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Social perceptions of African-American community college transfer students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

by Barber, Norman Lynn

Abstract (Summary)
The primary purpose of this study was to explore social perceptions among African-American community college transfer students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, a predominantly white institution. A secondary purpose to pictorialize students' social perceptions through a series of storyboards. The methodology for this study was qualitative, and required in-depth interviewing to explore the social perceptions of participating students. Once the interviewing process was complete, the individual profiles of participating students' were developed and grouped into categories that reveal thematic connections. Consistent with research on Black students at predominantly White colleges universities, this study reveals that the extent to which African-American community college transfer students become integrated into the academic and social communities of a campus environment is affected by a number of social adjustment issues. Included among these adjustment issues are conflicts involving: (a)� racial identity development; (b)� orientation to the campus environment; (c)� peer relationships; (d)� perceptions of racism in the classroom; (e)� racial stereotyping; (f)� cultural prejudice; (g)� self-segregation on campus; (h)� faculty-student interactions; and (i)� family encouragement and support. From the personal narratives of students who, for the purposes of this study, were identified as the "Main Characters," pictorials or graphic illustrations of their social perceptions and experiences were developed into storyboards. While the students' personal narratives allowed them to tell their stories in their own words, th storyboards were the researcher's attempt to provide a visual interpretation of students' social perceptions and experiences within the campus environment. Quite often, in a predominantly white college environment, the social perceptions and experiences of African-American students are invisible to those who are responsible for enrollment management or the quality of campus life. Therefore, the fundamental premise behind the development of the storyboards as an illustrative analysis of the research data is that "seeing is believing."
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Massachusetts Amherst

School Location:USA - Massachusetts

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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