Engaged Learning Collection
"Mixed" a short film by Jacqueline Ross
The multiracial student population is one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. The growth in students of two or more racial backgrounds is grounds for recognizing and acceptance of campuses of higher education. The purpose of this study was to look at the experiences of multiracial students and what it means for institutions of higher education through an integrated communication framework. This study employed a phenomenological approach and used a semi-structured interview style with 10 self-identified multiracial students from Southern Methodist University (SMU). SMU is a middle sized, private, conservative, liberal arts, Greek life driven and predominately White institution in the South.
The primary research questions was: what does the increase of the multiracial student population mean for institutions of higher education in regards to student inclusion, exclusion, academic success, social life, retention and future alumni relations. In particular, to students at a middle-sized, private, conservative, liberal arts, Greek life driven and predominately White institution in the South.
Overall four key findings emerged: (1) Students felt like SMU had not recognized their multiracial backgrounds, (2) students flourished when they had a supportive group or community, (3) there is ignorance on SMU’s campus of racial diversity within single individuals, and (4) the climate of SMU’s campus contributed to being excluded from the general student population or from one of their own racial groups.
This study found that students had positive and negative experiences in relations to being multiracial. These experiences have shaped them an in turn have affected their academic success, social life, retention and future alumni relations. Because of these findings, institutions of higher education must proactively support multiracial students and help to change campus climates for more inclusion and acceptance of multiracial students.