Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Betty Harrison


This study examines the perceptions of 11th grade African American and Caucasian American students attending public Louisiana high schools. The students' perceptions are explored in relation to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's) and Predominately White Institutions (PWI's). Based on a review of current literature, four common areas emerged. The areas of consideration were perception of academic quality, peer relationships, socio-cultural fit, and faculty/student relationships. The sample of students included 177 students enrolled in the Louisiana public school system in parishes where there were "pairings" of universities (HBCU and PWI). The four parishes where such pairings occurred were Caddo Parish, Orleans Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish, and Lincoln Parish. Results of the study indicate that students are divided in their opinions of the universities along the lines of race. Students' perceptions of the universities are rarely influenced by gender. The results of the study suggest that in order to further accomplish the goal of desegregation, universities have to address students' perceptions early. Officials can little afford to ignore racial difference as it pertains to the college choice process.