ERIC Number: ED360923
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Impact of College on White Students' Racial Attitudes. AIR 1993 Annual Forum Paper.
Smith, Kris M.
The current resurgence of racism on America's college campuses suggests that institutions may need to take a more conscious look at how they might be influencing students' racial attitudes. This paper examines: (1) the individual student characteristics and beliefs that influence white students' racial attitudes at college entry; (2) the impact of the various institutional environments on white students' attitudes; and (3) the ways in which this information can be used by an institution to promote multiculturalism and improve interracial understanding within the campus community. A model was developed to examine institutional impact on student racial attitudes. Results of a study at the University of Michigan which considered on aspect of racial attitudes, students' attitudes toward affirmative action practices and policies within a college or university are analyzed. The data for this paper were drawn from a research study conducted by the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education and the Office of Minority Affairs at the University of Michigan involving 485 white students who responded to two surveys. The outcomes of the path analyses indicated that students enter college with ambivalent feelings toward affirmative action and that colleges and universities have the potential to tip the balance either for or against such practices. Within this study, males became less supportive of affirmative action during their first year of college, while females became more supportive of these policies. Findings suggest the vital role that institutional researchers play in providing empirical data on student attitudes to guide institutional decisions. (Contains 24 references.) (GLR)
Descriptors: Affirmative Action, Attitude Change, Attitude Measures, College Freshmen, College Outcomes Assessment, College Students, Cultural Pluralism, Educational Environment, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Models, Peer Relationship, Racial Attitudes, Racial Bias, Sex Differences, Student Attitudes, White Students
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A