Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Biracial/Multiracial Student Perceptions of Student Academic Support Services at a Predominantly White Public Institution
by Fischer-Kinney, Julie A., Ph.D., The University of Toledo, 2012, 232; 10630957
Abstract (Summary)

This study attempted to contribute to national research on biracial/multiracial students, a growing diverse population in higher education. A lack of literature exists on biracial/multiracial college students, particularly as it pertains to student academic success at predominantly white institutions (PWI). The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of biracial/multiracial college students regarding student academic support services at one PWI. In order to address barriers to student success, the voices of biracial/multiracial students are greatly needed by institutions to enhance and develop services, programs, policies, and procedures.

This phenomenological study used Padilla's Theoretical Framework for Modeling Student Success to understand the barriers to student success perceived by biracial/multiracial students at one PWI. The qualitative study employed triangulation through three phases of research. In phase one, a demographic study was used to identify students at the PWI who self-identify as biracial/multiracial. The demographic study responses also guided conversations in the second phase of research, focus group meetings. Phase two consisted of three focus groups comprised of 11 biracial/multiracial students. Phase three consisted of member checking within and between focus groups, and during data analysis, for clarification and agreement of findings. The culmination of the study was the creation of a Local Student Success Model (LSSM) for the PWI, a blueprint for biracial/multiracial student success consisting of recommended student and institutional actions.

The study found that focus group participants at the PWI were unaware of the location and function of some student academic support services. Participants believed that new student academic support services are needed, such as peer mentoring in the major, in addition to the evaluation and modification of existing student academic support services, such as faculty mentoring, to aid in biracial/multiracial student success.

Study participants (including demographic and focus group participants) at the PWI perceived there to be a total of over 15 barriers to student success. Financial and personal barriers were perceived to be the greatest barriers to biracial/multiracial student success. Focus group participants perceived 10 key barriers to success that fit into two major categories of barriers— institutional barriers and individual barriers. In order to overcome barriers to student success, focus group participants perceived that students must have knowledge in five key categories; must take action in two key categories; and recommended institutional actions in five key categories to ensure the student success of biracial/multiracial students.

Indexing (document details)
Commitee: Barlowe, Jamie, Gentry, Debra, Gore, Shanda, Poplin Gosetti, Penny
School: The University of Toledo
Department: Higher Education
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Higher Education Administration, School counseling, Ethnic studies, Hispanic American studies, Native American studies, Higher education
Keywords: Biracial, Multiracial, Predominantly white institution, Student academic support services, Student perceptions, Support services
Publication Number: 10630957
ISBN: 9780355012798
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