Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Education



First Advisor

George McClellan

Second Advisor

Phillis George

Third Advisor

Whitney Webb

Relational Format



In 2020, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) plagued the United States, becoming one of the greatest disruptions to the U.S. higher education system in history. Affecting every aspect of institution’s operations, prospective fall 2020 and beyond students were impacted greatly by the interruption of traditional college recruitment practices which would have occurred as they made their enrollment decisions. Most affected by this interruption were students of underrepresented groups. This dissertation focuses particularly on Black first-generation students and their perceptions regarding the impact of recruitment practices at a Predominantly White Institution during the COVID-19 pandemic. A qualitative study is proposed as the method of exploration in this problem of practice, building upon Critical Race Theory, Richard Gregory’s Constructivist Theory of Perception, Hossler and Gallagher’s Three-Phase College Choice Model, and W. Timothy Coombs’ Situational Crisis Communication Theory as conceptual frameworks.


Higher Education



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