Developing Preservice Teachers’ Cultural Competency through Urban Immersion


  • Leigh E. Szucs, PhD, CHES
  • Meagan Shipley, PhD, CHES
  • Elisa ‘Beth’ McNeill, PhD, CHES
  • Jeff Housman, PhD, CHES
  • Crystal Vinal, MS



Service Learning, Cultural Competency, School Health, Cultural Immersion, Preparation


This study examined how immersion experiences and a service-learning project influenced preservice teachers’ (PST) cultural competence.Questionnaires and focus group data were analyzed to measure changes in PST competency before and after experiences in NYC schools. Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test revealed statistically significant improvements in pre- (M=59.18, SD=15.04) and post- (M=68.64, SD=14.41) scores for Cultural Competency Behavior; yielding a medium intervention effect (d =.306). Non-significant differences between pre- (M=63.47, SD=4.33) and post- (M=65.23, SD=5.50) scores for Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity were reported. Qualitative themes include urban culture shock;Teacher
and student motivations; Creative lesson planning; and Perception of future teaching practices.



How to Cite

Szucs, L. E., Shipley, M., McNeill, E. ‘Beth’, Housman, J., & Vinal, C. (2020). Developing Preservice Teachers’ Cultural Competency through Urban Immersion. American Journal of Health Studies, 34(2).

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