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Date of Award

Spring 6-17-2019

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)



First Advisor

Jeffrey Cohen, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Turan Kayaoglu, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Megan Abbey, J.D.


This study applies Critical Race Theory as a critical lens to gain a clearer understanding of highly racialized policies and teaching practices around international student engagement in US higher education. The findings help to inform higher education leaders of how to support faculty to foster more inclusive and affirming learning environments for international students of color and other diverse student populations.

This mixed methods study employed a modified version of the Colorblind and Multicultural Ideology of STEM Faculty Measure as well as focus group interviews to gain a more complex understanding of how university faculty members’ beliefs align with colorblind ideology and multicultural ideology, and, in turn, the ways in which these ideologies show up in the discourse around how faculty conceptualize their role in creating inclusive and equitable learning environments. The study utilized a purposive sample of 27 faculty at a public research university in the Pacific Northwest, and the trustworthiness of the data was established through member checks, triangulation of methods and sources, and peer debriefing.

The research drew into relief the highly racialized dynamics underlying the discourse of international student engagement, and the findings indicated that racial profiling, white fragility, ideological fragility, deficit-thinking, and stereotype threat all operate on a systemic level to structurally silence and exclude international students of color in US higher education. Additionally, the research indicated that the voices of international faculty of color and international students of color are crucial to understanding the systemic nature of oppression in US higher education.