Date of Degree


Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)


Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


Mac, Jacqueline

Committee Members

Hutchins, Quortne; Nyunt, Gudrun


culturally relevant pedagogy, culturally responsive teaching, MFCRT, Motivational Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching, adult learners, nontraditional learners, nontraditional students, adult education, program administration, curriculum administration


Enrollment in colleges and universities has become increasingly diverse and with the looming demographic cliff, many institutions have turned more attention to the adult learner population. However, the diversity of the adult learner has often been overlooked, including in research about how culturally responsive pedagogy is incorporated into adult learning models. The purpose of this case study was to learn about how faculty in adult learning degree programs perceive and integrate culturally responsive pedagogy into their teaching practices. The case site was a department that offers degrees specifically designed for adult learners at a small, private liberal arts institution located in the Midwest. This study was informed by Wlodkowski and Ginsberg’s Motivational Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching. Data was collected from four faculty participants through semi-structured individual interviews and one focus group. Five themes emerged from this research: (1) intentional sharing of culture and lived experiences, (2) incorporating experiential and applied learning, (3) creating a relational environment to engender trust and safety, (4) using a wide variety of application methods, and (5) implementing culturally relevant pedagogy at a departmental level presents unique challenges.


Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses and dissertations are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors, unless otherwise indicated.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.