Title

Women Students of Color in Higher Education: The Journey of Racial and Ethnic Identity

Publication Date

1-1-2003

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Ryland White

Abstract

This study examines the identity development of women students of color in higher education. The question that drives this inquiry is: What is the effect of racial and ethnic identity development on female students of color in higher education? This study delves into the thoughts and experiences of women of color during their childhood, adolescence, and at colleges at which the students, faculty, and staff are predominantly White. The research took place at Hamline University, in St. Paul, Minnesota. All of the nine research participants attended Hamline University. Before conducting the interviews, I attended various programs and events on campus to familiarize myself with Hamline University. Individual semi-structured interviews allowed the participants to have a voice. As the idea for this research came from my own experiences as a woman of color, I felt that it would be fitting for other women to be able to express their thoughts and feelings in their own words. I used content analysis to analyze the data gathered from the, individual interviews, the analysis consisted of identifying the participants' racial and ethnic identity development by using Phinney's Model of Ethnic Identity Development and Cross's Model of Psychological Nigrescence to examine the themes gathered from the interviews. This study examines the identity development of women students of color in higher education. The question that drives this inquiry is: What is the effect of racial and ethnic identity development on female students of color in higher education.

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