Education Doctorate

Year Approved


First Advisor

Rodrigues, Leon


This qualitative study explores the critical consciousness development of students enrolled in a liberal arts institution. Two hundred seventy-seven students at Bethel University completed the Critical Consciousness Scale (Diemer, Rapa, Park, & Perry, 2017) and Measure of Adolescent Critical Consciousness (McWhiter & McWhirter, 2016). Based on the results of these two scales, 12 students took part in group interviews. These students identified educational experiences that engaged with the socio-political environment of the campus, created space for expression and exploration of emotions, nurtured identify development, fostered crossing of social boundaries, and created space for students to exercise their voice were key factors in their critical consciousness development. Students also identified personal relationships with faculty, working for change on their campus, campus leadership opportunities, and connecting their field of study with social justice key contributors to your critical consciousness development. Recommendations from this research were made for faculty and administrators that are looking to improve the critical consciousness development of students enrolled in liberal arts programs.

Degree Name

Education Doctorate

Document Type

Doctoral dissertation