Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Jeffrey Hamilton


The Cleveland County Schools (CCS) district has more minorities and children living in poverty than in past years. With this increase in diverse cultures, teaching and teachers have remained the same. As a result, the achievement gap has not gotten smaller. White students are not growing and achieving as they should. There is a need now more than ever for teachers to step outside the box and do things differently. Not only must they do things differently, but they must also “see” things differently. This requires a paradigm shift.

The purpose of this project is to develop a framework for CCS to ensure that all students are receiving an education that will make them “globally competent.” The Universal Cultural Diversity Training framework will provide teachers and administrators with tools and resources to help address the cultural awareness gap in CCS.

CCS’s testing and discipline data were reviewed. The testing data showed that minority, more specifically African-American, and low socioeconomic students are behind their counterparts. The discipline data showed that African-Americans had the most discipline referrals (their total was almost equal to the totals of all other races combined). This information suggests that there is a disconnect between teachers and their students.

The Universal Diversity Training Framework was created from a compilation of other works to help guide Cleveland County Schools “to become one of the 10 best performing districts in the state by challenging each student with an exceptional educational experience” (CCS Vision Statement). It is a four-phase framework (Phase 1: Introspection; Phase 2: Education; Phase 3: Actions, and Phase 4: Reflection/Evaluation) that will help enlighten staff and prove beneficial to students by providing guidance and resources to help teachers and staff “reconnect” with all students.

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