Academic and social experiences of African American students at the University of Georgia
Ford, Tracey Delois
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The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of African American students at a traditionally white university regarding their academic and social experiences in the context of the current legal challenges to affirmative action and racial and ethnic diversity. Since African Americans were at the center of these and earlier legal challenges to educational access, it was important to know how the current legal and social climate affected their experiences and perceptions of life at the university. African American students were asked their perceptions about the campus climate, racial climate, racial incidents, and academic and social experiences. Specifically, they were asked to consider their experiences in light of the current racial and legal issues involving the University of Georgia. Data from this study show that participants encounter racism in their social and academic experiences. Participants were disengaged from primary social activities such as the downtown scene and greek life, were often uncomfortable in classes because they are a small minority, and were generally dissatisfied with administrative efforts to address diversity and equity. Overall, however, students believed they were receiving a good education and were pleased that they came to The University of Georgia to pursue their education.