The emphasis on intercultural competence is more prevalent in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) majors as the world shifts towards a more globalized economy. When entering higher education, students have differing levels of cultural interaction due to varying peer interaction, family experiences, international travel, and social media experiences. The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) has been used to develop an understanding of how students view others and the level of skills they have to interact and adapt to other cultures. Using published data focused on pre-intervention assessment, researchers compared it to data obtained from STEM students preparing for an international experience and studies that already exist to learn more about both student populations and to gain an appreciation of their cultural competencies. As institutions look to prepare their students for jobs in a global workplace, an understanding of where STEM students place according to the IDI in comparison to their non-STEM peers may aid educators wishing to focus on developing these skills in their students. The results of the comparison between Purdue STEM students and other non-STEM students showed STEM students fell into more ethnocentric levels of intercultural competence. This may be explained by the traditionally male-dominated nature of STEM majors, as males have been shown to fall in more ethnocentric orientations.
Lucietto, A. M., & Russell, L. (2020). Comparison of pre-intervention IDI results from STEM and non-STEM undergraduate students. Journal of Global Education and Research, 4(2), 113-124. https://www.doi.org/10.5038/2577-509X.4.2.1051
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