Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Dr. Brian Beabout

Second Advisor

Dr. Angela Alexander

Third Advisor

Dr. Barbara Johnson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Zarus Watson


This research study was designed with the intent to explore the decision of African American undergraduate men attending predominantly White institutions (PWIs) to join a predominantly White social Greek fraternity. Satisfaction with college life significantly impacts the retention of all students, including African American male students, in institutions of higher learning (McGee, 2015). The findings will assist in determining whether participation in a predominantly White social fraternity helped African American men achieve success on a predominantly White campus.

African American undergraduate men who actively participated in student organizations experience positive development from their campus experiences (McGee, 2015). Several studies linked African American men’s student involvement in college activities and increases in their personal, social, and academic life (Griffin & McIntosh, 2015; Hurtado, Alvarez, Guillermo-Wann, Cuellar, & Arellano, 2012; Payne & Suddler, 2014). Tinto (1993) defined persistence, in the context of higher education, as how an individual participates in social and academic experiences to maintain college enrollment in pursuit of a college degree. Cross (1971) asserted the attitudes of African American college students’ racial identity influenced their participation in cultural and noncultural campus organizations. Although policymakers have focused significantly more on the achievement gaps that exist nationwide between African American students and their White counterparts in postsecondary institutions, less attention has been directed towards the lower enrollment of African American men into predominantly White social Greek fraternity (Dugger et al., 2013; Torres, 2012). The research question guiding this study is, What are the important components of African American men’s’ decisions to join a predominantly White social Greek fraternity in college? Undergraduate African American men who are members of a traditional White fraternity were sampled via a snowball selection and interviewed for this study. Understanding the experiences of African American men about the factors that influenced their decision to join a predominantly White social Greek fraternity could assist colleges and universities to increase the enrollment of African American men into predominantly White social Greek fraternities.


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