Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy





First Advisor

Ann M. Gansemer-Topf


Student affairs educators are integral to meet the needs of today’s increasingly diverse student population, especially supporting the student success of underrepresented students and developing the multicultural competence of all students. A significant component of meeting these needs is engaging in multicultural work, which specifically addresses racism and systemic oppression in the higher education environment. Presented in a three-article format, this case study examined the multicultural competence development, will, and multicultural work of student affairs educators engaged in these endeavors.

The goal of multicultural work is to address racism and systems of oppression, and to do so requires multicultural competence (Watt and Linley, 2013). Multiculturally competent student affairs educators engage in multicultural work with students, colleagues and supervisors in a multilevel higher education environment. Findings from this study suggest that multicultural competency development of awareness, knowledge, and skills occurs along a continuum. At some point along the continuum student affairs educators develop the multicultural competence and will to engage in multicultural work. The will to do multicultural work comprises of the belief that racism and systems of oppression exist, a passion for serving students, and relevance to the purpose of student affairs educators’ work. Furthermore, will includes the capacity to do multicultural work and the willingness to assume the risk associated with doing the work.

Results of this study have implications for student affairs educators, graduate preparation programs in student affairs, and research in higher education administration. Results are also applicable to both practice and research in other disciplines in higher education, as well as non-academic organizations and communities.

Copyright Owner

Jennifer Lynn Plagman-Galvin



File Format


File Size

145 pages