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Cultural competence is lacking in Public Relations and Journalism practice (Kern-Foxworth & Miller, 1993). Practitioners generally represent dominant social groups and topics dealing with diversity are not discussed in depth in university-level curriculum (Pompper, 2005). Although much research has been conducted on increasing student's cultural competence through educational interventions in disciplines such as health sciences and social work, little exists on effective interventions in Public Relations and Journalism (Campinha-Bacote’s, 2002; Fuentes & Shannon, 2016). Existing research indicates that experiential learning is the most effective method for increasing students' cultural competence (Deardorff, 2011). This project seeks to increase the cultural competence of Public Relations and Journalism students through experiential learning in three different Communication courses in the Fall of 2017. Changes in cultural competence will be determined through pre and post surveys and grading assignments according to diversity rubrics. The goal is to determine if engaging students in diversity increases their cultural competence. During this presentation, the researchers will present findings and discuss challenges with engaging students in cultural diversity.


Campinha-Bacote, J. (2017). Cultural considerations in forensic psychiatry: The issue of forced medication. International Journal Of Law And Psychiatry, 501-8. doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2016.09.002.

Deardorff, D. K. (2011). Assessing intercultural competence. New Directions For Institutional Research, 2011(149), 65-79.

Fuentes, M. A., & Shannon, C. R. (2016). The state of multiculturalism and diversity in undergraduate psychology training. Teaching Of Psychology, 43(3), 197-203. doi:10.1177/0098628316649315

Kern-Foxworth, M., & Miller, D. A. (1993). Multicultural Journalism Education Revisited: 1982-1991. Journalism Educator, 48(2), 46-55.

Pompper, D. (2005). Multiculturalism in the Public Relations Curriculum: Female African American practitioners perceptions of effects. Howard Journal of Communications, 16(4).


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  • Subject
    • English

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Author Biography:

      Lead Investigator Dr. Caitlin Wills (Ph.D., Communication, University of Georgia) completed the UNG Diversity Certificate program at UNG and has worked professionally as a PR practitioner. In 2016-2017, she participated in the CTLL High-Impact Practices program. Dr. Wills has extensive online teaching experience as well. She has been teaching for over 20 years. Dr. Merrill Morris (Ph.D., Mass Communication, Indiana University) has 19 years of full-time teaching experience at UNG, Georgia State, and the University of Memphis. She has taught Diversity in the Media at UNG for four years and has also worked as a journalist and PR practitioner. Dr. Morris participated in the UNG Faculty Academy in 2012-2013 and has also taught online at UNG and the University of Memphis. Dr. Steven Shields (Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin) has extensive training in data gathering and analysis. Dr. Shields teaches the department’s course in research methods and uses SPSS (the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) in his course. His comfort with both qualitative and quantitative methods and data analysis will be helpful in analyzing and interpreting data from the study. Dr. Shields has taught at the university level for more than 25 years.