Sexual violence (SV) is a global public health crisis of pandemic proportions. Sexual harassment (SH) and violence are pervasive on college campuses, negatively impacting students, faculty, and staff. To address this, U.S. universities are required by federal law to implement EBP programs to foster awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and skills/behaviors (competencies) to prevent or mitigate sexual misconduct. Improving these competencies can increase students’ capacity to respond to SH and SV they experience or witness positively impacting retention, health, wellness, and graduation outcomes. Additionally, recent empirical evidence has linked organizational culture (i.e., values, shared beliefs, and artifacts) and competencies to effectively responding to institutional crises such as SV. This quantitative study analyzed state university disaggregated data from a 2016 Title IX student survey through a framework of organizational culture. Specifically, the study explored differences between rural-urban and undergraduate graduate students’ competencies (i.e., awareness, knowledge, attitudes, skills/behaviors) and the values, artifacts, and beliefs stated in state university policy and procedures. Further research should consider the likely effects of organizational culture on the implementation of SH and SV prevention programs.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sexual harassment in universities and colleges—United States—Prevention; Sex crimes—United States—Prevention

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Faculty Advisor

Eric Hamilton

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Education Commons