Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Interdisciplinary Studies


Alexandra Joosse

Committee Members

Jamel Donnor

Monika Gosin


Originally coined by nursing professor Madeleine Leininger in the 1960’s, “cultural competence” describes how well individuals communicate and collaborate across cultures. Amongst college students, cultural competence is associated with numerous positive outcomes including improved behavioral records and higher overall college satisfaction (Bowman and Denson, 2012, p. 420; Schwarzenthal et al., 2020, p. 326). Studies have also shown that exposure to racial diversity can foster cultural competence, particularly during adolescence (Raabe & Beelmann, 2011). Despite this, few studies have examined the relationship between exposure to racial diversity in high school and cultural competence in college. This analysis seeks to address this gap by examining cultural competence in three key facets of college life: collaboration, discussion, and friendship. Results suggest that college students from diverse high schools were noticeably more proficient than college students from segregated high schools in four cultural competencies: “being aware of within-group difference,” “acknowledging the importance of difference,” “accepting ambiguity,” and “being curious.”

On-Campus Access Only