Nikeya Lynn Sharp



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The Dean of Students office is a primary advocate for students, providing services and programming that support students in achieving academic and personal success. The office utilizes several departments that it houses as means to connect with and support students. These resources include the offices of Advocacy and Intervention, Community Standards and Civility, Sexual Violence Prevention Education, LGBTQ+ Services, and the Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Resources and Education. Methods for reaching out to and engaging students within each of these offices look different, but all of them include educational programming and unique supports for students. Ideally, these resources would be utilized by all students; however, there seem to be sub-populations of students who tend to take advantage of these services less frequently. One such sub-population is African American law students. Williams (2000) found that African Americans have difficulty reaching out for help from resources due to the fear of being labeled on top of current race related stigmas (p. 243). This purpose of this qualitative, survey research study is to explore the experiences of reporting to and interaction with the Dean of Students office, or reasoning for the lack thereof, among African American law students at private, religiously-affiliated, mid-sized, Midwestern research university. The findings of this anonymous online survey provide helpful indicators for how we can better support these students and ensure they are receiving adequate and equitable support. Having a case management position located within the university Law School could make students more inclined towards reporting concerns of crisis as well as feel more supported.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Savio Dennis Franco

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education


Stander Symposium project, student affairs, School of Education and Health Sciences

The Experience of Interaction With and Reporting To the Dean of Students Office among African American Law Students at a Private, Midwestern University