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A Critical Race Analysis: Examining the Black College Experience at a Selective Public Minority-Serving Research Institution (MSRI)

  • Author(s): Edwards, Jeremy Alexander
  • Advisor(s): Duran, Richard P.
  • et al.

This research involved a qualitative case study (N=15) that identified several layers of concern centered around the Black college student experience using Critical Race Theory and Bridging Multiple Worlds Theory. Through two rounds of qualitative semi-structured interviews, the current study addressed the concerns of access for Black students at the UC level. This work explored the relationships between Black students and the UC system in thinking about levels of support and advocacy for Black students on recruitment, retention, and post-graduation career plans. This work also assessed the impact of diversity campaigning on student experiences. Dissertation data suggested that students felt an invested interest in the college they chose and strong belief that their school would prepare them for the future. Students relayed how they viewed their university, what they felt their university could offer them professionally, and provided suggestions for improvements on campus as it pertained to racial diversity and Black representation on campus. Interviews revealed a connection between students’ early educational and career goals and their college pursuits to attaining these goals. This work provided a continuum and breadth of knowledge that allowed for a deeper understanding about Black student access to career-driven opportunity through education. This study provided Black students with a chance to be heard and reflect upon their academic and career journeys thus far. This work could lead to further application of policy and practice changes within 4-year universities across the nation as it pertains to Black enrollment and retention efforts.

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