Publication Date


Degree Name

EdD in Global Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Melissa Whatley

Second Advisor

Dr. Meg P. Gardinier

Third Reader

Dr. Alla Korzh


This dissertation explores the relationship between faculty’s intercultural competence and their inclusion competence within the context of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the United States. The construct of intercultural competence refers to effectiveness in engaging people across cultural differences, while inclusion competence focuses on competences critical for effective performance related to inclusive behavior. Studying these two constructs together provides insight into the potential of intercultural education to contribute to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts at US HEIs, especially in terms of fostering inclusive learning environments. Drawing from data collected using two psychometric assessments – the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (IES) to measure intercultural competence and the Inclusion Competencies Inventory (ICI) to measure inclusion competence - this study addresses the following research questions:

  1. What is the relationship, if any, between faculty members’ intercultural competence and their inclusion competence?
  2. To what extent, if any, do faculty members’ demographic characteristics interact with their intercultural competence to predict their level of inclusion competence?

The study's findings reveal a strong positive relationship between intercultural competence and inclusion competence, providing empirical evidence to support the idea that intercultural learning can be a useful tool in facilitating the goals of inclusion (J. M. Bennett, 2013). Though the results do not provide evidence of a causal relationship between intercultural competence and inclusion competence, understanding the relationship between the two constructs may help institutions consider which types of faculty training and professional development opportunities are likely to contribute to creating inclusive learning environments at HEIs in the US.


Education | Higher Education | International and Comparative Education | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures