Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Sharon Bird

Second Advisor

Alicia Cast


After more than 50 years since Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education, Blacks and other historically under-represented racial and ethnic groups still graduate from post-secondary educational institutions at disproportionately lower numbers than Whites. Many initiatives hoping to increase the attainment of a baccalaureate degree for racial minority students have focused on barriers these students encounter at the four-year college level. This project studies the educational experiences of Black students at a predominantly White community college for two reasons: the majority of students of color begin their higher education at community colleges, and their quality of life indicators equalize with other groups after the attainment of the four-year degree. Twenty-one African-born and U.S.-born Black female and male students were interviewed. Phenomenology and grounded theory were combined to gather and analyze interview data. Findings reveal that Black students use one of four racial identity standpoints (separation, reluctant acceptance, alternate, and ambivalence) as they 1) navigate the common barrier of being stereotyped as generic Black students and 2) attempt to access processes of learning on the predominantly White community college campus.

Copyright Owner

Jill Erin Knapp Moravek



Date Available


File Format


File Size

247 pages

Included in

Sociology Commons