Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Roger "Mitch" Nasser Jr.
This mixed-methods study investigated a retention program for Black students on a small, private liberal arts campus in the Midwest, to determine if the program increased the retention of Black students. It also examined why students chose to (or not to) participate in the program, what components of the program students found helpful, the challenges Black students faced on campus, and whether they would recommend the program to future students.
The gap in the retention rates of Black students compared to other ethnic groups has continued to be a topic of concern on college campuses. At the research site, this gap was significantly higher than the national average. To attempt to close this gap and provide Black students with resources that could help them succeed, the institution created a retention program called the Black Student Excellence and Enrichment (BSEE) program. To examine the impact of this program on the retention of Black students, the researcher investigated three hypotheses. The researcher used a z-test of proportions to determine if there was a statistically significant increase in the retention rates of BSEE participants compared to those eligible but who did not participate. In addition, the researcher examined retention rates by gender. The researcher also examined the following research questions: How do participants in the Black Student Excellence and Enrichment Program feel their participation impacted their decision to remain at the institution studied? What components of the Black Student Excellence and Enrichment Program did students find most helpful? Why did those eligible for the Black Student Excellence and Enrichment program, but who chose not to participate, opt to remain at the institution studied? For those eligible for the program who did not participate, were there any added components that would encourage them to participate in the Black Student Excellence and Enrichment program? Why did students choose to participate or not to participate in the Black Student Excellence and Enrichment program? The researcher gathered answers to these questions through interviews and surveys.
The researcher found in this study there was no statistically significant increase in the retention of BSEE program participants compared to those eligible but who did not participate, when gender was considered. When examining overall participation, there was moderate evidence of an increase in the retention of students who participated in BSEE. Information collected from the survey and interviews also suggested that students who participated in the program did believe that program participation impacted their decision to remain at the institution. Having organizations that give Black students a place where they felt wanted and where they felt like they belonged was important to the students who participated in this study. The study also verified the importance of Black faculty and staff serving as mentors to students of color. Study participants also indicated that the resources the BSEE program provided to help them be successful were necessary to their success as a student. The majority of program participants and those eligible but who did not participate stated that they would recommend participation in BSEE to future students, which spoke to the importance of the program.
Royal, Angie, "The Impact of the Black Student Excellence and Enrichment Program on the Retention of Black Students" (2022). Dissertations. 724.