Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Scott Gaier

Second Advisor

Steve Bedi

Third Advisor

Todd Ream


This study explores the experiences of racial and ethnic minorities on American college campuses as well as the impact the involvement of minority faculty and staff persons has on this experience. Using a phenomenological case study method, this study interviewed participants at a small faith based liberal arts university in the Midwest. Ten individuals in total, comprised of students, faculty, and administrators, participated in this study. This study found significant themes regarding what forms of involvement minority faculty and staff practice. These practices included the creation of a safe space; accessibility; and advocacy and representation of minorities on campus. Significant themes relating to minority student benefits from such involvement also emerged. Students benefitted through, racial identity development (in racially matched pairs), increased sense of belonging, and greater responsibility to minority and campus communities. Higher education institutions should seek to equip, support, and acquire involved minority faculty and staff as minority students who encounter such involvement have an enhanced collegiate experience.