Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Betsy Haughton

Committee Members

Marsha Spence, Charles Hamilton


The US is increasingly becoming more diverse; however, racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to experience health disparities and poor health outcomes. To better respond to the needs of diverse populations, cultural competence training for future health professionals is needed. Important to the cultural competence of individuals is organizational cultural competence. Models and recommendations have been developed to apply cultural competence education and training formally in government agencies, health care organizations, and academia. An example of such a model in academia is the Dotson Organizational Cultural Competence Model for Health-Related Academic Units, which consists of 4 domains (organizational accountability, stakeholder diversity, access, and communication) with 63 criteria statements. Missing is assessment of organizational cultural competence in academia and the extent to which it is applied in these units. The purpose of this thesis research was to assess the organizational cultural competence performance of post-secondary health-related academic units using the theoretical framework of a capability maturity model. Using a web-based survey, administrators from health-related academic units reported the extent to which organizational cultural competence criteria statements were applied in their units using a Likert-like scale (1 = Strongly agree, 6 = Strongly disagree). The overall cultural competence of units was described using means and standard deviations of total score from criteria statements and domain scores. Univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed no differences by academic homes in applying cultural competence. However, MANOVA revealed significant differences within domains by categorized academic home for overall cultural competence (p = 0.013). MANOVA of overall cultural competence and overall cultural competence experience was significant (p = 0.005). MANOVA revealed significance within domain scores by organizational cultural competence experience (p = 0.028). From Bonferroni post-hoc analysis significance was found within the organizational accountability (p = 0.003) and communication domains (p = 0.004). Units that engage in diversity planning, curriculum and student evaluations for cultural competence have higher levels of cultural competence. Cultural competence models suggest that cultural competency is an evolving process. Future research should evaluate units from more stakeholder perspectives and link the cultural competence continuum with the capability maturity model.

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