CULTURAL CENTERS AND STUDENTS:
ARE THE DIVERSITY NEEDS OF STUDENTS BEING MET?
Mary F. Bramley
A Thesis Presented to the
FACULTY OF THE ROSSIER SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
In partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree
MASTER OF EDUCATION
Copyright 2009 Mary F. Bramley
The objective of this thesis was to look at the cultural centers at Western America University, a large, private, research institution in Southern California. This study focused on the diversity needs of students and how the cultural centers facilitated an out of classroom learning experience. Astin’s (1999) Student Involvement Theory and Phinney’s (1990) Ethnic Identity Development Theory provided the theoretical framework for this thesis. Data collection consisted of observation of student groups, an online survey of cultural center staff and an interview with the Student Government members and focus groups with the students at the university. Focus groups participants were divided by self- identified race/ethnicity, self-identified as LGBT, or a member of the Greek community on campus.