Date of Award
Master of Arts (M.A.)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
This study seeks to understand the effects and levels of impact that a university student’s intercultural communication competence, social media usage, and self-esteem have on the students’ attitudes towards diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts implemented by institutions of higher education. By studying these three independent variables, this research seeks to improve the understanding of the university students’ attitudes on DEI efforts for leaders and change agents in higher education, providing an inspiration for leaders, administrators, and change agents of higher education to continue collaborating to innovate methods and avenues towards creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus climate, as well as focusing on the roles that intercultural communication competence, social media usage, and self-esteem play in this construction of DEI programming. The researcher administered a questionnaire to 351 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from the University of the Pacific Stockton, Sacramento, and San Francisco campuses using various scales examining campus DEI climate, intercultural communication competency levels, self-esteem, and university-specific and general social media usage. The data from the surveys were analyzed to determine how the independent variables influence the students’ attitudes towards the DEI efforts being implemented by their university. The results indicate that self-esteem (SE) (r= 0.30) and students’ satisfaction with the university’s DEI-related social media campaigns and content (SSPDEI) (r= 0.38) are strongly correlated with the students’ attitudes towards the university’s commitment to DEI. Although intercultural communication competence (ICC) (r= 0.20) and how students use university- affiliated social media (USEPSM) (r= 0.21) offer levels of influence on the students’ attitudes towards the university’s commitment to DEI, they lag behind the levels shown by SE and SSPDEI. The results indicate that the students’ satisfaction with the university’s DEI-related social media campaigns and content (SSPDEI) (r= 0.35) provides a significant correlation with the students’ feelings towards diversity, equity, and inclusion on the campus (DEISF). Although ICC (r= 0.20), SE (r= 0.20), and USEPSM (r= 0.19) offer levels of influence on the DEISF, they lag behind the level shown by SSPDEI. The results also indicate that the student’s satisfaction with the university’s DEI-related social media campaigns and content (SSPDEI) (r= 0.28) and self-esteem (SE) (r= 0.23) provide the greatest influence on evidence-based DEI (DEIEV), which includes the student’s feelings and beliefs about the university’s commitment to non- discrimination and respect of each student’s individual qualities and demographics. Although ICC (r= 0.19) and USEPSM (0.16) offer levels of influence on DEIEV, they lag behind the level shown by SSPDEI and SE. Intercultural Communication Competency, Self Esteem, and Social Media Usage all have a significant positive relationship with a student’s attitude towards the DEI efforts being implemented by their university. A regression analysis found that the variables of self-esteem and intercultural communication competency have a strong predicting effect on any variances that are seen in the students’ attitudes toward the university’s commitment to DEI. The students’ use of social media may provide enough positive effect on the student’s attitudes towards the university’s efforts and actions related to DEI, however, the focus should then be placed on student satisfaction with the overall strategy and implementation. The multiple linear regression analysis also provides further support that the variables of social media usage, intercultural communication competence, and self-esteem are significant in moving forward the work in creating a campus climate centered on DEI.
Cardona, Christian T.. (2021). HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE DEI CLIMATE: EXPLORING AND UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA, SELF ESTEEM, AND INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION IN DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION INITIATIVES ON THE COLLEGE CAMPUS. University of the Pacific, Thesis. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/3779
Critical and Cultural Studies Commons, Curriculum and Social Inquiry Commons, Educational Leadership Commons, Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication Commons, Higher Education Commons, Inequality and Stratification Commons, Race and Ethnicity Commons, Social Influence and Political Communication Commons, Social Justice Commons, Social Media Commons
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