Theses and Dissertations


Candy Grant

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Jagger, Carla B.

Committee Member

Swortzel, Kirk A.

Committee Member

Peterson, Donna J.

Committee Member

Seal, Susan D.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Agricultural Extension and Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


While empirical research abounds for ways to develop cultural competence, studies are scarce in how to track its growth in students. This study utilized a non-equivalent control group design to propose tracking growth using cultural competence mini lessons, self-assessment of cultural competency, and the Global Perspectives Inventory (GPI; Research Institute for Studies in Education, 2017). Data collected were used to align students along the levels of Cross’s Cultural Competency Continuum (; Cross, 2012). Forty-one (41) students enrolled in a multidisciplinary teaching methods course served as the study participants. Paired samples t-tests were conducted using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS v. 26) to track changes in pre-/post- scores. A significant difference was found for the self-ratings of the treatment group between the pretest (M = 6.75, SD = 2.15) and the posttest (M = 8.00, SD = 1.08, t(19) = -2.52, p = .02). Significant differences were also found for treatment group for the GPI Identity (Ident) scale between the pretest (M = 4.28, SD = .37) and the posttest (M = 4.46, SD = .45 t(19) = -2.22, p = .04), and for the Social Responsibility (SocRes) scale between the pretest (M = 3.44, SD = .35) and the posttest (M = 3.61, SD = .39, t(19) = -2.74, p = .01). Results suggest the use of mini lessons as one way to promote cultural competence development. Utilizing Cross’s to track growth resulted in misalignment between participants’ self-ratings and placement into one of Cross’s levels for both the comparison and treatment groups. Cross-cultural experiences were also examined, with interactions with people from other cultures (29.3%) and traveling abroad (21.9%) as the most reported. Implications and suggestions for future research are also discussed.