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Community College Faculty Members' Perceived Multicultural Teaching Competence and Attitudes Regarding Cultural Diversity
Fittz, Mia Webb
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Community college instructors confront many challenges, teaching increasingly diverse students in their classrooms. This study's purpose was to enhance educational literature on diversity, and assist community college faculty in personal self-reflection and professional skill review to meet multicultural student body needs. In addition, the relationship between these perceptions and faculty characteristics, such as faculty status, gender, race/ethnicity, age, years of teaching experience, program area, teaching locale, instructing locality, diversity training, years of teaching, teaching division, and previous diversity instruction, were examined. The participants were 194 randomly selected, full and part-time faculty members who taught at four community colleges within the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). The most common profile of respondents included Caucasian females who were 50+ years of age, had been employed 10 or fewer years as part-time faculty in the Liberal Arts and Social Sciences program area of a community college in a suburban location, and had participated in previous diversity training. This study utilized the Survey of Community College Faculty (SCCF), a combined survey of the Multicultural Teaching Scale (MTS) and Pluralism and Diversity Attitude Assessment (PADAA) that framed the research. The MTS assessed self-reported cultural competencies categorized into five dimensions: (a) Content Integration, (b) Knowledge Construction, (c) Prejudice Reduction, (d) Equity Pedagogy, and (e) Empowering School Culture (Banks, 1993). The PADAA assessed cultural diversity attitudes on four subscales: (a) Appreciate Cultural Pluralism, (b) Value Cultural Pluralism, (c) Implement Cultural Pluralism, and (d) Uncomfortable with Cultural Diversity (Stanley, 1992). The investigation results revealed that faculty members perceived themselves as having high multicultural competence in the Equity Pedagogy dimension and moderate multicultural competence in the other four dimensions. Additionally, faculty indicated a strong appreciation and value for cultural diversity and pluralism but demonstrated an unwillingness to implement cultural pluralism ideologies into their instructional practices. Outcomes of regression analysis of selected respondent characteristics revealed previous diversity instruction and instructional program area (Business, Engineering, and Technology) were significant in predicting perceived increased multicultural competence of community college faculty in all five dimensions. Study findings indicated gender (female) and race (African American) also contributed positively in the prediction of multicultural competence.
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