Graduation Year

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Herbert Exum, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Vonzell Agosto, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Ferron, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tony Tan, Ed.D.

Keywords

College Student Affairs, Counseling, Counselor Education

Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine the impact of diversity on student engagement and academic success within a university setting. Understanding the impact of diversity at postsecondary institutions is important because the population of the United States is becoming increasingly diverse, a trend that is also reflected in educational institutions. Previous research has largely focused on diversity among the study body (i.e. admissions) and in the classroom (i.e. curriculum). However, the current study focuses on student experiences with diversity outside of the classroom. Student interactions with peers from diverse backgrounds were measured using the Experiences With Diversity Index (EWDI) subscale of the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ). An ANOVA was conducted to compare group differences on experiences with diversity based on gender, race/ethnicity, and generational status. The results found Hispanic college students reported more frequent experiences with diversity than did their Black or White peers. A moderated regression was conducted to examine the relationship between experiences with diversity and academic success (GPA). The results found no significant relationship between diversity experiences and GPA, regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, or generational status. Recommendations for future practice and research are discussed.

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