Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


McCleon, Tawny E.

Committee Member

Gadke, Daniel L.

Committee Member

Wei, Tianlan

Committee Member

Cutts, Qiana

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Educational Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Historically, school aged students from diverse backgrounds have experienced detrimental effects as a result of school psychologists who fail to consider cultural differences when providing services. The demographics of students in K- 12 schools have increasingly become more diverse which only exacerbates the need for multiculturally competent school psychologists. Research has identified graduate programs as an area to intervene and ensure future school psychologists are receiving training necessary for developing multicultural competence. Within the literature, graduate student attitude towards multiculturalism and program climate have been identified as barriers to developing multicultural competence in graduate students. Therefore, the purpose of the following study was to investigate how these two variables impact school psychology students perceived levels of multicultural competence. Participants (n= 111) included school psychology graduate students from NASP- approved programs. Participants completed the School Psychology Multicultural Competency Scale (SPMCS), Multicultural Environmental Inventory- Revised (MEI-R), and the Munroe Multicultural Attitude Scale Questionnaire (MASQUE) which was used to examine perceived levels of multicultural competence, program climate, and graduate student attitude towards

multiculturalism, respectively. Results indicated a significant relationship between program climate, graduate student attitude toward multiculturalism, and perceived levels of multicultural competence. Graduate students who reported positive program climate and positive attitudes towards multiculturalism also reported higher perceived levels of multicultural competence. These findings have implications for school psychology graduate programs as it relates to graduate student training, faculty training, program evaluation, and recruitment and retention of faculty and students.