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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


International Studies

First Advisor

Laura Bathurst

First Committee Member

Thomas Nelson

Second Committee Member

Chris Cartwright


Intercultural development is not an intentional goal or expected outcome for College Success courses. However, since such courses are designed to help students adapt to academic and campus cultures, an overlap and alignment between the development of intercultural skills and competence and the development of college competence might exist. This thesis investigated the degree to which intercultural learning was integrated into College Success courses at the curricular level, in instruction practices, and in the individual learning experiences of students, and it also identified current instructional activities most amenable to further targeting of intercultural learning. The research was guided by the following three questions. 1) What are the ways, if any, in which intercultural skills align with those skills seen as necessary for students' successful adaptation in academic and professional settings? 2) Do College Success instructors intentionally or unintentionally incorporate intercultural competence development into the curriculum and instruction? 3) What, if any, are the ways in which instructional practices in College Success courses contribute to intercultural skill development and help students leverage their current experiences with cultural differences? The research was focused on the study of one College Success class at a community college. Data was collected through multiple methods. Class sessions were observed. Interviews were conducted with students in the course, the instructor and the administrator responsible for the course. Documents, including the course syllabus, student learning outcomes, a selection of assignments and the course textbook were reviewed and analyzed. Research findings suggest that there is significant alignment between the development of college competence, as fostered in the College Success course studied, and the development intercultural competence, though such was unintentional and unrecognized by the instructor. The data also illuminated areas where course learning outcomes, curriculum, and instruction could be modified to further support the development of intercultural competency.



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