Students’ Perceptions of Ethnic and Multicultural Centers

Kenneth A Reid, Stanley S Ebede


Cultural centers are historically known for successfully serving the greater responsibility of supporting minority students and sharing their culture, traditions, and values with the larger campus community. Despite their previous successes, recent research suggests that culture centers are now losing their effectiveness and are no longer resonating with students. Furthermore, there has not been any research to examine the state of general ethnic and multi- cultural centers since their evolution in the late ‘90s. Nor, has anyone published research that analyzes students’ perceptions towards helping identify recommendations for cultural center success. This preliminary research study examines students’ perceptions of ethnic and multicultural centers at predominantly white institutions. This study will specifically evaluate students’ beliefs on the purpose, impact, and future of cultural centers at predominantly white institutions with a minority population of seventeen percent or less. Using a mixed method approach, student responses were analyzed and also resulted in themes that coincide with the initial purpose of cultural centers back in the late 1960s. This research study suggests that students do understand the purpose of cultural centers and there is a need to investigate the disconnection between students’ perceptions of cultural center and the actual implications of these same centers. 


Multicultural; Students; Ethnic; Centers; Perceptions

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