Title

Business as Usual: Exploring Race at S.I.T. through the Eyes of US Domestic Black Students

Publication Date

4-1-2007

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Ken Williams

Abstract

While there is a great deal of literature written about minorities attending predominantly white institutions, there is very little information from the perspective of those studying at a graduate-level; this study seeks to add to that literature. The purpose of this study is to assess The School for International Training’s (SIT) espoused values and the values-in-use with regard to racial and ethnic diversity. Using academic years 2000-2001 thru 2005-2006, the population of US domestic Black students was chosen to illuminate those values. The study used an interpretive research approach to explore the perceptions and experiences of eleven US domestic Black students at SIT. Data was collected using primarily telephone and in-person semi-structured interviews of current and former students and the observations and experiences of the researcher.

The research concluded that students who are drawn to SIT are operating under the assumption that what is espoused in the mission is occurring on campus. SIT’s mission is to prepare students to be interculturally effective leaders, professionals, and citizens. However, the reality for many of the US domestic Black students is that they found themselves in situations inside and outside the classroom where they felt isolated, silenced, and marginalized.

The findings of the research maintain that there is a greater need for student support systems and culturally competent mentors on campus. Faculty and staff are an invaluable part of affording students the support needed, as they provide familiarity and continuity.

Disciplines

Education | Inequality and Stratification

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