Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this research was an analysis of the implementation of the federally mandated undergraduate desegregation criteria. This research looked at the development of policy at the federal level, and the subsequent response by the State of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University.;Virginia Commonwealth University was selected for this study for two reasons: (1) Virginia Commonwealth University is located in an urban setting which has the largest black population in the state, and (2) this institution has the largest target (identified by the state) of black enrollment than any other public senior institution in Virginia.;Retention strategies were used to measure the implementation of the federal criteria at the institutional level, and the Institutional Integration Scale was used to measure the minority student's academic and social integration with the institution.;It was hypothesized that: There is no statistically significant relationship between the perceived integration of minority and nonminority full-time freshmen students at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition, several policy questions were addressed: (1) Do the minority retention programs developed by Virginia Commonwealth University incorporate the successful retention elements identified by the retention literature? (2) Do at least half of the freshmen minority students utilize the retention programs? (3) Do the responses of minority students to the Institutional Integration Scale reflect the minority student's participation in the retention programs developed at VCU? (4) Do the federally mandated undergraduate desegregation criteria set forth a policy that will help institutions develop minority retention strategies while meeting the complexity of student retention? and (5) Do the retention strategies outlined in "The Virginia Plan" provide public senior institutions with examples of successful retention programs or identify variables most likely to affect minority student retention?;In conclusion, there was insufficient evidence from the survey to reject the null hypothesis. The content analysis, however, revealed that the federal undergraduate desegregation criteria lacked elements of successful policy development. In addition, the federal policy lacked direction for the development of retention programs, and a clear understanding of higher education in general.;Policy must be succeeded by better policy built upon the preceding policy, rather than viewed as an end unto itself. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.).



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