Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Alfred R. Cade

Abstract


This study analyzed the variations of policies and practices of university personnel in their use of affirmative action programs for African American students. In this study, the policy topic is affirmative action and the practices used in admissions, financial aid, and special support services for African-American students. Surveys were mailed to 231 subjects representing thirty-two Missouri colleges and universities. Most of the survey respondents were male, white, and nearly two-thirds were above the age of forty. Ethnic minorities were underepresented among the professionals. Seventy-two percent of respondents were white, 23% were African American, and 5% were Hispanic. The results of this study suggest a positive picture of student affirmative action practices and policies used by Missouri personnel. Differences among professionals were at a minimum. The overall mean score for support in diversifying Missouri institutions was fairly high, and this may reflect diversity initiatives taken by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education in the late 1980s, and early 1990s. Data suggested that Missouri personnel are aware of the judicial scrutiny by the courts in administering student affirmative action. Most Missouri institutions use a single process for assessing all applicants for admission, without reliance on a quota system. The recent Hopwood decision showed little impact on the decisions regarding professionals' use of student affirmative action at Missouri institutions. Although public attitudes toward student affirmative action may play a role in establishing policies and practices, Missouri personnel are very similar in their perceptions regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, and institutional office or position.

Keywords


Access to Education; Affirmative Action; Black Students; College Admission; Educational Policy; Ethnicity; Higher Education; Racial Differences; School Personnel

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v10n22.2002

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