Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Sydney Parent


At a Mid-Atlantic, 4-year, rural, higher education institution, the minority student population, 25%, is growing compared to the 9% of minority faculty representation. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of minority faculty and students regarding student learning associated with minority students’ relationships to minority faculty. Critical race theory was used as part of the conceptual framework which provides a narrative on the perspectives of race and dispels myths, racial beliefs, and misrepresentations of the truth. Social learning theory was also used as part of the conceptual framework because it explains how social influences impact the beliefs and actions of individuals in society. A basic qualitative study was the research design and semistructured interviews were used to collect data from 5 minority faculty and 8 minority students. The research questions focused on how the participants perceive the effect of having minority faculty at the local study site. Criteria for participant selection included being at the study site for 1 year or more, being from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and being adults. Each transcribed interview was reviewed, then coded into the following categories and themes: experiences with minority faculty, no experiences with minority faculty, relationships with minority faculty, and diverse faculty provide advantages. The data noted that 92% of the minority participants thought there were advantages to having minority faculty compared to 8% who did not. A recommendation paper was the result of the research study. Based on the findings, positive social changes may occur that affect minority students and faculty by improving minority student learning, increasing minority student enrollment, and possibly an increasing minority faculty at higher education institutions.

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