Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

January 1997

Abstract

This study of African American undergraduates at Emory & Henry College, Tusculum College, Western Carolina University, East Tennessee State University, Appalachian State University, and University of North Carolina at Asheville was conducted to determine students' stages of identity development, level of involvement in campus activities, and demographic characteristics within historically White Southern Appalachian colleges and universities, both public and independent. Three research questions were answered by analyzing 21 null hypotheses using the t-test and the chi square test. Hypotheses were tested at the.05 level of significance. Data collected in this study revealed that the students' perceptions of identity development and their level of involvement at historically White public or independent colleges and universities in Southern Appalachia were more similar than different. Comparative analyses sought differences in public and independent student differences in identity development, involvement, and characteristics of African American students at public and independent colleges and universities. Few statistically significant differences were found in the demographic characteristics, stages of identity development, and level of involvement. A comparative analysis of African American undergraduates at independent colleges and universities revealed significant differences in the level of involvement and demographic characteristics. Public universities enrolled more females and their students had more pre-college cultural experiences than independent students. Students enrolled in public universities were significantly less involved in sports than independent students. Specific demographic characteristics did not affect college choices. Data in this study indicated a need for improving the programs, activities, and services available to African American undergraduates attending historically White colleges and universities in Southern Appalachia. Several recommendations were made. Institutional and programmatic strategies were outlined to improve identity development and involvement of African American undergraduates at Emory & Henry College, Tusculum College, Western Carolina University, University of North Carolina at Asheville, East Tennessee State University, and Appalachian State University.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access