Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler School of Education


Delores Smiley

Committee Member

Charlene Desir


Higher education, Organizational behavior, Diversity, Higher Education, Motivation, Professional Development


This qualitative case study was designed to investigate employee involvement in a voluntary diversity-training program. There is limited research on what motivated employees to be involved in the diversity workshops. The data collected from the study may give workshop facilitators information on ways to enhance the modules of future workshops in order to reach out to those who have not attended and to sustain the participation of those who do.

The researcher interviewed workshop participants to examine their experiences with the voluntary, diversity-training workshops provided by the School of Education. The interview examined the reasons why employees were motivated to become involved in the workshops, employee expectations of the workshops, and participants’ overall experiences with the workshops. The researcher also observed and noted the participants’ body language and facial expressions during the interview to determine their ease with the questioning strategies and to interpret whether to probe them for additional responses. The agenda and flyer was shown to the participants to see how those documents influenced their decision to participate in the workshops. Additionally, to provide a description of the sample, the participants completed a demographic questionnaire.

The study took place at a university in the southeastern region of the United States. Data collection included interviews and documents. Interpretation analysis was used to identify themes.

An analysis of the data revealed the importance that curiosity, a sense of belonging, peer interaction and a desire to learn has on an individual’s motivation to become involved in a voluntary, diversity-awareness workshop.

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