Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

John Elmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jacqueline S. Hodes, Ed.D

Committee Member

Dana Morrison, Ph.D.


This thesis examines the issue of low retention rates of African American students at Predominantly White Institutions in the United States. A focus on Critical Race Theory is applied to understand the contributing factors that negatively impact the retention of African American students. The history of education for African Americans in the U.S. is given to provide contextual evidence of the oppressive past that has defined the experiences of these students. An intentional intervention through Student Affairs is proposed to increase the retention rates of these marginalized students that will lead them to graduation.