Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

Orkideh Mohajeri, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthew Kruger-Ross, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jacqueline S. Hodes, Ed.D


This thesis addresses how mentorship can enhance the experience and success of Black first-generation college students at predominantly white institutions. More specifically, I explore why first-generation Black students need guided support that comes with mentorship, what that support should entail, and how and when it should be delivered to them. I used the methodology of critical action research to analyze the structures of power that affect the education received by these students, while also utilizing my personal experience. I propose a mentoring program that promotes Black excellence. The program, SOUL (Students Overcoming Uniting and Learning), will provide students with the necessary tools and guidance from faculty and student affairs professionals to ensure they feel welcomed and supported on campus. This is an important topic to consider because it addresses the long-standing issue of racial inequalities in the education sector in the country. Black students are not receiving the quality of education that promotes their success and flourishment into society, and this needs to be urgently addressed.