Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Cathleen Dotterer, EdD

Second Supervisor

Karen Fabrizio, EdD


The purpose of this qualitative descriptive phenomenological study was to understand Black and Latiné students’ expectations and perceptions of their college leaderships’ responses to nationally known, biased incidents. Through a qualitative, descriptive phenomenological design, 11 participants, within one institution, across three focus groups, shared their expectations and perspectives. The data analysis was done using open-ended coding to determine the major themes and codes across all focus groups.

Themes for student expectations were (a) no expectation: first-year student, COVID restrictions, primarily White institutions; (b) expectations met: met the needs of the White majority, public institution; and (c) expected different: expected more, expected different. Themes and categories regarding the student perspectives included (a) lack of trust/not genuine, trendy/performative, obligated; (b) predominately White community, silence of the White community, unsafe in the community; (c) systematic issues unanswered; and (d) areas for improvement: educational options, support for affinity groups, increased diverse faculty/staff, improved marketing, and continued support and effort.

The data resulted in a unique understanding of the Black and Latiné lived experiences and perspectives of the college leadership responses to the nationally known racially biased incidents. The students shared their hesitation and subsequent lack of trust in their PWI campus and campus leadership. Students shared that they hoped for more preventative measures as it relates to bias related incidents as well as long term aftercare for the trauma they may experience during their time at the institution.

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