A Tale of Two Groups: Differences Between Minority Students and Non-Minority Students in their Predispositions to and Engagement with Diverse Peers at a Predominantly White Institution

Wendell D. Hall, Alberto F. Cabrera, Jeffrey F. Milem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using a revised version of the Transition to College Model (Locks et al. 2008, Rev High Educ 31(3), 257-285), this study examined the extent to which minority students and non-minority students differ in their predispositions to engage in campus-based diversity activities as well as in their engagement with ethnically diverse college peers at a predominantly White college. Findings indicate that engagement with diverse peers is a learned behavior; one that was shaped long before a student stepped into college. The importance of past interactions with diverse peers extends beyond freshman year predispositions to engage; students who interacted with diverse students prior to college were also more prone to report engagement with diverse peers at the end of their sophomore year. Notably, freshmen minority students were more predisposed to engage diverse peers next to their White peers; these ethnic-based differences, however, dissipated by the end of the sophomore year of college.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-439
Number of pages20
JournalResearch in Higher Education
Volume52
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

Keywords

  • Adjustment to college
  • Diversity
  • Pre-college
  • Predisposition
  • Student engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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