Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Michael S. Brewster

Abstract

Implications for student dropouts include fewer career options and lower earning potential. The purpose of this study was to investigate faculty perceptions of their roles in the student retention process at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the Southeast United States. Guiding the phenomenological study was Lewin's theory of change model. Data were collected using a questionnaire, interviews, and faculty-student intervention logs. The questionnaire was completed by 32 full-time faculty at the study site. Interviews with 5 participants were conducted after the completion of the questionnaire, and 5 participants provided information via a faculty-student intervention log about strategies used to retain students. Data were analyzed through coding of responses and recorded frequencies to identify themes. Participants reported that they should be involved in retention efforts, and primary retention efforts occurred through the student success program, the retention coordinator, first-year experience course, retention committee, and advising. Participants also reported that their role in student retention is as an advisor, and faculty engagement with students inside and outside of class improves student retention. A process change paper with recommendations for improving student retention was shared with the administration of the HBCU. Findings may be used by leadership at HBCUs to increase retention and graduation rates thereby allowing graduates to pursue careers and function effectively in society.