseling services targeted at
underrepresented groups, and created an array of cultural activities for the entire
campus community. If student affairs had not filled that void, there is no evidence
that any other group on campus would have (p. 337).

Komives and Woodard (1996) state that student affairs staff are part of the

connections within various constituencies on campus, including students, faculty, and the

broader community, making them in the best position to succumb to the pressure of

creating and nurturing the campus community. Further, student affairs professionals are

an important part of creating the cultural interventions that bring people together into a

community, including creating rituals (Komives & Woodard, 1996). Varlotta (1997)

states that student affairs staff serve as "catalysts for change" as those institutions rely on

the experience and expertise of the student affairs staff who "as a group, have done more

than any other group of college personnel in meeting the challenges of diversity and

advancing its objectives" (p. 126, citing Brown, 1988). Finally, the importance of being

multiculturally competent as a student affairs professional relates directly to the mission

and ethics of student affairs (Brown, 1998; McEwen & Roper, 1994a).








Student affairs functions at colleges and universities include, but are not limited

to, some of the following units: orientation, academic advising, international student

services, residence life, services for students with disabilities, community service and

leadership programs, student judicial affairs, community service and leadership

programs, and working with special student populations including racial and ethnic

minorities and gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender offices (Sandeen, 1996).

Increased tensions involving multicultural groups (Altbach, 1993) provide a new

challenge for student affairs professionals, who frequently manage such issues (Boyer,

1993; Brown, 1998; Levine, 1993; McEwen & Roper, 1994a; Mueller, 1999). In order to

meet their professional development needs, growth in student affairs and related

publications address issues related to the development, needs, and experiences of ethnic

minorities, which help the student affairs professional become more self-aware in order

to serve those diverse populations (Banning et al., 2000; Talbot, 1996b).

A major change in student affairs literature demonstrated by a longitudinal

assessment within a journal of one of the national student affairs professional associations

indicated an expansion of understanding the complexity of diverse students, not just

minority students adjusting to campus life (Banning et al., 2000). Banning et al.'s (2000)

research showed that from 1974 to 1984, the majority of the articles within the NASPA

Journal focused on the ethnic minority student, including individual, group

characteristics, and institutional programs related to those students. Yet from 1984 to

1994, more articles discussing campus conditions affecting ethnic or racial groups,

institutional racism, pluralism, multiculturalism, and cultural competence of student

affairs staff began to appear within the NASPA Journal. Generally speaking, the








condition of the campus environment began to be more of a crucial topic within the field

of student affairs as evidenced by the literature within the NASPA Journal (Banning et

al., 2000).

Yet Watson et al. (2002) criticize student affairs for still not getting a university

community to address the differences which exist between various populations, even

though there have been years of programming, workshops, classes, and other forms of

training to develop those skills. Buck (2001) states that there is a need for student affairs

professionals to shift from keeping the individual student as the problem toward

examining the environment as part of the problem, and to focus on institutional racism

with a need to create change.

Fenske et al. (2000) call for student affairs professionals to encourage

collaboration through effective communication to promote better relationships with those

groups. Further, they describe some campuses as "out of sync with the expanding

multicultural campus" in campus programs, staffing, and organizational structures (p.

573).

As student affairs professionals are increasingly asked to address issues of

diversity and multiculturalism on campus, (Levine, 1993; McEwen & Roper, 1994a;

Mueller, 1999), guidelines are provided for their work. For example, in The Principles of

Good Practice for Student Affairs set forth by Blimling, Whitt, et al. (1999), one of those

principles states that building supportive and inclusive communities is an example of

good practice. Specifically, they call for colleges to create diverse learning communities

which are both supportive and inclusive, and which value diversity, promote social









responsibility, promote a sense of belonging, and foster interactions among all members

(Blimling, Whitt, et al., 1999; Whitt & Blimling, 2000).

College campuses such as Pennsylvania State University, Carson-Newman

College, Messiah College, and others have directly utilized Boyer's concepts of

community as an essential framework for student affairs practitioners who are charged

with creating that vital community of learning (McDonald et al., 2002). Boyer's (1990)

ideals provide perfect framework for the creation of a just community, one that remains

open and equitable to all. For example, Pennsylvania State University utilized Boyer's

(1990) ideals about a campus community to advocate for a hate-free environment on its

campus, working past differences in ethnicity, sexual orientation, and political ideals.

Based on Boyer's (1990) beliefs that campus communities should provide supportive and

inclusive environments, a campus climate survey organized by student affairs

professionals provided crucial feedback to that staff to better work with the diverse

student population (Moore & Carter, 2002). The student affairs staff created a document

of Essential Values of Penn State, which called for students to embrace those values of

personal and academic integrity, respect for the dignity of all persons and a willingness to

learn from the differences in people, ideas, and opinions, and more (Carter, 2003).

Nevertheless, the efforts within student affairs to address diversity issues have

been criticized (Mueller, 1999; Grieger, 1996). Historically, the administrators on a

college campus did not have the knowledge and/or the desire to assist the incoming

minority students, adding to some of the unwelcoming college environments that many

students have found (Mueller, 1999; Pope, 1992). Watson et al. (2002) discusses the role

of the campus climate and how crucial it is to understand the campus climate in order to








better enhance diversity on a college campus. The study showed that a chilly campus

climate reflects a lack of interest in diversity issues, a lack of support for minority student

populations, and a lack of opportunities for minority students on the campuses.

Student Affairs Graduate Programs

In order to train student affairs professionals for their work, those individuals

typically attend a master's degree preparatory program in student affairs (McEwen &

Talbot, 1998). The purpose of those programs is to prepare competently trained

professionals to perform the wide spectrum of practice in student affairs on the college

campus (McEwen & Talbot, 1998). According to McEwen and Talbot (1998), the

curriculum for the Master's degree level for student affairs professionals in higher

education should have two objectives: "(a) to provide thorough theoretical background

and knowledge related to understanding students, higher education, and the practice of

student affairs, and (b) to develop effective student affairs practitioners thorough guided

and supervised experiences in student affairs" (p. 128).

The professional studies component of graduate programs is the core base of

knowledge for student affairs professionals, which includes understanding and knowing

students, student populations, and demographics of who attends college and how those

students develop and learn in college (McEwen & Talbot, 1998). Appropriate student

development theories include psychosocial development, identity development, and

campus ecology theories as aspects of professional studies within student affairs graduate

preparation (McEwen & Talbot, 1998). Further, DeWitt (1991) called for graduate

programs to do more than provide a review of student affairs areas and counseling skills.








Instead, master's degree programs should provide hands-on experience and theoretical

training on professional development and diversity, among other issues (DeWitt, 1991).

The most recent and universally accepted standards and guidelines for student

affairs graduate programs are published by the Council for the Advancement of Standards

in Higher Education (CAS), who have revised, developed, and approved a set of

standards and guidelines in 1986, 1992, 1999, and 2002 (Council for the Advancement of

Standards, 1999; Creamer & Winston, 2002; McEwen & Talbot, 1998). CAS is not an

accrediting agency, but considers itself a consortium of representatives of professional

associations in higher education (Creamer & Winston, 2002). Functional areas of service

in higher education can voluntarily use the materials for program assessment and

improvement (Creamer & Winston, 2002).

The most recent set of CAS Standards and Guidelines at the Masters-Level

Graduate Program for Student Affairs Professionals requires knowledge of foundational

studies, professional studies, and supervised practice (CAS, 2002; Creamer & Winston,

2002). In several ways, the CAS standards reiterate the need for the inclusion of

diversity issues in the graduate training for student affairs (Flowers, 2003).

More specifically, the component of professional studies, as required by the CAS

standards within the curriculum, must include "(a) student development theory, (b)

student characteristics and the effects of college on students, (c) individual and group

interventions, (d) organization and administration of student affairs, and (e) assessment,

evaluation, and research" (CAS, 2002). Part 5b. 1 of the CAS Standards (2002) requires

studies of student development theories, including racial, cultural, ethnic, gender, and

sexual identity, as well as the intersection of multiple identities. In addition, Part 5b.2









states that programs should include studies of student characteristics and how those

characteristics impact the effects of college, satisfaction with the college experience,

student involvement in college, and factors which correlate with student persistence and

attrition (CAS, 2002). Those student characteristics should include, but are not limited

to, age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual identity, academic ability and preparation,

learning styles, socioeconomic status, national origin, immigrant status, disability,

developmental status, cultural background and orientation, transfer status, and family

situation (CAS, 2002).

Similarly, professional standards for teaching in the K-12 school system have

reinforced the recent need for schools of education to demonstrate how they are including

new knowledge about student diversity in their teacher preparation programs (Holm &

Horn, 2003; Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, 1992; National

Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2002;; National Board for Professional

Teaching Standards, 2003).

A survey conducted in 2000 by the Association of American Colleges and

Universities which showed that 62% of 543 responding colleges, universities, and

community colleges either have in place or are in the process of developing a cultural

diversity requirement for graduation (Humphreys, 2000). By providing the curriculum to

undergraduates, those institutions are working to help college students prepare to succeed

in the workplace and to strengthen the growing diversity within communities

(Humphreys, 2000). That study also found that there was a difference across regions of

the United States in their diversity course requirements; the lowest two regions were in








the northwest (35%) and the southeast (36%) as compared to the national norm of 62%

(Humphreys, 2000).

The American College Personnel Association publishes the Directory of Graduate

Programs: Preparing Student Affairs Professionals (Coomes & Gerda, 2003; Coomes &

Talbot, 2000), a voluntary listing of student affairs graduate programs. In order to appear

in this publication, student affairs graduate programs must apply and pay a $50.00 fee

(Coomes & Gerda, 2003; Flowers, 2003). In addition, to support the quality

enhancement efforts endorsed by ACPA and the student affairs profession, all programs

wishing to be included in the Directory of Graduate Programs were also expected to use

the CAS Standards for Master's Programs in Student Affairs to review their programs

(Coomes & Gerda, 2003; Coomes & Talbot, 2000). Programs were required to provide

feedback on the usefulness of the CAS Standards for evaluating their programs, but did

not have to apply the CAS standards to evaluate their own programs (Coomes & Gerda,

2003; Coomes & Talbot, 2000).

Flowers' (2003) study was based on the research about undergraduate diversity

courses conducted by the American Association of Colleges and Universities

(Humphreys, 2000). Flowers' (2003) study of diversity course requirements within

student affairs graduate programs consisted only of programs that met the ACPA

Professional Preparation Commission minimum requirements. The ACPA commission

works to improve and evaluate all aspects of student affairs graduate programs including

the recruitment of potential graduate students, curriculum development for student affairs

graduate programs, and professional development for practicing student affairs

practitioners (Coomes & Gerda, 2003; Coomes & Talbot, 2000; Flowers, 2003).









Minimum requirements for student affairs graduate programs include (a) a full-time

faculty member to direct the program, (b) at least four courses about student

services/affairs/development and the college student/environment, (c) a two year

curriculum or its equivalent, and (d) at least one required and supervised practicum/field

experience (Coomes & Gerda, 2003; Coomes & Talbot, 2000; Flowers, 2003).

McEwen and Roper (1994a) cite numerous benefits of multicultural knowledge

and experiences for student affairs professionals. Those include a stronger ability to

work effectively with a diverse student population, improving multicultural awareness

and knowledge of graduate students and faculty in student affairs graduate programs, and

the enhancement of multicultural skills (McEwen and Roper, 1994a). Other benefits

include an increase of comfort with issues of race and ethnicity and a better ability to

work effectively with a diversity of colleagues (McEwen & Roper, 1994a). McEwen and

Roper (1994a) also state that "embracing multiculturalism represents honest scholarship,

rather than scholarship void of consideration of multicultural issues" (p. 49), and that

student affairs graduate programs can serve as an intensive learning environment and a

forum for embracing multicultural awareness, knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

Pope and Reynolds (1997) call for greater complexity in student affairs and higher

education researchers in their understanding and exploration of multicultural affairs.

McEwen and Talbot (1998) state that professional studies and supervised practice in

student affairs will require the most changes over time with the current support to include

student development theories which focus on special populations instead of the

traditional theories which were generally created by studying white, middle to upper

class, heterosexual men that were then generalized to all students in college. Those









special populations include women, ethnic minorities, international students, students

with disabilities, non-traditional students, and students who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual

(McEwen & Roper, 1994a; McEwen & Talbot, 1998).

To create a multicultural perspective in student affairs curriculum, faculty must be

educated about diverse student populations and environments, development and

counseling theories for minority student populations, and the role of student affairs in

serving multicultural students (Evans & Williams, 1998; McEwen & Roper, 1994a).

Faculty should also include an assessment of the knowledge base of the students as well

as the goals and mission of their own department to ensure the inclusion of such topics

into the curriculum (Wilkinson & Rund, 2000).

Most student affairs graduate programs and their guiding standards are curriculum

based, rather than competency based (Pope & Reynolds, 1997). While a curriculum

based approach focuses on specific courses or content areas, a competency-based

approach uses behavioral outcomes that result from exposure to particular content areas,

courses, and experiential activities like practicum experiences (Pope & Reynolds, 1997).

The use of a diversity course in the curriculum reinforces the model of student affairs

graduate programs as curriculum-based. As such, this study assesses the competencies of

new student affairs professionals obtained from master's degree programs about a

specific topic: diversity.

Flowers (2003) cited the example of student affairs graduate programs

appropriately including content of theories of racial identity and gay, lesbian, bisexual,

and transgender identity development, but also content about many of the issues

connected to Boyer's (1990) ideals of an open and just campus community such as the








importance of assessing the campus climate and how to appropriately measure

discrimination on campus. Specifically, future student affairs professionals learn about

the profession and higher education through graduate programs in student affairs, and

those programs must include multicultural training (Flowers, 2003; Pope & Reynolds,

1997; Pope et al., 2004). Finally, Pope et al. (2004) state that "infusing multiculturalism

into graduate student affairs preparation programs is especially powerful because of their

role in shaping the values, knowledge and experiential base, and culture of new student

affairs professionals" (p. 150).

General Skills and Competencies for Student Affairs Practice

Smith (1990) called for research to not focus on the student, but to assess the

institution itself and its ability to deal with a multicultural student body. That research

would assess the ability of all members of the university community, including the staff,

to function in a diverse environment (Smith, 1990).

Two researchers have recently assessed the general necessary skills and competencies

for entry-level work in student affairs. Robertson (1999) evaluated whether the training

of skills and knowledge in graduate preparatory programs in student affairs has been

applied to actual job practice, and Waple (2000) identified skills and competencies

attained through graduate preparatory programs and determined the degree to which

those skills and competencies were necessary for entry-level practice in student affairs.

However, they did not specifically address diversity issues.

The sources of frameworks for general skill development for outcomes of graduate

programs in student affairs come from various fields outside of higher education in other

research. In the assessment of skills and competencies for student affairs work,








Robertson (1999) used Kirkpatrick's model to evaluate the effectiveness of training

programs, from the field of psychology. Her study focused on the third level set forth in

that model, which focuses on whether the training skills and knowledge have been

applied to the job (p. 23). Waple (2000) utilized six different sets of guidelines by

various authors and the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS), and

synthesized them down to categorical groupings of skills to develop the conceptual

framework for his study. Very little research has been conducted directly using Boyer's

(1990) principles of community, although his work is continually cited throughout higher

education.

Multicultural Training for Student Affairs Practice

In order to increase respect for and to encourage the value of cultural differences on a

college campus, education and awareness training programs have been created to move

student affairs practitioners toward a more multicultural setting (Manning &

Coleman-Boatwright, 1991). Other benefits of multicultural competence might include

an increase of comfort with issues of race and ethnicity and a better ability to work

effectively with a diversity of colleagues (McEwen & Roper, 1994a).

McEwen and Roper (1994a) state that "embracing multiculturalism represents honest

scholarship, rather than scholarship void of consideration of multicultural issues" (p. 49),

and that student affairs graduate programs can serve as an intensive learning environment

and a forum for embracing multicultural awareness, knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

While student affairs practitioners have increased their focus on multicultural issues over

the past few decades, several studies have shown that little or no training in multicultural

issues have been given in student affairs graduate programs (Hoover, 1994; McEwen &








Roper, 1994a; Talbot, 1992, 1996a). At the same time, the composition of college

administrators have continued to be predominately white, and students in those programs

tend to be female (Mueller & Pope, 2001; Talbot, 1996a). The limited racial diversity

adds to the growing complexity of multicultural dynamics on college campuses, as the

composition of college administrators continues to be approximately 80% White, while

the numbers of students of color increase (Mueller & Pope, 2001). Accordingly, White

student affairs professionals are supporting students of color, and designing and

implementing programs and policies aimed at multicultural issues and concerns on

college campuses (Mueller & Pope, 2001).

McEwen and Roper (1994a) give three basic reasons to include multicultural

content and experience in student affairs graduate programs: (a) an ethical obligation, (b)

the research which shows a lack of knowledge and experience about multiculturalism,

and (c) it is a collective responsibility of student affairs professionals to be able to work

effectively with diverse student populations.

McEwen and Roper (1994a) state that it is an ethical and professional

responsibility to educate and prepare graduate students in student affairs to work

effectively with diverse student populations. They rely on the CAS standards as the

source of that ethical obligation (McEwen & Roper, 1994a).

The research also indicates that there is need for inclusion of multiculturalism in

graduate training for student affairs professionals (Hoover, 1994; McEwen & Roper,

1994a; Talbot, 1992, 1996a). In the most direct study about assessing the training of

student affairs professionals about diversity issues, Talbot found that students in graduate

student affairs preparatory programs do not represent a diverse student population, and









those students has a limited exposure to diverse populations before entering those

graduate programs (Talbot 1992, 1996a). Those students demonstrated a hierarchy of

knowledge, skills, and comfort between various diverse student populations, with the

highest levels involving issues about women and the lowest levels about gays, lesbians,

and bisexuals (Talbot 1992, 1996a). Their comfort and knowledge about students of

color was limited to African-American students, and other ethnic groups were not

addressed in the graduate programs (Talbot 1992, 1996a).

Hoover (1994) examined the preparedness of student affairs practitioners for meeting

the needs of diverse student populations and functioning effectively in multicultural

environments, by assessing the comfort level, beliefs, knowledge, skills, behaviors, and

experiences of those professionals regarding diverse groups. She used the framework

from multicultural training and competencies from counseling: beliefs/attitudes,

knowledge, and skills to demonstrate preparedness. Her study focused on individual

differences of the student affairs professional as well as professional development

opportunities but not necessarily the training obtained in the graduate program in student

affairs (Hoover, 1994).

King and Howard-Hamilton (2003) utilized the first version of the Multicultural

Competence in Student Affairs-Preliminary (MCSA-P) Form to assess multicultural

experiences and competency levels of graduate students in student affairs preparatory

programs, student affairs staff serving as internship supervisors, and diversity educators

(King & Howard-Hamilton, 2003). They found significant differences by group and

race; diversity educators scored the highest levels of multicultural competence, and

student affairs staff members scored significantly higher than graduate students. In








addition, students of color scored significantly higher than White students and the staff

members (King & Howard-Hamilton, 2003).

In the studies about general skills and competencies for student affairs practice

conducted by both Robertson (1999) and Waple (2001), both researchers included items

in their surveys related to the need for working with diverse populations, such as "apply

developmental theory to practice," "work effectively with a wide range of individuals,"

(Robertson, p. 73) as well as "student demographics and characteristics," "student

development theory," and "cultural foundations of higher education" (Waple, p. 98).

However, these studies were more generally focused and merely included diversity issues

with many other skills for student affairs practitioners.

Pope (1992) identified and examined the multiracial change efforts being utilized

in the practice of student affairs, using the concept of multicultural organizational

development and applying it to student affairs. Her research provided the framework to

classify the range of activities on various campuses which are designed to address

specific multicultural issues (Pope, 1992).

In the American College Personnel Association Strategic Initiative on

Multiculturalism, Pope, Reynolds, and Cheatham (1997) stated that although the

profession of student affairs has acknowledged the shift in demographics for college

students, there are still significant gaps in knowledge and practice of addressing issues of

multiculturalism. The report and proposal by ACPA defined multiculturalism very

broadly, including race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual or affectional

orientation, and national origin (Pope et al., 1997). However, for the purpose of this

study, the definition of multiculturalism will be limited to racial and ethnic minorities.









Diversity Course Requirements

Student affairs graduate programs have made a strong effort to include cultural

diversity in the curricula since the 1990's (Fried, 1998). A study conducted by Fried and

Forrest (1992) showed that all of the responding graduate programs had changed the

curriculum to include multiculturalism, and more than half stated that either one course or

parts of several courses were dedicated to diversity (Fried, 1998). Counseling

psychology graduate programs that are considered most effective in training

multiculturally competent practitioners include at least one required course in diversity

issues, with the goal of helping the students understand basic beliefs and practices of the

cultures with which they come in contact (Fried, 1998).

Since then, Flowers (2003) conducted a study that assessed the extent to which

diversity courses were part of the required curriculum in student affairs graduate

programs. He defined a diversity course as one which was "developed and taught with

the express intent of promoting the development of culturally proficient student affairs

professionals who were knowledgeable and sensitive to the histories, circumstances, and

needs of culturally and racially diverse individuals" (Flowers, 2003, p. 5). He adapted his

research design from the National Survey of Diversity in the Undergraduate Curriculum

conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (Flowers, 2003).

Flowers (2003) surveyed the program directors that coordinate student affairs

graduate programs that met the requirements of the Professional Preparation Commission

of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), consisting of 78 programs that

met those requirements. Fifty-three institutions responded to the survey, and contained a

diverse sample of institutional sizes, controls, and selectivity (Flowers, 2003).








Flowers (2003) found that many graduate programs require diversity courses, and

that multiple strategies exist to ensure that graduate students obtain information to give

them appropriate knowledge, skills, and awareness of diverse student populations.

However, he reports that only 25% of the programs have had a diversity course

requirement in place for 10 years or more (Flowers, 2003).

Seventy-four percent of those who responded to the survey indicated that they had

a diversity course requirement in their curriculum of core courses at the Master's degree

level. Of those respondents, all of them had at least one required course that addressed

diversity within the United States (Flowers, 2003). Seventy-five percent of those student

affairs graduate programs with a diversity course requirement reported that those courses

had been in place for five years or more (Flowers, 2003).

All programs requiring a diversity course reported that one course was all that

was required for a Master's student to fulfill the diversity course requirement (Flowers,

2003). Fifty-nine percent or 23 student affairs programs offered at least one single

course, 21% or eight student affairs programs offered at least one single course with a

common syllabus and at least some commonly shared reading across all sections, 10% or

four student affairs programs offered at least one required course selected by students

among a list of courses from various disciplines, and 10% or four student affairs

programs offered at least several required courses with significant diversity content

(Flowers, 2003). None of the student affairs programs reported that they had several

required courses with significant diversity content as part of a curriculum (Flowers,

2003). However, five of those programs requiring a diversity course did indicate that

they were in the process of revising their diversity course content (Flowers, 2003).








The 26% of student affairs programs which reported that they did not have a

diversity course requirement consisted of 10 programs which reported that they were not

in the process of instituting a diversity course requirement, but four programs were in that

process (Flowers, 2003).

Flowers (2003) concluded that "student affairs graduate programs are making

substantial curricular changes that have the potential to enhance student affairs graduate

students' multicultural knowledge and skills" (pp. 8-9). He suggests that the greatest

opportunity for graduate students to learn such material would be to have a diversity

course requirement along with a diversity integration plan within those graduate

programs (Flowers, 2003). However, he cautioned that the approach of some of the

programs which do not have a diversity course requirement could be helpful for students

to gain multicultural knowledge and skills, but that there were several possibilities of

negative unintended consequences if the diversity content was scattered throughout a

graduate program without proper articulation between courses (Flowers, 2003).

Flowers (2003) recommended several strategies for ensuring that diversity content

would be appropriately conveyed to the students in such an "integration approach" (p. 9)

of interconnected diversity content throughout the student affairs graduate program. He

called for faculty to formalize that "diversity integration plan" to organize a strategy to

decide which specific aspect of diversity knowledge would be appropriate for a particular

course (Flowers, 2003). He also recommended that a data collection system be

implemented to ensure that students are prepared to work with diverse students upon

graduation, including possibilities of an exit interview or capstone experience which

measures the overall effectiveness of that diversity training (Flowers, 2003). Such








assessment could also provide longitudinal data to the student affairs graduate programs

in order to evaluate the impact of courses and related curricular experiences (Flowers,

2003).

Ultimately, Flowers (2003) recommends that the best method for student affairs

graduate programs to train future student affairs leaders to face the challenges and

opportunities created by a diverse student body and to reflect on the information they

learned throughout their student affairs graduate program.

Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs

Although student affairs professionals want to address issues related to diversity

on campus (Brown, 1998), they would need to have the necessary awareness, knowledge,

and skills to enhance development of college students and improve the campus

community (Brown, 1998; McEwen & Roper, 1994a; Pope et al., 2004; Pope &

Reynolds, 1997). The three components of multicultural competence as considered

within the counseling literature as well as in student affairs are awareness, knowledge,

and skills (Mueller, 1999; Mueller & Pope, 2003; Pope et al., 2004; Pope & Reynolds,

1997).

Ebbers and Henry (1990) first called for cultural competence for student affairs

professionals, utilizing the concept of the "effectiveness of a helper's work with someone

of a different ethnicity, culture, or race" (p. 319) taken from the field of social work and

as defined by Cross, Friesen, Mason, and Rider (1998). Ebbers and Henry (1990)

suggested that student affairs staff should participate in training on acceptance and

awareness, possibly moving from campus training initiatives to a national network of

student affairs professionals.








Talbot (1996b) cites multiculturalism as a necessary component of being a student

affairs professional, and suggests that awareness of others and self is the initial focus,

with movement toward experiencing differences to complete the journey toward being

someone who adapts to a variety of cultures and settings. Further, Dixon (2001) states

that multiculturally competent student affairs administrators are "more likely to engage in

active promotion and support of a diversity initiative.. .and are more likely to seek strong,

collaborative relationships with other institutional units, particularly in academic affairs"

(p. 76). According to Banning et al. (2000), the concept of cultural competence in

student affairs began to appear in later literature within the NASPA Journal, calling for

student affairs professionals "to be more diverse and more culturally competent in order

to foster a more inclusive and diverse campus environment" (pp. 67-68).

King (2002) suggests that in order for student affairs professionals respond to

issues of diversity in the 21st century, they should do a number of items to prepare.

However, first on her list is

student affairs professionals need to become more culturally competent, to have
the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to understand and work effectively with
diverse groups of students. Applying these skills in many campus contexts and
with many members of the campus community (not just with underrepresented or
marginalized students) would contribute to a broader campus awareness of the
importance of multicultural competencies in our diverse society. (King, 2002,
p. 7)

Based on the work of Barr & Desler (2000), Creamer et al. (1992), and Delworth

and Hanson (1989), Pope and Reynolds (1997) describe a concept of multicultural

competence for effective student affairs practice based on similar concepts from

multicultural counseling psychology (Mueller & Pope, 2003, 2001; Pope et al., 2004).

The concept of multicultural competence is drawn from the field of counseling








psychology, where many models of cross-cultural skills are being applied to therapists

who work with clients from different cultures (Mueller, 1999; Mueller & Pope, 2003;

Pope et al., 2004; Pope & Reynolds, 1997). Mueller (1999), Mueller and Pope (2003),

Pope et al. (2004), and Pope and Reynolds (1997) draw similarities between student

affairs and counseling psychology based on similar histories, goals, and values of the

professions to make the assumption that the existing literature on multicultural

counseling competence should influence student affairs research and practice. Even

within the field of counseling psychology, there has been little attention about the

evaluation of training for multicultural counseling training until the last 10 years

(Ponterotto, Rieger, Barrett, & Sparks, 1994).

Because of the lack of effort on behalf of student affairs as a profession to address

multicultural efforts on their campuses, Pope and Reynolds (1997) have developed their

own model of multicultural competence to assess whether student affairs practitioners

have developed the necessary knowledge, awareness, and skills to work effectively with

students from diverse populations. They state that "multicultural competence has become

a requisite core competency area for ethical and efficacious practice" (p. 275) as the

demographics of college campuses become more diverse (Pope & Reynolds, 1997).

In their model of multicultural competence for student affairs, Pope and Reynolds

(1997) expanded the competency areas to seven major groups of skills for student affairs

professionals, which include: (a) administrative, management, and leadership skills; (b)

theory and translation skills; (c) interpersonal and helping skills; (d) ethical and legal

knowledge and decision-making skills; (e) training and teaching skills; (f) assessment

and evaluation skills; and (g) multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills (p. 268).








In the creation of this model, Pope and Reynolds (1997) extended multicultural

competence to student affairs by asserting that multicultural knowledge, skills, and

awareness must be integrated into the work of student affairs despite the change of

context from counseling. The basic concepts of multicultural skills, knowledge, and

awareness remain the same in both settings, but Pope and Reynolds (1997) have put forth

a set of characteristics for each of the components of multicultural competence related to

the practice of student affairs (p. 269) (Pope et al., 2004).

Multicultural awareness includes the understanding of one's values, beliefs,

attitudes, and assumptions and the influences it has on one's work with students who are

culturally different (Pope et al., 2004; Pope & Reynolds, 1997). Some of the

characteristics of multicultural awareness include "an openness to change and belief that

change is necessary and positive," "a personal commitment to justice, social change, and

combating depression," and "an acceptance of other world views and perspectives and a

willingness to acknowledge that they, as individuals, do not have all the answers. (Pope

& Reynolds, 1997, p. 271).

Multicultural knowledge includes knowledge about oppression issues in higher

education information about various cultures of students on campus (Pope et al., 2004;

Pope & Reynolds, 1997). An understanding of theories related to identity development

and student development theories about students of color, and a thorough grasp of the

historical background of higher education, add to a student affairs practitioner's

demonstration of multicultural knowledge. By understanding the barriers for students

from diverse backgrounds, student affairs professionals are able to implement change and

the creation of a campus community (Pope et al., 2004; Pope & Reynolds, 1997). For








their model of multicultural competence as described in the current literature, the

definition of multicultural is limited to racial and ethnic minorities, and does not include

sexual orientation minorities such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender students (J. A.

Mueller, personal communication, January 8, 2003).

Multicultural skills focus on student affairs professionals' actual abilities to create

and maintain multicultural campus environments (Pope et al., 2004; Pope & Reynolds,

1997). The ability to openly discuss cultural differences and issues, to make individual,

group, and institutional interventions, and the ability to gain trust and respect from those

who are culturally different from themselves are all skills that a multiculturally competent

student affairs practitioner possess (Pope et al., 2004; Pope & Reynolds, 1997).

Mueller (1999) described three key features in the model proposed by Pope and

Reynolds (1997). First, the model assumes that basic competencies in each of the seven

areas should be held by all student affairs professionals (Mueller, 1999). However, they

conceded that while all student affairs professionals need basic awareness, skills, and

knowledge in each of these areas, some will develop more expertise in some of those

areas (Mueller, 1999). Second, this model requires that all student affairs professionals

should have some fundamental knowledge, awareness, and skills about issues of

diversity, not allowing a small margin of those who have developed such expertise to

manage and serve as a consultant for other practitioners (Mueller, 1999). This inflates

the purpose of multicultural competency, making it a core competency and not just an

area of expertise (Mueller, 1999). Third, this model relays an integrative and dynamic

relationship among the seven competencies (Mueller, 1999). By being able to put a








theory into practice, a student affairs professional can utilize the various components of

the model to make change (Mueller, 1999).

Pope and Reynolds (1997) stated that until more research about the multicultural

competence and training of student affairs professionals is conducted, preparation

program faculty and student affairs supervisors will not be able to assess whether their

training and education efforts on multiculturalism have been successful. Specifically,

research should define and measure the constructs in concrete, behavior-oriented terms,

and multiple research methods will provide a better understanding of multicultural

education and training efforts, as well as help define the construct of multicultural

competence (Pope & Reynolds, 1997). McEwen & Roper (1994a) pointed to Talbot's

1992 multimethod study which evaluated faculty, students, and specific courses in

student affairs graduate programs as "an excellent model" (p. 50) for such assessment.

Measuring Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs

Because of the growth of attention to diversity issues in counseling training

programs and in the counseling literature, it was not until the 1990's that instruments

were designed to measure the multicultural competence of counselors (Ponterotto et al.,

1994). In 1994, Ponterotto et al. described the empirical validation of multicultural

instrumentation for counseling to be in a stage of infancy. Since the early 1990's,

several multicultural competency surveys were developed to measure competency

through various subscales including multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills

(Kocarek, Talbot, Batka, & Anderson, 2001).

It was not until 1997 that Pope and Reynolds applied the concept of multicultural

competence from counseling psychology to the field of student affairs. Their work








prepared the only theoretically-based instrument which measures multicultural

competence for student affairs: The Multicultural Competence in Student

Affairs-Preliminary Scale (MCSA-P2), which is a revised version of the same instrument

created by Pope and Mueller (1999). Mueller (1999) specifically states that this

instrument, or later versions of it, will help student affairs professionals in examining the

effectiveness of student affairs graduate programs, which should improve those

multicultural awareness, knowledge and skills. The instrument is designed to quantify

the tripartite set of skills needed to create multiculturally sensitive and affirming

campuses (Mueller, 1999; Pope et al., 2004; Pope and Reynolds, 1997).

The MCSA-P2 is a 34-item instrument designed to measure multicultural

competence in student affairs practice, based on Pope and Reynolds' (1997)

characteristics (Mueller, 1999; Pope et al., 2004). The items for the instrument were

written to reflect the knowledge, skills, and awareness issues (Mueller, 1999; Pope et al.,

2004), and Mueller (1999) states that such instruments will play a crucial role in

designing more effective student affairs graduate programs, as well as increasing our

understanding of multicultural competence through research.

Based on the three components of multicultural competence, knowledge,

awareness, and skills, Mueller (1999) states that the MCSA-P2 is best utilized as a

unidimensional assessment yielding a single score. A higher score indicates a higher

level of multicultural competence; the instrument takes approximately fifteen to twenty

minutes to complete (Mueller, 1999).

An initial validation and content validity analysis were conducted on the first

version of the instrument, the MSCA-P, to finalize the items. The revised version of the








MCSA-P had 32 items and utilized a 7-point Likert scale. The first study using the

MCSA-P found a coefficient alpha of 0.92 for internal consistency. A factor analysis

indicated that a one-factor solution best represented the data, likely due to the complexity

of the construct of multicultural competence (Mueller, 1999).

In a second study to assess the reliability, convergent reliability and problems

from social desirability on the MCSA-P, the internal consistency resulted in an alpha

coefficient of 0.91. This version had 32 items on it, and Pope and Mueller (1999) found

significant correlations with the total and three subscales of the Quick Discrimination

Index to provide support for the convergent validity of the MCSA-P. Social desirability

also was not a problem, because there was non-significant correlation with the Social

Desirability Scale (Mueller, 1999). Mueller (1999) resulted in a 0.93 coefficient alpha in

his own dissertation using the same instrument.

The revised form of the instrument, the MCSA-P2, still uses a 7-point Likert

Scale and has shown a satisfactory level of internal consistency with a 0.91 alpha

coefficient in the initial validation (Pope & Mueller, 2000). In a later study, Mueller and

Pope found that the MCSA-P2 demonstrated a level of 0.93 coefficient alpha for internal

consistency using their sample.

Research Using the MCSA-P2

Mueller and Pope (2001) examined the relationship between multicultural

competence and racial consciousness of white student affairs practitioners, using the

MCSA-P2 and the Oklahoma Racial Attitudes Scale-Preliminary Form. Members of the

American College Personnel Association (ACPA) were selected as site coordinators,

being the primary link between the researchers and participants on various campuses.








Participants were told that the purpose of the study was to examine background,

experiences, and perspectives on multiculturalism within the practice of student affairs

(Mueller & Pope, 2001).

The results of this study showed that there is a strong relationship between White

racial consciousness and multicultural competence (Mueller & Pope, 2001). The

researchers offer the criticism that training on multiculturalism issues often focus on

knowledge about other racial groups or about concepts like oppression, without

encouraging self-awareness. Accordingly, the researchers suggest that student affairs

graduate programs and other professional development opportunities may benefit from

including opportunities for White students and practitioners to explore their racial

attitudes (Mueller & Pope, 2001).

Mueller and Pope (2001) reiterate that the findings from this study "lay an

important foundation for further research on the fairly new concept of multicultural

competence in student affairs practice" (p. 142). Their work using the MCSA-P2

provides a solid basis for utilizing the instrument as well as the concepts of multicultural

competence in student affairs (Pope et al., 2004), and this study would extend their

research and provide student affairs graduate programs some insight into their training

levels about diversity concepts.

A recent study utilized the first version of the Multicultural Competence in

Student Affairs-Preliminary (MCSA-P) Form to assess multicultural experiences and

competency levels of graduate students in student affairs preparatory programs, student

affairs staff serving as internship supervisors, and diversity educators (King &

Howard-Hamilton, 2003). They found that diversity educators scored the highest levels









of multicultural competence; student affairs staff members behind them, but scoring

significantly higher than graduate students. In addition, there were significant differences

by group and race, with students of color scoring significantly higher than White students

and the staff members (King & Howard-Hamilton, 2003).

In that study, King and Howard-Hamilton (2003) used a questionnaire that they

designed which gathered background information about the participants, including

individual demographic information as well as a series of Likert scale and open-ended

questions about their educational and personal experienced that they believed had

affected their multicultural competence, as well as a self-assessment of competence (King

& Howard-Hamilton, 2003). They also administered the MCSA-P Form which consisted

of 48 items using a 7-point Likert scale (King & Howard-Hamilton, 2003).

The authors stated that this study was designed to begin to address questions

about extensive testing of the instrument, developing norms, and defining multicultural

competence to articulate the steps that lead to the development of this competence (King

& Howard-Hamilton, 2003). King and Howard-Hamilton (2003) reported high internal

consistency with an alpha of 0.93.

Call for Further Research Using the MCSA-P2

Pope and Mueller (2000) made specific suggestions about the future direction of research

involving the MCSA-P2, much of which would continue to examine the reliability and

validity of the instrument. Pope and Mueller (2000) encourage future researchers to

examine the relationship of demographic and educational variables on multicultural
competence to determine the specific characteristics and experiences that may
account for differing levels of multicultural competence. This exploration could
include investigations of factors such as age, gender, racial identity or racial
consciousness, academic degree level, and amount of multicultural training (p. 606).






56

This study would serve to fulfill the specific direction of the designers of the instrument

that measures multicultural competence in student affairs.















CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Introduction

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a diversity course within a

student affairs graduate program by examining the level of multicultural competence

within a selected sample of student affairs professionals in the United States. This

chapter will address the following primary aspects of the methodology: 1) the sample, 2)

the instrumentation; 3) the research design; 4) procedures; and 5) data analysis.

The research questions for this study were derived from the problem identified in

Chapter 1. The growing diversity of college students requires that student affairs

professionals be able to work effectively with diverse students and with issues of

diversity and with the goal of creating a campus community as described by Boyer

(1990). In order to prepare those professionals to work with diverse student populations,

a diversity course is one method used within student affairs graduate programs (Flowers,

2003). Flowers (2003) found that 74% of responding student affairs graduate programs

had a diversity course requirement, and an additional 8% of programs were in the process

of implementing such a requirement. Beyond Flowers' (2003) study, there is currently

little information about the impact of a diversity course requirement in graduate programs

in student affairs.

The race or years of experience of the individual has been shown to affect the

multicultural competence within counseling psychology (King & Howard-Hamilton,








2003; Ottavi, 1996). Similarly, there is little research about the multicultural competence

of student affairs and its relationship with the race or years of experience of student

affairs professionals, beyond the initial studies using the Multicultural Competence

MCSA-P2.

Therefore, this study seeks to answer the following research questions:

1. Is there a difference between multicultural competence of student affairs
professionals who have had a diversity course in their student affairs graduate
program, and those who did not?

2. What is the relationship between the reported scores of multicultural competence
in student affairs and the race of student affairs professionals?

3. What is the relationship between the reported scores of multicultural competence
in student affairs and the years of experience of student affairs professionals?

Sample

The population will be the membership of NASPA, which is one of the two major

professional associations for student affairs professionals. NASPA calls itself "the

leading voice for student affairs administration, policy, and practice" and lists as one of

its goals "to promote.. .diversity" in NASPA and the profession of student affairs

(NASPA, 2003). NASPA consists of seven geographical regions within the United States

plus an international region (NASPA, 2003). The largest regions within NASPA are

Region III (the southeastern United States), Region IV-E (states from the Midwest), and

Region II (mid-Atlantic States) (NASPA, 2004a, 2004b).

There were recent discussions about a potential merger NASPA and the American

College Personnel Association (ACPA) because of a significant overlap in mission and

members, but the groups decided to remain separate at this time (ACPA Executive

Council and the NASPA Board of Directors, 2003).









As a major professional association for student affairs administrators, NASPA's

Standards of Professional Practice (1990) state that NASPA

seeks to promote student personnel work as a profession which requires personal
integrity, belief in the dignity and worth of individuals, respect for individual
differences and diversity, a commitment to service, and a dedication to the
development of individuals and the college community through education.

Several initiatives for members of NASPA focus on the changing nature of today's

college students, and the promotion of diversity issues within student affairs (Barr &

Desler, 2000).

In 1996, senior student affairs officers who were voting members of NASPA had

previously been solicited for an assessment of multicultural competence in the initial

validation of the MCSA-P, which is the original version of the instrument to be used in

this study, the MCSA-P2 (Pope & Mueller, 2000). However, more recent research using

this instrument to determine multicultural competence in student affairs has drawn from

members of ACPA, not NASPA (Mueller, 1999). Therefore, the membership of NASPA

provides a relatively untested and appropriate population for assessment of multicultural

competence within student affairs.

This sample of using NASPA members will differ from other research using the same

instrumentation of the MCSA-P2. Mueller's (1999) study utilized 60 campus liaisons to

serve as "Site Coordinators" to distribute the instruments to the randomly selected

participants on their own campuses. His study examined a sample of 534 usable

instruments, with a 74% overall return rate (Mueller, 1999). This study will also differ

from King and Howard-Hamilton (2003)'s sample, which assessed 131 students, student

affairs staff, and diversity educators from four campuses in two geographic regions in the

U.S.








For this study, a random sample was selected from the population of the entire

membership ofNASPA. Alreck and Settle (1995) state that the maximum practical

sample size is about 1000 respondents, and that it is typically unnecessary to sample

more than 10% of the population for an adequate confidence level. Systematic sampling

provides an even spread across a population with relative ease of performance (Alreck &

Settle, 1995).

The membership of NASPA is approximately 8,725 individuals (NASPA, 2004a).

For this study, a random sample of 500 NASPA members was obtained from the NASPA

Center for Research. Participants were asked if they had earned a Master's degree in

student affairs. Respondents were categorized into whether they had earned that graduate

degree or not.

Instrumentation

The data for this study were collected using three self-report measures: The

Multicultural Competence for Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 Scale (MCSA-P2) (Pope &

Mueller, 2000); the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability-Short Form C (MC-SDS)

(Crowne & Marlowe, 1960, Reynolds, 1982), and a descriptive questionnaire adapted

from the Survey of Student Affairs Master's Programs-Diversity Requirements

(SSAMP-DR) (Flowers, 2003).

Multicultural Competence for Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 Scale

The MCSA-P2 (Pope & Mueller, 2000) is a 34-item instrument designed to measure

multicultural competence in student affairs practice. It is designed to reflect the three

dimensions of multicultural competence derived from counseling: knowledge,

awareness, and skills and is based on the characteristics of a multiculturally competent








student affairs practitioner as conceived by Pope and Reynolds (1997) (Pope & Mueller,

2000; Mueller, 1999).

The instrument was developed to assess the necessary competencies for effective and

multiculturally sensitive work in student affairs, and the authors used a heterogeneous

group of student affairs graduate students, practitioners, and preparation program faculty

to create that instrument (Pope & Mueller, 2000). The original version of the instrument,

the MCSA-P1, based its research design on multicultural counseling competence

research, using a rational-empirical approach which includes initial item development

and selection, a card sort procedure, a content and face validity check, a focus group, and

item analysis and sequenced factor analytic procedures to assess the psychometric

properties of the instrument (Pope & Mueller, 2000).

Items were written to reflect the tripartite theory of multicultural competence found in

the counseling literature: knowledge, awareness, and skills, but were modified to the

field of student affairs (Pope & Mueller, 2000). The original set of items were clarified

to consist of a revised list of 50 items, and then the research team used independent card

sortings to divide each item into one of the three categories to determine if they would

independently place each of the 50 items into the same category of knowledge,

awareness, or skills (Pope & Mueller, 2000). Based on their feedback about clarity and

domain appropriateness, two items were removed and six were rewritten to enhance

clarity (Pope & Mueller, 2000).

The next version of the instrument contained 48 items used a Likert-type scale

ranging from 1 (not at all accurate) to 7 (very accurate). An additional content validity

check of experts who had not previously participated in the project rated each item on








clarity and domain appropriateness using additional scales, with 1 (ambiguous or

unclear) to 5 (clear and concise) for clarity, and from 1 (not relevant to multicultural

awareness, knowledge, or skills) to 5 (most relevant to multicultural awareness,

knowledge, or skills) for domain appropriateness (Pope & Mueller, 2000). Generally, the

results showed at least a mean score of 4.0 on both areas, and specific suggestions made

by those experts to improve clarity by rewording items were incorporated (Pope &

Mueller, 2000).

An initial study by Pope and Mueller (2000) found that the MSCA-P had very

high internal consistency of 0.92, and it also showed preliminary evidence of

criterion-related validity when they compared initial results of an expert group to a

graduate student group (Pope & Mueller, 2000). In addition, the factor analysis showed

that a one-factor model was the best to use for the instrument. Despite an attempt to

assess the three subcomponents of multicultural competence of knowledge, skills, and

awareness, the analysis showed that the instrument better assessed the broader construct

of general multicultural competence (Pope & Mueller, 2000).

Accordingly, the initial reliability and validity scores of the MCSA-P1 were

adequate enough for further research, and 14 items were eliminated from this version to

produce a 34-item version of the MCSA-P2 (Pope & Mueller, 2000). Those items were

removed to make the instrument more efficient, based on an analysis of each item which

included examining item-total correlations, means and standard deviations, and factor

loadings (Mueller, 1999). This study used the second version of the instrument, the

MCSA-P2.








The MCSA-P2 uses a 7-point Likert-type scale for the participants to describe

themselves, ranging from 1 (not at all accurate) to 7 (very accurate). Sample items

include "I can discuss at length current issues facing students of color in higher

education" and "racism continues to operate on an institutional level within higher

education" (MCSA-P2). Mueller (1999) stated that the MCSA-P2 is best utilized as a

unidimensional assessment yielding a single score. Scores are computed by summing the

responses from all the items on the survey (J. A. Mueller, personal communication,

August 7, 2003). A higher score indicates a higher level of multicultural competence; the

instrument takes approximately fifteen to twenty minutes to complete (Mueller, 1999).

The second study conducted by Pope and Mueller (2000) consisted of 190

participants, who were recruited through site coordinators on various college campuses

and volunteer requests at ACPA convention program sessions and meetings related to

diversity issues. Similar to the study concerning the MCSA-P1, the participants

represented various levels and years of experience, education, and functional areas within

student affairs (Pope & Mueller, 2000). Participants were given the MCSA-P2, the

Crowne and Marlowe (1960) Social Desirability Scale (SDS), and the Quick

Discrimination Index (QDI) (Ponterotto et al., 1994; Pope & Mueller, 2000).

In Pope and Mueller (2000)'s study, the MCSA-P2 scores exhibited a high level of

internal consistency with a coefficient alpha of 0.91, and significant positive correlations

between the MCSA-P2 and the QDI provided support for the convergent validity of the

MCSA-P2 by reinforcing the idea that those who are sensitive and aware of race and

gender issues are also more multiculturally competent. In addition, a Pearson

product-moment correlation analysis conducted between the MCSA P2-and the SDS








found a minimal and nonsignificant correlation which showed that social desirability

contamination was not a problem for this study (Pope & Mueller, 2000).

Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale

A second instrument will assess the influence of social desirability, as self-reports

tend to be biased (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960). This is especially true with sensitive topics

like racial identity and competence, including multicultural competence (Mueller, 1999).

The primary measure of social desirability is the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability

Scale, and reliable short versions of that scale have been developed and utilized as an

acceptable substitute for the regular 33-item Marlowe-Crowne Scale (Reynolds, 1982;

Zook & Sipps, 1985). The Marlowe-Crowne is used by most researchers as a separate

measure to analyze the response set of subjects who are completing an additional

self-report measure (Zook & Sipps, 1985).

Because issues such as racial sensitivity make such bias particularly likely, the

Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale-Short Form C (MC-SDS) was administered to

the participants (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960; Reynolds, 1982). Reynolds (1982) suggests

using Short Form C when measuring social desirability response tendencies (Mueller,

1999). The short version Form C consists of 13 items, and asks items such as "I

sometimes feel resentful when I don't get my way" and "On a few occasions, I have

given up doing something because I thought too little of my ability" (Crowne &

Marlowe, 1960; Reynolds, 1982). Acceptance of a socially desirable item scores 1, with

higher scores indicating a higher degree of social desirability Crowne & Marlowe, 1960;

Reynolds, 1982).









The original MC-SDS consists of 33 true-false items and has an internal consistency

of .88 and a test-retest stability of 0.89 (Mueller, 1999; Reynolds, 1982; Zook & Sipps,

1985). The short version Form C as redesigned by Reynolds (1982) has 13 of the

original 33 items and has a correlation of 0.93 with the standard form (Mueller, 1999;

Zook & Sipps, 1985).

Zook and Sipps (1985) administered the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirabiity Scale

Short Form C as a separate entity in order to cross-validate and extend the evaluation of

Reynolds' (1982) and Crowne and Marlowe's (1960) assessment of the instrument. Zook

and Sipps (1985) compared responses by gender and assessed the reliability of those

answers on the Short Form C by calculating Chronbach's Alpha for each gender and

calculated a test-retest correlation. They found that the short form of the

Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale can be used instead of the regular 33-item

instrument without significant loss of reliability (Zook and Sipps, 1985). Zook and Sipps

(1985) specifically recommended the use of the Reynolds' (1982) short form as superior

to other versions of the instrument.

In Mueller's (1999) examination of the relationship between white racial

consciousness and multicultural competence among white student affairs practitioners,

the coefficient alpha was a 0.75 using the short version Form C. This study used the

Marlowe-Crowne SDS Short Form C to reduce bias. The coefficient alpha for the current

sample was 0.75.

Survey of Student Affairs Master's Programs-Diversity Requirements

In addition, a descriptive questionnaire derived from the Survey of Student Affairs

Master's Programs -Diversity Requirements (SSAMP-DR) was sent to the participants








(Flowers, 2003). The SSAMP-DR was developed and utilized to obtain descriptive

information regarding the existence of a required diversity course in the core curriculum

of student affairs graduate programs or the intention to develop that requirement

(Flowers, 2003). The SSAMP-DR was adapted from the National Survey of Diversity in

the Undergraduate Curriculum and was developed by the Association of American

Colleges and Universities (AACU) (AACU, 2000; Flowers, 2003; Humphreys, 2000).

Research in counseling psychology has demonstrated that certain variables can affect

the multicultural competence, and those items are assessed by the SSAMP-DR and the

MC-SDS. Those variables include gender, age, identification with a sexual minority,

training and experience with multicultural issues, and social desirability (Mueller, 1999;

Ottavi, 1996). Accordingly, many of those variables were included in the instruments in

examining the relationship between the existence of a diversity requirement in graduate

programs in student affairs and their level of multicultural competence.

The questionnaire included items about the participants' personal demographic

information, such as age, gender, race, and identification with any other socially

marginalized groups such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, as well as the number

of years of experience as a full-time student affairs professional. In addition, items about

participants' graduate program for student affairs including the year of graduation, the

type of program, and the location of the program will also be included in the

questionnaire.

Research Design

This study utilized an exploratory research design, which provides a basis for

inferring the causal influence of one or more variables on others (Creswell, 1994).









Several variables will be considered in this design: the independent variables (diversity

course, race, years of experience) and the dependent variable (multicultural competence).

This study examined the difference in multicultural competence between those student

affairs professionals who had a diversity course requirement and those who did not, as

well as examining the relationship between multicultural competence and selected

demographic variables of race and years of experience. Those potential covariates, as

assessed by the SSAMP-DR and the MC-SDS, were included because research has

shown that these variables can be related to multicultural competence in counseling

psychology or student affairs: race (King & Howard-Hamilton, 2003), and training and

experience with multicultural issues (King & Howard-Hamilton, 2003, Ottavi, 1996).

With the use of survey design, one will find a quantitative or numeric description

of the sample through the data collection process (Creswell, 1994). The MCSA-P2 score

provides a numerical value which indicates the level of multicultural competence

(Mueller, 1999). In addition, the other variables were coded into a numeric value for

comparison by category.

Data Collection Procedures

The survey packet was mailed to the selected participants in January 2004. Because

mailed surveys typically get a low response rate, an inducement was included in the

mailing to increase the response rate (Alreck & Settle, 1995). The survey packet

included multiple components, and was assembled as an integrated package, with

components that are consistent and compatible with one another (Alreck & Settle, 1995).

For this study, each participant was mailed a cover letter explaining the project, an

informed consent form, and a copy of the integrated survey made up of the Multicultural









Competence for Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 Scale, the Marlowe-Crowne Social

Desirability Scale, and the Survey of Student Affairs Master's Programs -Diversity

Requirements, along with a return self-addressed envelope, as part of the integrated

survey packet. Mueller recommended not titling the instruments accurately, and

suggested calling the MCSA-P2 the Student Affairs Social Attitudes Scale if one needed

a title (J. A. Mueller, personal communication, August 7, 2003). None of the instruments

were labeled with their title to prevent a response bias in the instruments, but were simply

labeled Part A, B, and C similar to the process rationale utilized by Mueller (1999) and

was titled "Student Affairs Social Attitudes Scale."

Dillman (2000) suggested numerous techniques to achieve a high response rate in a

mail survey. Multiple contacts will be utilized to increase the response to the survey by

mail (Alreck & Settle, 1995; Dillman, 2000). Those multiple contacts included the

original survey packet and a reminder to those who don't respond to the survey three

weeks later.

The survey packet included a detailed cover letter explaining why a response is

important, and a return envelope with a first-class stamp (Alreck & Settle, 1995; Dillman,

2000). In addition, the mailer included a token incentive of a pencil that reads "I helped

Jeanna Mastrodicasa earn her Ph.D," modeled after the token incentive of Talbot (1992)

who utilized a similar incentive (Alreck & Settle, 1995; Dillman, 2000). The surveys

were coded so that the names and addresses of the non-respondents will be available

solely for the purpose of sending a follow-up postcard reminder to those who did not

respond with an offer for a replacement questionnaire (Alreck & Settle, 1995; Dillman,

2000).









In order to attempt to increase the total response rate, participants were given the

opportunity to obtain results of the survey and will be assured full confidentiality

(Dillman, 2000). Second mailings were sent to those who do not return the survey; a

postcard reminder was mailed for the second mailing with a reminder to participate

(Alreck & Settle, 1995; Dillman, 2000).

Pilot Study

Pilot surveys provide a simple, quick, and economical way to provide useful

information about the survey process, and do not require a large number of respondents

(Alreck & Settle, 1995). Before the data collection process began in this study, a pilot

study was conducted in Fall 2003 with a small sample of convenience of student affairs

professionals personally known to the researcher. This pilot study reviewed the

administrative procedures of this study, such as the length of time to respond to the

survey. In addition, it identified and corrected any problems in the proposed data

collection process or the SSAMP-DR. Because there is existing information about the

reliability and validity of the MCSA-P2 and the SDS Short Form C, the pilot study will

focus on problems with the new instrument, the SSAMP-DR, for any modifications. The

pilot study showed a repetition of category for current student affairs function, and also

created a better way to categorize the home state of the respondents' graduate work.

Modifications were made to the SSAMP-DR and to the instructions given by the

researcher as suggested from the pilot study.

Data Analysis

The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for all statistical

analysis in this study. Because the psychometric properties of the MCSA-P2 have only









been examined in a few studies, this study conducted an analysis of the means, standard

deviations, and internal consistency to give the authors of the MCSA-P2 more

information about their instrument. In addition, descriptive items such as specific field

within student affairs and gender about the respondents were presented.

To explore the question of whether there is a difference in multicultural

competence between those who have had a diversity course in their student affairs

graduate program and those who did not, an independent samples t-test compared the

mean scores of the MCSA-P2 to see if the groups are significantly different in terms of

the independent variables (Alreck & Settle, 1995).

To examine the question about the relationship between multicultural competence

and race, this study used analysis of variance (ANOVA) to learn if there are significantly

different values for the dependent variable (multicultural competence). An ANOVA

measures the statistical significance of the differences between two or more means

(Alreck & Settle, 1995). To use the analysis of variance, the dependent variable must be

from interval or ratio scale, and each value of the dependent variable must be from a

different respondent (Alreck & Settle, 1995). In this case, the scores of the MCSA-P2 are

considered to be interval, as the instrument yields a single score, and a higher score

means a higher level of multicultural competence (Mueller, 1999). The responses are

from individual respondents. A planned follow up procedure was the Bonferroni

adjustment, and the Tukey will be a post hoc procedure if the data warrant it.

To examine the question about the relationship between multicultural competence

and years of experience, this study used a correlation analysis to test the degree and

significance of the relationship between those two variables. Correlation analysis








measures the degree to which those variables are related, but does not assume that one is

causing or affecting the other (Alreck & Settle, 1995). Correlation analysis provides a

coefficient ofr which ranges from a value of zero, which indicates no relationship

between the variables, to a plus or minus one, indicating a perfect linear relationship

(Alreck and Settle, 1995). That coefficient of r is squared to provide the proportion of a

perfect relationship between the two variables, providing the coefficient of determination

RSQ (Alreck & Settle, 1995). RSQ will also provide an indication of a statistically

significant relationship between the variables, showing the probability that such a

relationship would occur solely by chance from sampling error if the two items were

uncorrelated in the population (Alreck & Settle, 1995). A correlation matrix and a

Pearson product moment correlation will be provided on the scores, which are interval

(Alreck & Settle, 1995). The same analysis would be run for the years of experience

variable compared to multicultural competence. In this case, the scores of the MCSA-P2

are considered to be interval, as the instrument yields a single score, and a higher score

means a higher level of multicultural competence (Mueller, 1999).

In the next chapter, the statistical findings based on the analysis described in this

chapter will be reported.















CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a diversity course within a

student affairs graduate program by examining the level of multicultural competence

within a selected sample of student affairs professionals in the United States. The study

investigated the difference in responses on the Multicultural Competence for Student

Affairs-Preliminary 2 Scale (MCSA-P2) (Pope & Mueller, 2001) between those who had

taken a diversity course within a student affairs graduate program and those who had not.

In addition, the study examined the relationship between race of the individual and years

of experience as compared to their score of multicultural competence.

Specifically, this study addressed the following questions:

1. Is there a difference between multicultural competence of student affairs
professionals who have had a diversity course in their student affairs graduate
program, and those who did not?

2. What is the relationship between the reported scores of multicultural competence
in student affairs and the race of student affairs professionals?

3. What is the relationship between the reported scores of multicultural competence
in student affairs and the years of experience of student affairs professionals?

This chapter presents a description of how the data were collected and the results of

the various statistical analyses described in Chapter 3. This study compiled one

instrument, the Student Affairs Social Attitudes Scale, from three previously utilized

instruments: the MCSA-P2, the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability-Short Form C

(MC-SDS) (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960, Reynolds, 1982), and a descriptive questionnaire









adapted from the Survey of Student Affairs Master's Programs-Diversity Requirements

(SSAMP-DR) (Flowers, 2003). The data analysis was conducted using SPSS 11.5 for

Windows.

Survey Responses

This chapter begins with a description of the characteristics of the participants in

the study. The population for this study was the membership of the National Association

of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), which is considered to be one of the two

major professional associations for student affairs professionals. The membership of

NASPA is approximately 8,725 individuals (NASPA, 2004a).

The Research Coordinator with the national office of NASPA provided a random

sample of 500 NASPA members to provide data for the study. The data included the

name, title, institution, and mailing address for each of the members selected for the

study.

Once the database was organized, NASPA members were sent a padded mailing

packet by U.S. Mail that included a cover letter with informed consent and a request to

participate, an informed consent form, a copy of the Student Affairs Social Attitudes

Scale, and a postage-paid return envelope. In addition, a pencil was included that read "I

helped Jeanna Mastrodicasa earn her Ph.D." as a token incentive; this additional item

mandated the necessity of using a padded mailer rather than a standard envelope.

Three weeks after the initial mailing, a reminder postcard was mailed to those

individuals who had not completed the survey. The postcard offered to send copies by

e-mail attachment to individuals if they were unable to locate their original packet. Two

individuals requested copies by e-mail.









Of the 500 selected NASPA participants, usable responses were received from

211 individuals for a response rate of 42.2%. Eight questionnaires were returned

uncompleted or with a letter indicating that the recipient had retired from the institution.

Sample and Demographics of Respondents

The study investigated the difference in scores on the Multicultural Competence

for Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 Scale MCSA-P2 (Pope & Mueller, 2001) between

those who had taken a diversity course during a student affairs graduate program and

those who had not. In addition, the study examined the relationship between race of the

individual and years of experience as compared to their score of multicultural

competence. For this study, the membership of NASPA constituted the population, and

211 student affairs professionals from across the United States participated in this study.

Table 1 provides a summary of the demographic characteristics of gender, race,

and sexual orientation that describe the respondents, who are student affairs professionals

in NASPA. Respondents were primarily White (85.1%) student affairs professionals.

The respondents were equal in gender, and heterosexual (88.7%) student affairs

professionals were the majority.

Slightly more than 16% of the participants identified themselves as representing a

racial/ethnic group other than White. African-American/Black was the largest of these

categories, with 9.0% of the total sample. Three individuals (1.4%) listed themselves as

Asian-American/Pacific Islander and six listed Latino/Hispanic (2.8%). Only one

individual identified himself as Native American/Alaskan Native (0.5%), and two

individuals listed themselves as biracial and two listed themselves as multiracial (1.5%

each). There were 22 individuals (10.4%) who identified themselves as not being









heterosexual, with 20 individuals listing themselves as gay or lesbian (9.5%) and two

individuals identifying themselves as bisexual (0.9%).

Table 1
Gender. Race. and Sexual Orientation of Respondents (N=21 1)
Variable n %
Gender
Female 106 50.2%
Male 105 49.8%
Race
Caucasian/White 177 83.9%
African-American/Black 19 9.0%
Latino/Hispanic 6 2.8%
Asian-American/Pacific Islander 3 1.4%
Biracial 2 0.9%
Multiracial 2 0.9%
Native American/Alaskan Native 1 0.5%
Missing 1 0.5%
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual 188 89.1%
Gay or Lesbian 20 9.5%
Bisexual 2 0.9%
Missing 1 0.5%

Table 2 provides a summary of the age ranges of respondents. This study's mean

age range fell between 41 and 45 years, and the largest percentage of the sample was 51

to 55 years old (19.0%). The majority of the respondents were also older than 40; 62.6%

of the respondents reported to be in the age range of 41 or higher. The respondents'

mean number of years as full-time student affairs professionals was 17.78 (SD=- 10.78)

with a maximum of 45 years and a minimum of 0.

Table 3 provides a summary of variables that describe the current primary

functional area within higher education. Nearly half of the respondents (49.3%) indicated

that they were in student affairs administration rather than a specific functional area; the

next most frequently indicated functional area was residence life/housing at 15.2%.

Other functional areas representing more than 3% of the sample included: teaching









(4.7%); judicial affairs (4.3%); career planning and placement (2.8%); orientation/new

student programs (3.3%); and student union and activities (3.3%). The remaining 17.1%

of the sample occupied positions in 12 other functional areas in student affairs. However,

there were 18 categories represented by at least one respondent, and two new categories

were added as write-in for other (university relations/development, community outreach).

Table 2
Age of Respondents (N=209)
Age n %
25 or less 12 5.7%
26-30 18 8.5%
31-35 16 7.6%
36-40 33 15.6%
41-45 23 10.9%
46-50 28 13.3%
51-55 40 19.0%
56-60 26 12.3%
61-65 10 4.7%
66 or older 5 2.4%
Missing 2 0.9%

The participants in this sample represented a broad range of position levels, but

the majority of them were at a supervisory level or higher: assistant dean/assistant

director (6.67%), associate dean/associate director (10.9%), director (13.7%), dean

(11.8%), assistant vice-president/vice-president/president (32.2%). Master's and doctoral

students made up 4.7% of the respondents, and faculty members were 6.6%. Entry-level

positions within student affairs comprised the remaining participants, with

advisor/counselor/coordinator (4.3%) and residence hall director/area director (6.2%)

constituting the remainder.

Table 4 provides a summary of the current primary status of the respondent. The

largest group was the most senior in status, with 32.2% of the respondents indicating that

they were an assistant vice-president, vice-president, or president at an institution of









higher education. The next three largest groups are also indicative of a more senior

status: 13.7% responded that they were a director, 11.8% responded that they were deans,

and 10.9% responded that they were an associate dean/associate director.

Table 3
Primary Professional Functional Area (N=211)
Variable n %
Student Affairs Administration 104 49.3%
Residence Life/Housing 32 15.2%
Teaching 10 4.7%
Judicial Affairs 9 4.3%
Student Union and Activities 7 3.3%
Orientation/New Student Programs 7 3.3%
Academic Affairs 6 2.8%
Career Planning/Placement 6 2.8%
Recruitment/Retention 4 1.9%
Financial Aid 4 1.9%
Multicultural Affairs 3 1.4%
Counseling 2 0.9%
Graduate Student Organizations 2 0.9%
Health/Drug and Alcohol Education 2 0.9%
International Students 2 0.9%
Leadership Development 2 0.9%
Admissions 1 0.5%
Community Outreach 1 0.5%
GLBT Student Services 1 0.5%
President 1 0.5%
University Relations/Development 1 0.5%
Other 1 0.5%

Table 5 provides a summary of the current work settings of the respondents,

including enrollment size, institutional type, and the percentage of campus that is White.

Respondents' current institution enrollment size varied; the largest group was 2,000 to

9,999 students, with 36.5% of the respondents indicating that size. The next largest

enrollment size was 10,000 to 19,999 students with 21.8%; these institutions represented

a similar percentage of the respondents with 20.9% at institutions of less than 2,000

students. That indicates that more than half of the respondents (57.4%) work at an









institution with less than 10,000 students. Student affairs professionals at four-year

institutions represented 92.5% of the sample, with 53.6% of the total respondents

working at four-year private institutions. Two-year institutions only provided 4.7% of

the participants.

More than half of the respondents (62.1%) are on campuses with more than 80%

White student populations. Figure 1 and Table 6 indicate the percentages of White

students on the respondents' campuses. The percentage of White student population on

the respondents' campuses had a range of 1% to 99%, with a mean score of 76.19% and a

median of 85% and a standard deviation of 20.14%. The mean response for percentage

of institutional enrollment that is White was 76.19 (SD=20.14) with a maximum of 99%

and a minimum of 1%.


40



30 -



20



10 -


0
Q 0



Percentage of Campus that is White
Figure 1. Percentage of White Students on Campus









Table 4
Current Primary Status in Student Affairs (N=210)
Status n %
Masters/doctoral student 10 4.7%
Faculty member 14 6.7%
Advisor/counselor/coordinator 9 4.3%
Residence hall director/area director 13 6.2%
Assistant dean/assistant director 14 6.6%
Associate dean/associate director 23 11.0%
Director 29 13.7%
Dean 25 11.8%
Assistant vice-president/vice-president/
President 68 32.2%
Other 5 2.4%
Missing 1 0.5%

Student Affairs Graduate Programs and Diversity Course Requirements

Table 7 provides a summary of respondents' student affairs graduate program

participation, the location of that student affairs graduate program by NASPA Region.

NASPA is made up of seven geographical regions across the U.S. and includes various

foreign countries in an International region (NASPA, 2004b). However, this study did

not have any participants living in a foreign country. The majority of respondents

(75.8%) indicated that they had completed a master's degree in student affairs, while the

remaining 24.2% indicated that they had either not yet completed a master's degree in

student affairs or they had indicated that they had earned degrees in other disciplines

instead.

The student affairs graduate programs indicated by the participants included all of

the Carnegie Classifications (2000). The participants earned graduate degrees at more

than 100 institutions, in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Those states were

categorized into their NASPA Region, which are organized geographically (see

Appendix D for map by NASPA Region). The largest representation of NASPA Region









Table 5
Current Work Setting (N=211)
Variable n %
Institutional Enrollment
30,000 or more 19 9.0%
20,000 to 29,999 25 11.8%
10,000 to 19,999 46 21.8%
2,000 to 9,999 77 36.5%
less than 2,000 44 20.9%
Type of Institution
4 year Private 113 53.6%
4 year Public 82 38.9%
2 year Public 10 4.7%
Retired 3 1.4%
Other (residential high school,
Law school, graduate only univ.) 3 1.5%
NASPA Region of Current Work Setting
Region IV-E 48 22.7%
Region III 46 21.8%
Region II 42 19.9%
Region I 27 12.8%
Region VI 23 10.9%
Region IV-W 18 8.5%
Region V 7 3.3%

Table 6
Percentage of Campus that is White (N=207)
n %
1-9 percent 1 0.5%
10-19 percent 2 2.0%
20-29 percent 8 3.8%
30-39 percent 5 2.4%
40-49 percent 9 4.3%
50-59 percent 11 5.2%
60-69 percent 13 6.2%
70-79 percent 27 12.8%
80-89 percent 61 28.9%
90-100 percent 70 33.2%
Missing 4 1.9%

for graduate institution was Region IV-E (27.4%), which consists of states in the

Midwest. Region III (southeastern U.S.) had the next largest participation rate of 18.1%,

with 16.1% coming from Region II (mid-Atlantic U.S.) and 10.4% from Region I








(northeastern U.S.). While there was some participation from those who earned degrees

in the western part of the U.S., less than 20% of the respondents came from that part of

the country. These numbers reflect the same general makeup of the membership of

NASPA, which has Regions III and IV-E as its two largest regions, and Region II with

the next largest region (NASPA, 2004b).

Table 8 provides the results of how the respondents described the diversity

requirement in their student affairs graduate program. Respondents were asked about the

curriculum within that student affairs graduate program, and whether or not a diversity

course was a requirement. Using the items from the Survey of Student Affairs Master's

Programs-Diversity Requirements (SSAMP-DR) (Flowers, 2003), this study obtained

descriptive information regarding the existence of a required diversity course in the core

curriculum of student affairs graduate programs as completed by the respondent. The

respondents predominantly indicated (72.5%) that there was no such diversity course

requirement within that program.

Only 58 respondents (27.4%) indicated that they had some form of diversity

course requirement; those options included at least one single course (8.5%); at least one

single course with a common syllabus and at least some commonly shared readings

across all sections (6.6%); at least one required course selected by students among a list

of courses from a variety of disciplines (3.8%); and several required courses with

significant diversity content as part of a curriculum (8.5%). For respondents who stated

that they did not have a master's degree in student affairs or did not respond, they were

coded as "no diversity course requirement."









Participants were also asked if they did have a diversity requirement, was there a

way to be exempt from the requirement or could they avoid studying issues of diversity

in the U.S. by studying diversity outside of the U.S. Only two respondents (0.9%)

indicated that exemption was an option, and only five (2.4%) respondents indicated that

they could study outside the U.S. to meet the requirement.

Table 7
Master's Degree Program Characteristics (N=211)
Variable n %
Program
Student Affairs Graduate Program 160 75.8%
Other Graduate Program 51 24.2%
NASPA Region of Student Affairs
Graduate Program
Region IV-E 60 28.4%
Region III 38 18.0%
Region II 34 16.1%
Region I 22 10.4%
Region IV-W 17 8.1%
Region VI 11 5.2%
Region V 5 2.4%
Missing 24 11.4%
Carnegie Classification of Graduate Program
Doctoral/Research
Universities-Extensive 82 38.9%
Doctoral/Research
Universities-Intensive 42 19.9%
Masters Colleges and Universities I 40 19.0%
Master's Colleges and Universities II 23 10.9%
Missing 24 11.4%

Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs-Preliminary 2

Table 9 summarizes the respondents' scores on Pope and Mueller's (2001) Multicultural

Competence for Student Affairs-Preliminary 2 Scale (MCSA-P2). The score is a

summation of the individual scores on the 34-item instrument with a 7-point Likert scale

per the instructions from the instrument author (Mueller, 2003).









Table 8
Diversity Course Requirement (N=211)
n %
Diversity Course Requirement
No Diversity Course Requirement 153 72.5%
At Least One Single Course 18 8.5%
At Least One Single Course
Common Syllabus/Readings 14 6.6%
At Least One Requirement Course
Selected by Students 8 3.8%
Several Required Courses 18 8.5%

Possibility of Exemption to Diversity
Course Requirement 2 0.9%
Option to Study Diversity Issues by
Studying Diversity Outside of U.S. 5 2.4%

The MCSA-P2 (Mueller and Pope, 2001) was scored according to instructions by

the lead author. Individual scores were computed by summing the responses from all 34

items on the survey. Figure 2 provides those scores. Scores ranged from 101 to 235; the

mean score was 182.06 and the median score was 183.0 with a standard deviation of

24.57. The reliability of the individual responses was calculated at a 0.92 alpha.

Research Question 1

The first research question of this study asks whether there is a difference

between multicultural competence of student affairs professionals who have had a

diversity course in their student affairs graduate program, and those who did not.

Although the number of respondents in this study who have had a diversity course

requirement of some type is relatively small (n=58), those student affairs professionals

did exhibit some difference in the mean scores on the MCSA-P2.

This study used an independent samples t-test to determine if the groups are

significantly different in terms of the independent variable; in this case, the existence of a









8

7

6

5

4

3-

2-


Q 0
Missing 140 154 165 175 185 195 205 217 235
133 146 160 170 180 190 200 211 225

Multicultural Competency Scores

Figure 2. Respondents Scores on the MCSA-P2

diversity course is the independent variable. Those individuals who had a diversity

course requirement reported a mean score of 184.43 on the MCSA-P2 (n=58, SD=24.08),

while those who did not have a diversity course requirement reported a mean score of

181.15 (n=151, SD=24.77). However, the independent samples t-test showed that there

was no significant difference between the conditions (t=-0.863, df=207, p=0.647, two-

tailed). Table 9 shows the results from the MCSA-P2, comparing those who had a

diversity course and those who did not.

Research Question 2

The second research question asks what the relationship is between the reported

scores of multicultural competence in student affairs and the race of student affairs









professionals. This study used an analysis of variance (ANOVA) to learn if there were

significantly different values for the dependent variable of multicultural competence.

Table 10 shows the results.

Table 9 (N=209)
Multicultural Competence Scores by Diversity Course Requirement
M SD Standard Error Mean
Diversity Course Requirement 184.43 24.08 3.162
No Diversity Course Requirement 181.15 24.77 2.015

The various racial categories were condensed into two categories of

Caucasian/White and non-White (which included African-American/Black,

Asian-American/Pacific Islander, Latino/Hispanic, Native American/Alaskan Native).

King and Howard-Hamilton (2003) also precluded running the analyses within the

cultural groups due to the small number of participants, and chose to examine differences

by racial/ethnic background by comparing responses of participants of color with those of

their White counterparts. In this study, there were only fourteen respondents who

identified as anything other than Caucasian or African-American/Black, suggesting the

collapse of categories into Caucasian/White and non-White. Although King and

Howard-Hamilton (2003) cautioned against assuming similarity across ethnic groups and

ignoring any such differences between groups, this process provides the best opportunity

to assess differences across race. Using a one-way between subjects analysis of variance

(ANOVA), the analysis of data showed that there was a significant effect of the race of

student affairs professionals on the scores of multicultural competence (F1,206=6.766,

p<.05).

When further comparing the mean scores of multicultural competence by race by

comparing each category, the two Multiracial respondents had the highest mean score









with a 215.50. In descending order, the lone Native American/Alaskan Native

respondent had the highest mean score with a 213.00; Asian-American/Pacific Islander

respondents had the next highest mean score with a 204.00 score; and the

African-American respondents had a mean score of 194.16, and the biracial respondents

had a mean score of 180.00. All four of those categories scored higher than the majority

category of respondents, which was Caucasian/White, which showed a mean score of

179.84 on the MCSA-P2. The Latino/Hispanic respondents scored a 170.67, with the

lowest score among the participants. However, there were fourteen respondents for all of

the categories except Caucasian/White and African-American/Black. Using a one-way

between subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA) comparing the individual races, the data

showed that there was a significant effect of the race of student affairs professionals

(F6,201=2.548, p<.05).

Research Question 3

The third research questions asks what the relationship is between the reported

scores of multicultural competence in student affairs and the years of experience of

student affairs professionals. This study used a correlation analysis to test the degree and

significance of the relationship between multicultural competence and years of

experience. There was a significant correlation between years of experience and

multicultural competence (r=0.158, n=209,p<.05, two-tailed).

The years of experience as reported by the participants in this study along with

higher levels of multicultural competence as assessed by the MCSA-P2 demonstrate a

positive relationship. As individuals gain experience in the profession of student affairs,









there are more opportunities for improving knowledge, skills, and awareness about

diverse cultures.

Table 10
Multicultural Competence Scores by Race
Race n M SD SE Range
Race Category
Caucasian/White 175 180.35 24.25 1.83 101-233
Non-White 33 192.27 23.62 4.11 127-235
Total 208 182.24 24.49 1.70 101-235
Racial Group
Multiracial 2 215.50 4.95 3.50 212-219
Native American/Alaskan
Native 1 213.00 --
Asian-American/Pacific
Islander 3 204.00 31.00 17.89 173-235
African-American/Black 19 194.16 20.85 4.78 158-228
Biracial 2 188.00 8.49 6.00 182-194
Caucasian/White 175 180.35 24.25 1.83 101-233
Latino/Hispanic 6 170.67 25.22 10.30 127-202
Total 191 181.71 24.67 1.79 101-235

Other Data Analyses

A two-way between subjects analysis of variance was conducted, with

multicultural competence score as the dependent variable, in order to compare those who

did not have a diversity course requirement by racial category, and those who did have

the requirement by racial category. The respondents were broken into two categories for

race: White and Non-White. Table 11 reports the results.

There was a significant difference between those who were White and Non-White

(F1 ,208)=6.911, p=0.009. However, the main effect of whether those who had a diversity

course as compared to those who did not was not significant (F1,207) = 0.41, p=0.523.

There was no significant interaction between the factor of whether or not the respondent

had taken a diversity course and whether the respondent was categorized into White or

Non-White (Fi, 208)=0.494, p=0.483.









Table 11
Multicultural Competence Scores by Diversity Course Category and Racial Category
(N=190)
Diversity Course Req Race Category M SD n
No diversity course req Caucasian/White 180.09 24.61 129
Non-White 189.43 24.10 21
Total 181.39 24.67 150
Some diversity course req Caucasian/White 181.09 23.48 46
Non-White 197.25 22.91 12
Total 184.43 24.08 58
Total Caucasian/White 180.35 24.25 175
Non-White 192.57 23.22 28
Total 182.24 24.49 208

When comparing the multicultural competence scores by the respondents' current

work setting categorized into their NASPA regions, a one-way between subjects analysis

of variance (ANOVA) showed that there is no significant difference by region

(F(6,2o2)=0.146, p<0.05). Table 12 shows that the highest mean scores of multicultural

competence were reported in Regions IV-E and IV-W, which include the Midwestern

states within the United States. Those regions run as far east as Ohio and as far west as

Colorado, and as south as Arkansas and Oklahoma. The lowest mean scores of

multicultural competence were reported in Regions III and V; the southeastern states

make up Region III, and the northwestern states are in Region V. Regardless, the mean

scores were very similar between the regions and only showed slight differences of no

significance.

This study also compared the respondents' scores of multicultural competence by

other demographic variables such as gender and sexual orientation. There was no

statistically significant difference when compared by gender (F(l,2o7)=0.068, p<0.05) or

by sexual orientation (F(2,20o5)=1.79, p<0.05) when a one-way between subjects analysis of

variance (ANOVA) is conducted. However, Table 13 shows that the reported scores of









multicultural competence by gender were extremely similar but there was a difference

when the respondents self-identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Table 12
Multicultural Competence Scores by NASPA Region of Current Work Setting
NASPA Region n M SD

Region IV-W 18 184.83 22.32
Region IV-E 47 183.15 23.44
Region I 27 182.15 25.33
Region II 42 182.14 20.96
Region V 7 180.86 45.94
Region III 45 180.09 27.00
Region VI 23 179.83 23.15

Table 13
Multicultural Competence Scores by Gender and Sexual Orientation (N=209)
n M SD
Gender
Female 105 181.62 24.40
Male 104 182.51 24.84
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual 186 181.08 24.65
Gay. lesbian, or bisexual 22 190.77 23.09

Table 14 reports the mean scores of multicultural competence by issues related to

the current work setting of the respondent, such as institutional size, institutional type,

and work status of the individual. There was no significant difference between the

groups based on institutional size (F(4,204)=1.446, p<0.05), institutional type

(F(6,202)=0.605, p<0.05) or work status of the individual (F(9,198)=0.886, p<0.05). Table 15

reports the mean scores of multicultural competence by functional area of the

respondents; there was no significant difference between functional areas in scores of

multicultural competence (F(22,186)=l .491, p<0.05). Although there does not seem to be

much of a difference with institutional size or type, the work status (and expected years




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