Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wholeben, Brent E.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Education; Higher--Illinois; Minorities--Education (Higher)--Illinois


In the 1960s and 1970s, the color line was broken in predominantly white higher education institutions and the process of creating a more hospitable climate for minority students emerged. This was important in order for diverse populations to be able to experience an environment conducive to learning. Higher education has an important obligation to embrace diversity and also to define larger, more inspired goals relating to this issue. In so doing, higher education institutions can serve as models for the nation and the world. It is within these parameters that the significance of this study was realized. The purpose of this study was to add to the body of knowledge on cultural diversity in higher education and to impact the understanding of leaders and other participants in this arena. The study instrument was a Student Profile Survey developed by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Twelve of the 36 state schools participated in the study. Of the 1,811 randomly selected surveys mailed, 597 randomly selected students participated (33%) in the study. This study clearly demonstrated that students in higher education institutions in the state of Illinois are to a large degree in favor of diversity. However, there were specific areas where variant degrees of support for diversity existed. These specific areas were particularly evident as they related to the various ethnic groups in each institution. Based on students' perceptions, the findings of this study were as follows: (1) Higher education administrators should take a proactive role in the establishment of diversity in their particular environments. (2) Diversity should be highly reflected among the student body, faculty, and staff as a whole. (3) Leaders should seek to determine attitudes toward student diversity among faculty and staff in their respective institutions. (4) In institutions such as the participants in this study, where students have presented positive responses to diversity, efforts should be taken to encourage and support these attitudes. Administrators may utilize these findings to determine what measures may be taken to further a sense of community.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [222]-229)


xvi, 253 pages




Northern Illinois University

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