Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling

Document Type



Over the past two decades, federal agencies and health-related professional associations have launched national movements to recruit people from populations that are underrepresented in medicine for the health professions. While this recruitment effort showed substantial results initially, recent occurrences have impeded the growth. Relevant historical events, current trends of low African American enrollment in medical school, and existing research on diverse student experiences have indicated a critical need for effective academic advising for premedical African American students attending predominantly white undergraduate institutions. Using mixed methods, this study investigated the premedical advising that is being offered to African American students on predominantly white campuses. Results indicated that advisors considered the larger societal and institutional contexts of advising African American premedical students in a variety of ways including the positive impact of African American physicians on the larger community, the influence of affirmative action on the medical school application process, and the adversity some African American students face on predominantly white campuses. Most advisors, however, did not directly use this information when advising African American students. Some advisors considered the race and/or ethnicity of their advisees while others perceived such consideration as unethical behavior and therefore utilized a race-neutral advising approach. The utilization of qualitative and quantitative approaches revealed divergent viewpoints regarding confidence in and comfort with advising African American premedical students. While the majority of advisors believed they had the potential to play a significant role in increasing African American enrollment in medical school, findings from this study raise questions regarding who is ultimately responsible. Results stand to inform the practice of advising diverse populations of students across disciplines.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Becky Ropers-Huilman



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