Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Administration

Major Professor

George W. Harris, Jr.

Committee Members

Katherine High, Phyllis Huff, Julia A. Malia, Grady Bogue


The 1984 Stipulation of Settlement of Geier v. McWherter, the State of Tennessee's desegregation case, mandated the development of a series of programs that would provide access to the state public higher institutions for all of its residents. These initiatives were developed to remedy the vestiges of a dual system of higher education that practiced legal discrimination and segregation. The Tennessee Pre-Professional (TPP), one of the desegregation mandates, was designed to increase the representation of black Tennessee residents in the state-supported professional schools of law and medicine. Under the state's dual system of higher education, these opportunities were non-existent for the state's black population. Specifically, the goal of TPP was to increase the number of the state's black residents who enroll in and graduate from Tennessee's professional schools of medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and law. This research project was designed to evaluate TPP to determine its effectiveness in meeting its goals from 1984 through 1994.

Based on the evaluative indicators, this research project determined that TPP was basically ineffective in meeting its goal for the 10-year period of study, in spite of a small percentage of positive outcomes. The study also determined that the program was not an efficient use of tax dollars as it was operated from 1984 through 1994. The study recommended that TPP be terminated and reestablished with similar goals under the auspices of the state professional schools of medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and law.

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