Cultural Competency Activities
Impact on Student Success
Keywords:cultural centers, student affairs, career readiness, student development
This study examines the impact of a cultural center on students’ views and perceptions of their own cultural competency learning and ability to manage their college experience at a large metropolitan university. This exploratory analysis highlights the views of ten students who frequently engaged with a cultural center. Emerging themes include: (a) how students at a metropolitan university defined cultural competence; (b) challenges, difficulties, and problems participants experienced interacting with people from other cultures (e.g. nationality, ethnicity); and (c) successful interactions participants experienced with people from other cultures. Findings and discussion from this study suggest: (a) identity, exposure, and critical awareness; (b) navigating and negotiating conflict; and (c) engaging cultural resources are the skills students develop, through experiences with a cultural center, that impact their ability to manage their college experience. This project studied a culturally mixed group of students using personal experiences, interviews, and focus group discussions to describe meaningful and defining moments. This study and its findings are noteworthy because there is little research in this subject area. All participants were frank, cooperative, and candid throughout the process. They offered insights and shared information regarding cultural competency at Metropolitan University (MU).
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