Multicultural competence and practices of undergraduate faculty and their relationships to racial identity, education, and experience
Sauter, John P., Jr.
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Trends in higher education indicate a growing diversification of student populations. However, faculty racial and gender diversity lags behind the nation. Given this difference, this study proposed an exploration of multicultural competence among undergraduate faculty to offer insight into how higher education, and faculty in particular, might adapt to such demographic changes. Until now, the majority of research on multicultural competence in higher education focused primarily on student affairs practitioners, with little attention to undergraduate faculty, or specific relationships between multicultural competence and practices. This study sought to examine the relationships and predictors of multicultural competence and multicultural practices among undergraduate faculty in the humanities/languages, social sciences, and science/technology/engineering/math (STEM) disciplines. It asked: to what degree do demographic and academic characteristics, racial identity, multicultural education, and multicultural experiences predict multicultural competence among faculty, and to what degree do demographic and academic characteristics, racial identity, multicultural education, multicultural experiences, and multicultural competence predict multicultural practices? Administered between fall of 2011 and spring of 2012, the survey was completed by 288 full-time undergraduate faculty from six public four year SUNY/CUNY institutions. The survey included: a personal data form measuring basic demographic information, multicultural education, multicultural experiences, and multicultural practices; a modified Teacher Multicultural Attitudes Scale (TMAS); and either the People of Color Racial Identity Attitude Scale (PRIAS; Helms, 1995) or the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale (WRAIS; Helms & Carter, 1990) based on faculty race.