This qualitative study utilized photography to examine the differences and similarities between four African American and three White students’ perceptions of a small, private, predominantly White college in the Midwest. Students were given a disposable digital camera and a notebook, and told to “take pictures of what private college (PC) means to you” and to write in a notebook what thoughts or feelings were evoked in taking each photograph. Each student participated in an individual photo-elicitation interview and a focus group meeting. After photographs were coded for content and the data was analyzed and interpreted, six perceptions or themes emerged: 1) beauty or physical environment; 2) relations made at PC; 3) institutional size; 4) personal and intellectual growth; 5) diversity; and 6) challenges faced at PC. Implications and recommendations made for this university included recruiting more minority faculty and students; continuing data collection on minority students’ needs and sharing with stakeholders; offering sensitivity training for new students, faculty, and staff; encouraging and rewarding faculty to utilize group work in classes; and designating more money for grants and scholarships for students.
|Keywords:||Diversity, Student Perceptions, Qualitative Study, Small Private University, Racial Diversity|
Professor of French, Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology, Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN, USA