Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)

First Advisor

Victoria DeFrancisco


Cultural pluralism; Minorities in higher education;


The purpose of my research was to give a louder voice to students‟ stories about both diversity inclusion and discrimination on this campus. This is vital to the University of Northern Iowa‟s ability to provide a welcoming educational environment to all. The overall graduation rate at UNI for the 2010-2011 school year indicated that 35% of undergraduate students were able to graduate in four years, 62% were able to graduate in five years, and 67% were able to graduate in six years. However, the graduation rates were lower than these average percentages for underrepresented groups of students. For the same school year, 12% of Black, non-Hispanic students were able to graduate in four years, 37% in five years, and 43% in six years. For American Indian/Alaska native students, 14% were able to graduate in four years, 14% in five years, and 29% in six years. The Asian/Pacific Islander students had slightly higher rates at 21% in four years, 43% in five years and 57% in six years. For Hispanic students, 24% were able to graduate in four years, 43% in five, and 48% in six. For White students, 36% graduated in four years, 63% in five and 69% in six. Interestingly, nonresident alien students had the highest graduation rates at 58% in four years, 74% in five, and 79% in six. The students whose race/ethnicity is unknown had rates of 31% in four years, 50% in five, and 53% in six years (Office of Institutional Research, 2011). These statistics make it clear that students from underrepresented groups on campus have lower chances of graduating when compared to those of the dominant culture.

Date of Award



Department of Communication Studies

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

59 p.



File Format


Off-Campus Download