Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

More than a window dressing?: A critical race institutional ethnography of a multicultural student services administrator at a PWI
by Ranero, Jessica Janet, Ph.D., Iowa State University, 2011, 258; 3458318
Abstract (Summary)

Multicultural student services (MSS) emerged on predominantly white institutions (PWIs) as a result of student of color movements demanding equitable access, representation, and culturally relevant support systems. Over time, the goal and purpose of MSS has shifted away from its political roots and these offices are now expected to provide diversity education for all students thus limiting their ability to serve as advocates for racial equity. The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of how the policies, unwritten rules, and practices of institutions of higher education shape the work of MSS and influence the overall access and success of students of color in American higher education. Through the use of institutional ethnography and critical race theory, this study mapped out how organizations, policies, unwritten rules, and practices shape the everyday work life of a MSS administrator at a public, land-grant, Midwestern university. The organizations that emerged were Midwestern State, Midwestern University, the College of Innovation, and Joshua as the MSS administrator for the College of Innovation. A series of master and counternarratives bring forth how racism shapes the policies, practices, and unwritten rules in each organization that mediate Joshua's work as a MSS administrator. Implications for practice and research aim to challenge institutions to examine how they define and practice racial equity and encourage colleges and universities to do more than simply decorate their windows with diversity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Patton, Lori D., Evans, Nancy J.
Commitee: Gildersleeve, Ryan Evely, Marsh, Tyson, Matibag, Eugenio
School: Iowa State University
Department: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- Iowa
Source: DAI-A 72/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Multicultural Education, Higher education
Keywords: Critical race theory, Institutional ethnography, Multicultural student services, Predominantly White, Student services administrator
Publication Number: 3458318
ISBN: 978-1-124-70086-1
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