Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Higher Education

First Advisor

Judy Marquez Kiyama

Second Advisor

Tayana Hardin

Third Advisor

Chris A. Nelson

Fourth Advisor

Frank Tuitt


African American women, Black women, College, Institutional policy levers, Persistence, Retention


This study is exploring how institutional policy levers impact retention for African American/Black women undergraduate students at a private four-year predominantly white institution in a mid-western state of the United States. Retention of African American/Black women undergraduate students is not a widely researched area. In this exploratory case study, eight African American/Black undergraduate junior and senior women, ten administrators and one focus group of six African American/Black women were interviewed. Artifacts were collected from the administrators. The data collected was analyzed using the culturally engaging campus environment model. The experiences of the African American/Black undergraduate women were examined in academic advising, administrative policies and procedures, student orientation programs, residential life and student affairs programming. This research is important for better understanding what institutional policy levers at predominantly white institutions (PWI) are and are not helping retain African American/Black women undergraduate students. African American/Black women undergraduate students (a) have complex race and gender issues to deal with on PWIs, (b) they come to PWIs with agency and develop more while there, and (c) they are surviving and retaining on these campuses because of themselves.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Tamara D. White

File size

287 p.

File format





Higher education, African American studies, Women's studies