Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Jeff Cramer

Second Advisor

Skip Trudeau

Third Advisor

Drew Moser

Abstract

This study utilized a qualitative phenomenological research design to gain understanding of the experiences of Black Bahamians at a small, private, residential, liberal arts, faith-based university in a rural part of the Midwest. In an attempt to validate interview findings, interview data was coded, themed, and then triangulated in a focus group. The Bahamian student experience is, in essence, shaped by Black identity development, integration processes, campus racial climate, and the students’ sense of belonging. Despite many challenges, the growth that occurs on campus makes the experience worthwhile. Implications for practice include investing in faculty training, providing microaggression training for all campus members, and creating consistent space for thoughtful, guided interactions among Bahamian students.

Notes

This study utilized a qualitative phenomenological research design to gain understanding of the experiences of Black Bahamians at a small, private, residential, liberal arts, faith-based university in a rural part of the Midwest. In an attempt to validate interview findings, interview data was coded, themed, and then triangulated in a focus group. The Bahamian student experience is, in essence, shaped by Black identity development, integration processes, campus racial climate, and the students’ sense of belonging. Despite many challenges, the growth that occurs on campus makes the experience worthwhile. Implications for practice include investing in faculty training, providing microaggression training for all campus members, and creating consistent space for thoughtful, guided interactions among Bahamian students.

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