Author(s)

Ashley Rivard

Date Approved

10-24-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Higher Education

Department

Educational Services, Administration, and Higher Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Sisco, Burton

Subject(s)

Minorities in higher education;College environment--United States

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to (a) assess the current campus climate at a private Predominately White Institution, (b) assess is there is a difference between the perceptions of campus racial climate between White students and Black students, (c) assess what the students believe the institution is doing well to promote a welcoming atmosphere, and (d) assess what the students believe the institution should be doing better to promote a welcoming atmosphere. A total of 19 participants took part in individual interviews to examine the above areas. Interviews were transcribed and data were analyzed through content analysis. The study found that there was a difference between the perceived campus racial climate between White and Black students. Differences were expressed in how students felt on campus, in social settings, and in the academic environment. Furthermore, students articulated initiatives that they believe the institution should be doing better to promote a more welcoming atmosphere, such as creating more culturally diverse programming, offering more institutional support to ethnic student organizations, and creating more room in the academic track for collaboration of students between majors.

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