Date of Conferral







Susan Marcus


Black students in the United States continue to struggle academically as they matriculate into postsecondary education, placing them at risk for missing opportunities for work and social success. Research has identified the dimensions of Black racial identity, as well as other social factors, that may contribute to academic success. What is missing, however, is research grounded in a theory of Black identity that examines how identity and other factors combine to influence academic success. This quantitative online survey research tested 5 hypotheses to ascertain their relative strength in predicting academic success among Black college students: (a) demographics (age, gender, socioeconomic status, parents' level of education, and number of semesters in school), (b) Black racial identity, (c) academic support, (d) self-efficacy, and (e) religious/spiritual support. A sample of 87 Black American students (at least 18 years of age, currently enrolled as a matriculating student in postsecondary undergraduate education) completed the Cross Racial Identity Scale, the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale, the Self-Efficacy Scale, the Academic Support Scale, and a demographics form that included self-reported overall GPA, as of most recently completed term. Four regression analyses were conducted, but only self-efficacy significantly predicted academic performance. The lack of significant results on key predictors was ascribed to the relative homogeneity on these measures and to an academically high-performing sample. Nevertheless, these results expand the literature on the importance of self-efficacy as a correlate of academic performance. The results also suggest that high school and college counselors and educators can gain insights into Black students by understanding racial identity, parents' education, and academic support.