ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Barbara Tobolowsky


Black students are not persisting to degree completion at the same rate as White students. While research about Black students’ experiences at predominately White institutions (PWI) and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) is ample, more research is needed on racially mixed institutions (RMIs), where white students make up less than 40% of the student population. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions of campus climate of eight Black students attending one RMI in the Southwestern United States. Using the Modified Mutual Acculturation theory as a lens, this qualitative phenomenological study revealed the experiences of these students attending a diverse institution. Several themes emerged: 1) formal and informal support systems, 2) conflict through stereotyping and alienation as well as conflict among Black students, and 3) the impact of meaningful cross-racial interactions. The study found that Black students perceived that there were support systems in place for them on campus. The support came overwhelmingly from participating in campus organizations created by and/or for Black students. Most of the participants perceived advisors as one of the strongest sources of administrative support. Perhaps, most surprising, was that even though these students attended a RMI, some of the participants experienced being treated differently by some faculty, staff, and White students because of the color of their skin. While most of the participants acknowledged the actions of the college administration were appropriate when addressing racial incidents, one participant did not feel enough was done to promote inclusion. However, most of the participants perceived the informal cross-racial interactions in- and out-of-class as the most influential to their being more accepting of people from different racial backgrounds. Recommendations and implications for practice and research are included.


Campus climate, Racially mixed institution, Stereotyping, Modified mutual acculturation theory, Black students


Education | Educational Leadership


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington