Date of Thesis

Summer 2019


As the number of minority students entering college continues to rise, it has become increasingly necessary to address the challenges and barriers that minority student face in regard to their engagement with higher education. This study was based on the observations made by CAP Center staff at Bucknell University, who noted that minority students on campus did not attend campus events at the same rate as the general population. The study used qualitative methods to examine the relationship between minority student status and campus engagement at a small private, rural institution. The researcher interviewed four minority students about their levels of engagement with the university, how they engaged, their opinions on campus events, and their recommendations for how campus events could become more inclusive and foster engagement amongst minority students. The study also reviewed current research on engagement, persistence, person-environment theory, and minority student engagement in order to see how the experiences of these students lined up with the current understanding of minority student engagement. The study found that while minority students did not attend campus events at the same rate as the general population of students, they were very involved in programs that related specifically to their social identity, such as multicultural groups as well as groups that promoted advocacy and outreach. Based on the results of this study, while it is clear that minority students are being engaged through extracurricular activities, more can be done to increase their engagement and identification with the university as a whole.


engagement, persistence, minority student, person-environment theory, identity development, minority engagement

Access Type

Masters Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Master of Science in Education



First Advisor

Joseph Murray

Second Advisor

Ramona Fruja