Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Paul Rutledge


The economic sustainability of an area is largely dependent on the education level of its population, yet little is known about the role cultural racism may play in academic success. The purpose of this correlational study was to evaluate the theory of cultural racism, defined as, the establishment of cultural institutions by whites/Europeans to the detriment of non-white people, as it relates to academic success at the college level. Data were collected from 100 participants from 3 predominately African American high schools in the Atlanta, Georgia area to explore whether the presence of cultural racism existed from the perspective of the participants, and the impact of cultural racism, income, and status as a first generation college student on self-reported academic success. Data were collected through a web-based survey which included the Index of Race-Related Stress questions and analyzed using logistic regression. Study results indicated a statistically significant relationship (p < .01) between the elements of cultural racism and academic success, suggesting that students who experienced cultural racism also experienced poor academic performance. Other variables, including income and whether the student was a first generation college student, also contributed to the overall collegiate academic achievement among this population. Indicators of positive social change stemming from this study include recommendations to policy makers at all levels of government to enhance diversity training for students and educators about the implications of cultural racism in order to ameliorate its negative effects, thereby promoting more economically stable and diverse communities.