Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Philip Mirci, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Ronald D. Hunt, Ed.D.

Ron Williams, Ed.D.


education; cultural proficiency; educational justice; professional development; transformative learning


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to understand the perceptions of administrators who participated in a cultural proficiency professional development program and to describe the themes that emerged from the data analysis in terms of their insights, questions, concerns and hopes related to making a positive difference in the lives of a diverse student population.

A qualitative methodology was used and credibility was pursued through the development of trustworthiness with the participants in the interview process. The use of phenomenological research enabled me to analyze the perceptions of administrators regarding their experiences related to participation in the Unity Camp, and reflect the changes of beliefs, attitudes and practices related to educational leadership through their adult learning and cultural proficiency.

The following question guided my study: Given participation in cultural proficiency professional development, what are the perceptions of administrators regarding their experiences of the training? Data analysis revealed that administrators reflected they experienced personal changes in their awareness of students' needs, and their ways of relating to students, families and teachers. The administrators shared insight into the changes that occurred in their attitudes and beliefs regarding issues of race, gender, class and privilege and in this transformation reflected the behaviors and attitudes consistent with critical theory and educational justice theory.

The major barrier identified by the administrators who participated in the study was the reduction and possible elimination of the Unity Camp cultural proficiency professional development due to the state budget crisis and the elimination of programs in California's public schools. Administrators indicate that this will be loss to the educational benefit of students, and will negatively affect the quality of the relationship of students and families with all educators in the district.

The study provided insight into the qualitative indicators of student academic success and the value added of culturally proficient students and staff members in the educational experience. It further illuminated the ability of adults to engage in transformational learning experiences and develop cultural proficiency in their personal and professional lives.


© 2010 Maureen Latham

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781124977744