Exploring the impact of diversity training on the development and application of cultural competence skills in higher education professionals


  • Kendra Cabler Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Holly Jackson Department of Teaching and Learning, School of Education, Virginia Commonwealth University




diversity training, cultural competence, professional development, higher education, diversity in the workplace, inclusion in organizations


This study explores how higher education professionals develop and demonstrate cultural competence in their professional roles.  Through a mixed methods case-study approach, the study investigates how perceived levels of cultural competence in higher education professionals is shaped by participation in an extended diversity training program. Additionally, this study explores implications for individual career trajectories as a result of program completion and implementation of new learning. Study findings indicate that participants anticipate lasting effects from the training experience. The training introduced and ignited a reconfiguration of what it means to engage and work in spaces where institutional and organizational commitments are aligned with personal commitments. Following training, all participants expressed deep commitment to intentionally and actively cultivating a sense of belonging and inclusion in the workplace through shared language, shifts in policy, and more thoughtful interpersonal interactions with colleagues and peers.


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