Voices in Belonging: A Phenomenological Study of African American Students at a Predominately Caucasian Christian University

Jayde Guy Indiana Wesleyan University, Jordan Peoples Indiana Wesleyan University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Katti Sneed Indiana Wesleyan University
Christian universities are unique in their Christ-centered commitment by integrating faith into a liberal arts higher education. It is through this calling that Christian universities desire to be inclusive of all persons seeking an education. Yet, the retention and graduation rates of minority students is considerably lower than that for Caucasian students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2017), the graduation rate for African American students was 43.5 percent, this is more than 26 percent below their Caucasian counterparts. This phenomenological study will explore the lived experiences of African American students on a predominantly Caucasian Christian campus. Specifically, students currently enrolled for at least one or more years will be interviewed in an effort to better understand their lived experiences throughout their tenure. The intention is to glean themes beginning with recruitment, admission process, first year, through current experiences in regards to belonging and adjustment. Through hearing the voices of students of color, universities will be able to implement new initiatives, revise policies, and create an environment where all feel welcome.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

02:30 PM
Jordan Hall 203