Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Bethany Flora

Committee Members

Don Good, Overtoun Jenda, Pamela Scott


Many four year institutions are reorganizing their processes and structures to develop a more inclusive model related to campus diversity efforts. Minimal information has been reported about two year institutional efforts toward inclusive excellence. Given the predicted demographic shifts of the nation and more specifically, the projected increase in enrollments of racially and ethnically diverse student bodies in community colleges, it is essential for higher education administrators and policymakers to understand the structures needed to support minority student success at community colleges.

The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine institutional support structures around inclusive excellence. An Institutional Diversity Practice Index (IDPI) was created using eleven key indicators found within the literature related to institutional practices that enhance minority student success. The absence or presence of practices at each school were tallied to create two groups. Groups were then compared to determine whether significant differences existed between retention and graduation rates, as well as differences in selected items on the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) related to diversity and support.

Due to the sample size limitations of minority student enrollment, the 13 community colleges in this study were classified into one of two groups: Higher Institutional Diversity Practice Index (6 practices or more) and Lower Institutional Diversity Practice Index (5 practices or less). Archival data were used to examine retention rates, graduation rates, and student engagement indictors from the CSSE survey. The sampling frame for the study included all 13 TBR community college students during the academic 2013-2014 academic year.

Findings indicated that institutions who were classified in the higher practice group reported higher retention rates of African American and Hispanic students. There were no statistically significant differences between the high and low group with regard to graduation rates or student engagement indicators on the CSSE survey. A larger sample size would be required to determine what combination of institutional practices predict minority student retention and graduation rates. Overall, this study plows new ground and provides information related to the current landscape of institutional structures that support minority student success in Tennessee.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.