Kelley McClain



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This qualitative study explores the experiences of African American students who attend predominantly White institutions. Several factors could benefit, hinder and/or frustrate African American students who have decided to pursue and complete higher education at a predominantly White institution. However, the responsibility of administrators to assist African Americans with this transition continues to be of major importance as they must take into consideration student experiences and cultures. The social, cultural, and academic adjustment process for African Americans varies based on the students’ culture, personal backgrounds and individual experiences not just race. For this research study African American students attending a predominantly White Midwestern institution participated in individual interviews and focus groups to share their experiences. Findings are presented to provide an overview of how best practices and policies regarding engagement, cultural integrity, academic support, awareness, and inclusion can assist in improving the climate and culture of the institution for African American students.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Nasser Razek

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education and Human Services


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


Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Race or Culture? African American Student Experiences at a Predominantly White Institution