ERIC Number: EJ741920
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Aug
Student Perceptions of Diversity on a College Campus: Scratching the Surface to Find More
Brunner, Brigitta R.
Intercultural Education, v17 n3 p311-317 Aug 2006
American universities have made efforts in the past to create a more diverse student population, and this diversity has been linked to strategic benefits for both students and society. However, little research has examined students' perspectives on these issues. In an attempt to address this issue, this paper reports an exploratory research using focus groups to examine students' thoughts about diversity and its place on an American college campus. Student from communications classes at a large Southeastern university were invited to take part in the focus group sessions. The focus group data were transcribed and analyzed thematically, meaning each transcript was compared with the others on a continuous basis. The data suggest that college students, no matter what their background, generally view diversity as something positive. Furthermore, this research suggests that more than 40 years after the beginning of Affirmative Action initiatives in the US, the diversity discussion is still ongoing. The college students who participated in these focus groups agreed that discussions of the topic are necessary even if they do not lead to change. They believed as long as the topic was spoken about some good would come of it. Thus, this research represents an exploratory examination of what students think about diversity initiatives at one institution. It gives voice to an important perspective on diversity--the student voice. And it also demonstrates an area rich for future research--student perspectives regarding diversity, multicultural education, inclusiveness and globalization.
Descriptors: College Students, Student Attitudes, Student Diversity, Focus Groups, Cultural Pluralism, Multicultural Education, Universities
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A