A Framework for Integrating Cultural Competency Into the Curriculum of Public Administration Programs

Vanessa Lopez-Littleton, Brandi Blessett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the United States increasingly becomes more globalized, diverse, and socially complex, public administration professionals will need to be prepared to lead and manage to meet the changing demands. In order to meet these needs, academic programs responsible tor training public service professionals, will need to adopt curricula to promote cultural competency. While other fields have made progress toward promoting cultural competency in curricula, public administration programs have been slow to respond. A multifaceted approach is needed to guide public administration programs toward understanding the purpose of cultural competency education and developing curricula that are responsive to the needs of diverse populations. Drawing from models in health related academic programs, this article introduces the diversity and inclusiveness framework (DIF), with six interdependent components: addressing the programs mission, identifying core competencies, developing diversity and inclusiveness plans, requiring faculty and staff training, implementing curricular and co-curricular components, and assessing students' perception of diversity.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Public Affairs Education
StatePublished - 2015


  • Cultural competency
  • NASPAA accredi
  • NASPAA standards


  • Education
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Public Administration

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