Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Perry, Andre

Second Advisor

Del Favero, Marietta

Third Advisor

Bedford, April


The purpose of this study was to qualitatively describe the factors that influence the persistence rates of White undergraduate students attending HBCUs from the students' perspectives. Applying Tinto's Model of Student Departure (1975, 1993) as a lens for persistence, the overall aim in this study was to focus on the students' social and academic integration at the institution as well as their institutional experiences at the HBCU as it relates to their decision to persist or depart the HBCU. Through the participants"lived experiences", themes emerged relative to their decision to persist at the institution. The themes were: the influences on relationships with faculty, quality of academic programs, lack of racism from faculty, staff, and peers, involvement in campus activities and organizations, and affordability. The reasons associated with White students' persistence can assist faculty members and administrators at HBCUs in developing and cultivating a culture that is conducive for a positive matriculation and progression process all the way until graduation. Persistence leads to degree completion and no matter the institutional type, all administrators want to increase the number of students graduating from their institutions.


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