The researcher conducted a mixed-methods study at a private, Midwestern, Predominantly White institution in order to determine the relationship between minority student perceptions of higher education and minority student perceptions of their institution. The goal of the study was to determine whether minority student perceptions of the climate and culture of their institution influenced their perception of higher education as a whole. Another objective was to determine whether minority student perceptions connected to minority student retention. To determine the relationship, the researcher surveyed 20 undergraduate, African American students and conducted one-on-one interviews with three of the students between the fall of 2017 and the summer of 2018.
The researcher analyzed the results of the climate and culture perceptions survey instruments to determine relationships between minority student perceptions of the culture of higher education and minority student perceptions of the culture of their school. Secondly, the researcher analyzed the relationship between minority student perceptions of the climate of higher education and minority student perceptions of the climate of the school. Through quantitative analysis, the researcher determined there was no relationship between minority student perceptions of the culture and climate of higher education broadly, and their perceptions of the culture and climate of their institution.
Qualitative analyses suggested students believed their perception of school climate and culture mirrored the climate and culture of higher education. Perceptions included facing racism and microaggressions, a lack of support from faculty, and not feeling intentionally included in campus programming all while having a sense of safety on campus. Regardless of whether student perceptions of higher education were positive or negative, each student who did not graduate that year intended to return the following academic year. Individual reasons for intent to return determined the relationship between minority student perceptions of higher education and minority student retention.
Recommendations from the researcher included exploring mentoring programs geared toward minority students, investigating the benefits of a diversity course for all students, implementing an African American Studies program, conducting research focused on reasons minority students remain at an institution, and the functionality of other groups considered minority in higher education. Exploring the aforementioned suggestions in depth could lead to a better overall understanding of how minority students can receive support and experience more retention in higher education.
|Advisor:||Nasser, Roger, Jr.|
|Commitee:||Common, Brandon, Winslow, Kevin|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational sociology, Educational evaluation, Multicultural Education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Campus diversity, Institutional culture, Perceptions, Student retention|
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