Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael Butcher


Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have provided academic and social support to Black students; however, with an increase in White students attending HBCUs, HBCU leaders have been challenged to acquire a better understanding of the White student population to increase their retention and graduation rates. This phenomenological project study addressed how White undergraduate students' participation in curricular and extracurricular activities influenced their academic success. The conceptual framework included elements from Astin's involvement theory and Helms's White racial identity development model. Eight White undergraduate students at a mid-size public HBCU were interviewed over 2 weeks. Exploratory analysis of one-one interviews and documents indicated minimal problems with peer-to-peer interaction or participation in extracurricular activities, but a slight disconnect between White students and faculty. Findings were used to develop a mentor program to improve relations between White students and faculty, which may increase White students' retention and graduation rates at the HBCU.

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