Reducing Institutional Barriers to Minority Student Success at a Predominantly White University: A Qualitative Action Research Study

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Title: Reducing Institutional Barriers to Minority Student Success at a Predominantly White University: A Qualitative Action Research Study
Author: Rich, Wesley D
Advisors: Kevin Brady, Committee Chair
Paul Bitting, Committee Member
Bonnie Fusarelli, Committee Member
Kevin Oliver, Committee Member
Abstract: This qualitative action research study investigates the common barriers encountered by successful undergraduate ethnic minority students enrolled in majors that serve as a pipeline for professional health sciences. Through specialized focus group interviews and individual interviews, this study explores the perceived barriers to student success encountered by successful undergraduate ethnic minority students. Student strategies for success are also examined and discussed. A review of the related literature on student retention in college and characterizations of barriers faced by undergraduate minority students is included. This study employs action research methodology in an effort to communicate the experiences and proposed solutions of successful undergraduate minority science students at a small, predominantly white, private university in rural North Carolina. Study findings indicate that participants encountered barriers related to communication, prejudice, resources, academic preparation, family responsibilities and connections with students of the same ethnicity. Findings from this study also indicate that participants used several broad strategies to ensure their success which include networking, joining campus clubs and organizations, taking reasonable risks, accessing on-campus support services, and being persistent about getting their needs met. Recommendations are provided to the focal university aimed at reducing the barriers identified by participants in this study. Finally, a number of suggestions are provided for future research.
Date: 2009-11-20
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Educational Research and Policy Analysis
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/5673


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