Date of Graduation

Winter 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

Susan Katz

Second Advisor

Alejandro Covarrubias

Third Advisor

Darrick Smith


Student conduct processes in higher education have been studied and theorized extensively from a structural perspective, yielding a wealth of guidance for practitioners on how they can best design and administer disciplinary interventions (e.g., Lancaster & Waryold, 2008b). However, very little published research has focused on students' perceptions of and experiences with student conduct processes, and to what extent these are congruent with the espoused learning goals of student conduct practitioners (Dannells, 1997; Karp & Sacks, 2014; Stimpson & Stimpson, 2008). Among these scant studies, the findings of King (2012) and Karp and Sacks (2014) suggest that Black men may find their experiences as respondents in student conduct processes to be less fair and educational than do White students.

The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to develop a better understanding of the experiences of Black male college students as respondents in the student conduct process at universities within the United States. Data were collected via one-on-one interviews with four participants who met the selection criteria for the study. Five themes emerged from the data: the salience of race within student conduct processes, personal experiences within the student conduct process, critiques of student conduct processes and systems, learning (or absence thereof) as a result of student conduct experiences, and recommendations for improving student conduct practice.

The findings of this study provide additional evidence that Black male collegians are often treated unfairly within student conduct processes, which serves as a barrier to any learning that may have otherwise occurred as a result of their experiences. Further, the findings point toward both specific strategies for transforming student conduct practice to be more racially equitable and additional questions worthy of future research endeavors.