Date of Award

Spring 6-11-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Education


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Rebecca Michel

Second Advisor

Joseph Gardner

Third Advisor

Thomas Noel


African American male student conduct professionals consciously engage in code-switching in professional settings. Student conduct professionals hold significant responsibility within a college or university. The impact of their decisions creates immense pressure and results in lasting consequences for students involved. In this qualitative, phenomenological study the use of code-switching for six African American male conduct professionals is examined. Through semi-structured interviews, their diverse experiences are explored. Findings revealed that their use of code-switching is an intentional performance that they were taught and they use code-switching for professional survival. Findings also revealed that African American male conduct professionals weigh the risks and rewards of code-switching regularly and their need for connection among other African American is critical to their survival. At the forefront of their work is student advocacy and service—with a special commitment to supporting African American students. Through this research, the crucial needs of African American male conduct professionals are amplified in the context of evolving higher education organizations that desire to increase diversity and inclusion on their campuses.