Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Armstrong, Sonya L.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Literacy and Elementary Education


Social skills--Study and teaching; African American college students--Education; College teachers--Training of; Teacher education; African American studies; Higher education


Through the use of critical qualitative methodology, this dissertation explored faculty beliefs at an urban, minority-serving institution regarding the ability of African American first-time, full-time freshmen to interpret social cues in higher education contexts. Specifically, this study examined [1] faculty-student interaction as a process of socialization for students and [2] how faculty members teach students to interpret or read social cues as they relate to higher education contexts. The definition of literacy is considered in broad terms as a transaction between a reader and either the spoken word or a given context (verbal and nonverbal).||This examination found that participants: [1] lean toward a deficit approach when discussing their students' abilities, [2] compared the younger students' abilities to the older students, [3] differ in what they say they do and what they might actually do when faced with a social scenario, and [4] arrived at teaching unintentionally or did not set out to be teacher when pursuing a degree. In the end, there is a need for higher education teacher training and more faculty development, at the college-level, before they enter the field.


Advisors: Sonya L. Armstrong.||Committee members: LaVerne Gyant; William Pitney; Norman Stahl.


272 pages




Northern Illinois University

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