Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Chair

Dr. Eric Platt

Committee Chair Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 2

Dr. Richard Mohn

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Dr. Thomas O'Brien

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Dr. Kyna Shelley

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

Historical racial segregation within Mississippi’s public universities and colleges has led to litigation that spanned 25 years and eventually led to sweeping changes in policies and practices. Among these changes were the standardization of admission criteria and the creation of the Summer Developmental Program (SDP). This study sought to better understand the intentions and motives behind the creation and implementation of the SDP at all of the four-year public institutions in Mississippi stemming from the United States v. Fordice (1992) higher education desegregation case. This study compared retention and graduation rates of SDP participants to non-SDP participants from the first year of implementation in 1996 through 2013, the most currently available data at the eight public four-year institutions in Mississippi. It then aimed to describe the effectiveness of the program, establish if the program is performing as the Supreme Court intended, and policy makers to determine if revisions, updates, and new directives are needed to improve the program.

After analyzing and comparing retention and graduation rates of SDP participants to non-SDP participants in the eight public four-year institutions in Mississippi, the researcher concluded that the treatment of SDP is effective in retaining SDP participants. However, the researcher concluded that the SDP is not effective in graduating SDP participants. Based on the consistent decline of Black SDP participants (95% of total SDP participants were reported as Black), the researcher concluded that the SDP was not providing additional educational opportunities for Blacks and that there is still a “lingering [racial] de jure injury” (Holley & Weeden, 1997, p. 6).


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