I Can See Myself There : Sociology UW-System Webpage Diversity and Student of Color Enrollment in College
Erger, Jeff S.
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This project investigates how university retention and recruitment efforts for students of color (SOC) may be affected by university website content. Data was collected from 4-year UW websites with a focus on visible diversity shown through the website images and how “deep” information on the website was located. Critical Race Theory and much research on recruitment and retention shows that “representation” can have powerful effects, whether present or absent. Quantitative analysis using linear regression shows moderate to strong relationships between the level of images of SOC “one click” deep on university websites and enrollment increases by SOC from 2009-2019. Qualitative analysis shows that few institutions mentioned Equity, Diversity, or Inclusivity (EDI) prominently, a “white savior” tone can be seen at times, particularly in study abroad and service-learning pages, and non-photographic content likely has a powerful relationship to SOC enrollment. Given the rising number of SOC in the UW System and Wisconsin overall, especially those who say they are of two or more ethnicities, implications for future recruitment efforts are discussed.
Department of Sociology
Color poster with text, charts, and graphs.