ERIC Number: ED415803
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Impressions: How First-Year, African American Students Pictured a Research University. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Douglas, Katie B.
In this study 10 first-year African American students (five men and five women) took photographs that illustrated their perceptions of the predominantly white research university they attended and discussed their pictures in subsequent individual and focus group interviews. Two theoretical frameworks provided the structure for the analysis: personal-environment interaction theory and symbolic interactionism. Data analysis and interpretation identified six themes: (1) natural, physical aspects; (2) institutional size; (3) racial consciousness; (4) Greek-letter organizations; (5) racial and cultural interactions; and (6) preparation for the future. Some of the positive facets of the campus environment pictured and discussed included interactions with faculty; involvement in student organizations; specific courses in which the students were enrolled, especially the Afro-American studies classes; and the residence hall climate. Negative factors identified included the underrepresentation of African American students, faculty, and staff; the prevalence of voluntary racial and cultural separation; and a perceived lack of receptivity by others in the university community. Implications of the study for research, practice, and policy are drawn. (Contains 78 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Black Students, College Environment, College Freshmen, Educational Environment, Focus Groups, Fraternities, Higher Education, Photography, Racial Factors, Research Universities, Residential Colleges, School Size, Social Integration, Sororities, Student Attitudes, Student College Relationship, Theories
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A