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ERIC Number: ED524876
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 194
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-1339-6
Assessing the Impact of Diversity Courses on Students' Values, Attitudes and Beliefs
Nelson, Matthew
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California
Globalization and changing demographics in the United States have resulted in the need for higher education to prepare students for a global society. To this end, college and universities have responded in a number of ways including in the curriculum with required diversity courses. However the impact of this intervention on students is an area in need of further study. As a result, this quantitative study explores the impact of required diversity courses on measures of students' values, attitudes, and beliefs. A large, private research university in the western United States was used the site for this study. Students in the 2004 cohort were given two quantitative college experience surveys, one before they began in 2004 and a follow-up survey in 2008. This data was used along with admissions and transcript data to comprise the data set for the study. The findings suggest that diversity course impact is significant and measurable as a college student experience. More specifically, the total number of diversity courses taken by a student is significant on two measures (Humanism and Individualism) of students' values, attitudes, and beliefs. Both speak to preparing students for a global society in terms of promoting awareness and becoming civically engaged. Additionally, there were interesting findings in terms of the background characteristics of students where white students were negatively impacted by diversity courses. Finally, the impact of diversity related experiences was shown to be significant and in some cases negatively impact students' values, attitudes and beliefs. Implications for future study include: (1) determining the critical number of diversity courses needed to maximize student impact, (2) comparing within and between groups to determine differential impact of required diversity courses, (3) reviewing the content of all undergraduate courses per the Diversity Typology to find if diversity content exists across the curriculum, (4) reviewing the role of diversity related experiences in magnifying or hindering the impact of diversity courses and (5) examining the classroom dynamic between students and faculty to determine the influence on course outcomes. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A