Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Hal Knight

Committee Members

William Flora, James Lampley, Douglas Lee McGahey


The purpose of this study was to examine attitudes and general knowledge of Affirmative Action in higher education admissions at one HBCU in Tennessee. The researcher used a modified version of the Echols’s Affirmative Action Inventory (EAAI) to assess attitudes and general knowledge of all administrators, faculty, staff, and students at this institution. At the conclusion of the collection period, 269 surveys were deemed usable. Of these, 31 surveys were completed by administrators, faculty completed 62 surveys, 55 surveys were completed by staff, and 121 surveys were completed by students. The dependent variables for the study were individual survey questions (1-9) and three dimensions created by transforming the data from sets of survey questions. The independent variables were participant group (administrators, faculty, staff, and students), gender, race, and academic discipline. Two-way contingency tables and c2 were used to examine the associations between each independent variable and the dependent variable for each of the individual survey questions. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare the mean differences between the dimensions and pairs of independent variables.

The quantitative findings indicated that the independent variable, participant group, was found to differ in five of the 11 research questions significantly. Administrators hold positive attitudes and exhibit greater general knowledge on the topic of Affirmative Action compared to faculty, staff, or students. Of the other independent variables, only race and academic discipline resulted in significant differences. Respondents who identified as Non-White exhibited positive attitudes towards the dimension that assessed whether Affirmative Action was moral and ethical over respondents who identified as White. Respondents who were classified as belonging to the humanities (academic discipline) were more likely to exhibit positive attitudes toward support of Affirmative Action over respondents who were classified as belonging to business.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.