Inclusive Excellence & Cultural Competency Development in Online Education

Session Description
Cultural competence is the capacity to interact effectively with other cultures (Len, 2012). The term, “multicultural competence” was first seen in the literature published by Pedersen (1988) approximately a decade before the designation “cultural competence” came to dominate the literature. Pedersen’s (1988) model of multicultural competence emphasized awareness, knowledge, and skills. Contemporary models build upon the work of Pederson and add components such as attitudes or specific personal attributes (Len, 2012).

Today’s college graduates and working professionals are expected to demonstrate adequate cultural awareness, sensitivity, and competence to promote client satisfaction and avoid negative outcomes in the workplace. Employers deem education and training in intercultural communication as important for success in business-related industries and to address disparities in effective treatment in fields such as education, psychology, health care and justice systems (e.g., Betancourt, Green, & Carrillo, 2002; Hernandez & Kose, 2012; Johnson, Lenartowicz, & Apud, 2006). There is a substantial body of literature demonstrating that the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes associated with cultural competence can result in effective communication, trust development, and strengthened relationships in intercultural contexts (Trejo, 2015).

A common—albeit antiquated—model from decades past was for there to be one formally or informally designated faculty member in the department who was the “diversity expert.” However, college and university faculty across different areas of expertise are increasingly expected to be capable of increasing students’ cultural competence within their own discipline-specific contexts. Faculty are often faced with the challenge of working with students who demonstrate a broad range of developmental levels in terms of academic preparation, motivation, critical thinking skills, emotional self-regulation skills as well as cultural intelligence and cultural competency skills (e.g., Brouse, 2007; Nixon-Cave, & Meadows, 2014; Lu, Tsai, & Tseng, 2014; Wang, Heppner, Wang & Zhu, 2015).
This session will provide participants with an opportunity to obtain and share practical tools to implement in their online courses to foster cultural competence development.

Yolanda Harper
Yolanda Harper, Ashford University , San Diego, CA, USA
Yolanda Harper, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences at Ashford University. Dr. Harper earned her Ph.D. & M.A. from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She joined Ashford in 2013 after having worked in faculty and administrative leadership positions in both public and private universities. Some of her areas of interest include inclusive excellence and cultural competency, online interpersonal communication, assessment, goal-setting and program evaluation, curriculum development, wellness, positive psychology, and the psychology of music.
All Audiences

A recording of this presentation is available.
Click the button to the right to access the session archive.


, , , , ,

One Response to Inclusive Excellence & Cultural Competency Development in Online Education

  1. April 18, 2018 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi everyone,

    In case you missed the session or the handout, here is a link you are welcome to download the PPT slides.

    Best regards,


Leave a Reply

Produced by LearningTimes