Student cohorts, multicultural training, and multicultural competence
Meares, Krystal Louise
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Although there has been extensive research related to the incorporation of multiculturalism in graduate training programs, knowledge about effective ways to train multiculturally competent counselors is limited (Coleman, 2006). The lack of research on specific training experiences that contribute to the development of multicultural competence has informed the present study. This study sought to contribute to a better understanding of the impact of experiential interactions on multicultural competence by examining the relationship between cohort characteristics and multicultural awareness. Accordingly, this study explored the effect of cohort characteristics (cohesion, relational satisfaction, and environment) on multicultural awareness; and examined the moderating effects of multicultural training on the relationship between cohort characteristics and multicultural awareness. Participants included 115 doctoral students currently enrolled in counseling psychology programs which employed the use of a cohort model. Results suggested that feelings of belonging and morale regarding cohort membership combined with participation in multicultural training activities can significantly contribute to a student’s multicultural development and competence. These findings provide support for intentional structuring of student cohorts and the value of experiential and interactive instruction in multicultural training.