Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Historically Black College and University Presidents' Perceptions of Their Role in the Civic Engagement of Their Institutions and Students
by Smith, Monica Paulette, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2017, 121; 10272918
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to investigate Historically Black College and University (HBCU) presidents’ perceptions of their role in preserving and promoting civic engagement at their institutions. HBCU presidents from six institutions with exemplary civic engagement initiatives responded to semi-structured interview questions. These questions were centered on identifying key factors and variables associated with how their institutions categorize civic engagement, and the degree to which civic engagement is integrated with their missions. A review of research confirmed a dearth of empirical studies about the leadership attributes of HBCU presidents and the extremely limited research on HBCU civic engagement. Because the phenomenon of HBCU civic engagement can be defined with complexity and contextualization, the study utilized a qualitative research design with two central research questions guiding data collection and analysis. The study examined the role HBCU presidents provide in the preservation and promotion of their HBCU's civic engagement mission. It also examined their perception of the value and impact civic engagement has on the overall success of students at these institutions. Coding analysis yielded three leadership strategies that HBCU presidents implement: presidential community presence; leveraged presidential influence; and community messaging congruence. The result of these three leadership strategies is a distinctive HBCU institutional responsiveness to Black communities. New terminology, liberation engagement, and a theoretical paradigm are offered to explain the unique civic engagement of HBCUs based upon presidents’ perspectives. Keywords: HBCUs, presidential leadership, civic engagement, HBCU students, HBCU community engagement, liberation engagement

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hartley, J. Matthew
Commitee: Gasman, Marybeth, Pierce-Burnette, Colette
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black studies, Higher Education Administration, Higher education
Keywords: Civic engagement, Democratic engagement, HBCU students, HBCUs, Liberation engagement, Presidential leadership
Publication Number: 10272918
ISBN: 978-0-355-21869-5
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