The Culturally Responsive Special Education/English as a Second Language (ESL) program was designed to assist students from diverse backgrounds in being academically successful in a large western private university. Utilizing the Cultural Congruity Scale (CCS) and University Environment Scale (UES), this study analyzed the perceptions of 28 students who are ethnically diverse and enrolled in the Culturally Responsive Special Education/ESL Program. The data will be used to evaluate the program's success in addressing the barriers that have historically kept students who are ethnically diverse from succeeding in higher education. Participating students completed CCS and UES surveys questioning their perceptions regarding cultural congruity and how they perceived the university environment. Descriptive data based on responses to survey questions were summarized and examined. Additionally, individual survey items were examined to determine specific areas of student concern. Results from the current sample were compared against the instrument's validating normative sample to find the difference between perceptions of students from a more diverse university setting and this program's ethnically diverse students who are attending a program at a predominately white private institution. Results indicate that the students in the current sample perceive high levels of cultural congruity and positive university environment. Compared with students from a more diverse setting, the current sample perceived similar levels of cultural congruity and significantly greater perceptions of positive university environment.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





university environment, cultural congruity, diverse students, higher education, diversity programs