Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Higher Education Administration

First Advisor's Name

Joseph B. Cook

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Barry Greenberg

Third Advisor's Name

Peter J. Cistone


Student evaluation of teachers, Community college students, Attitudes, Ethnic attitudes

Date of Defense



Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between student and faculty ethnicity and possible effects upon student ratings of faculty performance in an urban community college setting characterized by extensive ethnic diversity.

Problem: Though many variables on student ratings of instruction have been studied in the past, studies of the effects of student and faculty ethnicities on student ratings at the post secondary level have not been conducted. As increased numbers of minority students embark on post secondary studies, the question arises as to whether these students perceive instructors and their efforts in the classroom differently than traditional students.

Methodology: A survey-type instrument, the Student Feedback Questionnaire, was developed at Miami-Dade Community College and administered to students enrolled in randomly selected English composition courses (N=948 students, 72 instructors). Factor analysis was conducted on the instrument and the relationship of these factors with student and faculty ethnicity was examined by means of multivariate analysis of variance. Instructors were separated into higher and lower rated groups according to a total score obtained from the instrument. Differences on student ratings for these two groups according to student and instructor ethnicity were examined.

Findings: The following factors were obtained:

Factor 1: Focus on the Individual

Factor 2: Competence in Classroom

Factor 3: Approach to Material

Factor 4: Grading Policy

Factor 5: Listening to Students

Factor 6: Clarity in Course Objectives

Factor 7: Fairness of Exams

Factor 8: Active Learning

Hispanic faculty were rated less favorably by white non-Hispanic students for Factor 2, Factor 3, and Factor 5. For Factor 5, Hispanic students rated white non-Hispanic faculty lower than black students.

For higher rated instructors there were no significant differences in ratings according to student ethnicity. For lower rated instructors, students of the same ethnicity as their instructor did not give significantly different ratings than other students.

Student gender was significant for both higher and lower rated instructors, with males giving significantly worse scores.





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