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TBR Grant

TBR Faculty Research Grant



PI: Monique E. Gold, EdD, MBA

Co-PI: Charmaine Lowe, EdD

Co-PI: Merriel Bullock-Neal, PhD, JD


Given the increase in diversity within our global society, higher education sees the need to prepare students for effective interactions with people from diverse culture. During the college experience, a racially and ethnically diverse university student body can have far reaching, significant benefits for all students, students of the minority and majority alike. Students learn better in such an environment and are better prepared to become active participants in our global, democratic society beyond graduation (Gurin, 1999). This research study proposed to explore what constitutes a critical mass of African American undergraduate students in college classes and how it relates to retention, academic success and graduation rates. This team of investigators will employ qualitative research methods to implement focus group interviews within each of the three undergraduate colleges within the university. A total of 12 focus groups (four focus groups per college) each consisting of 10 to 13 members will be held during the 2009-2010 academic year. A demographic data form and a signed consent form giving permission for participation will be obtained prior to beginning any focus group interviews. As facilitators, the team of researchers will ask open-ended questions and take notes while a research assistant video-tapes participant interactions. Data will be transcribed and qualitatively analyzed to identify any emerging trends. Recommendations for further research will be offered.