Retention of Black and Hispanic Students at White Institutions


The higher education policy in the United States takes pride in its proactive strategy to diversification at universities. A diverse range of colors, cultures, nations, and religious connections coexist on university campuses around the country to create a miniature of a globalized world. Despite their outward appearance, many organizations demonstrate concealed stereotypes that cause retention among minority students at predominantly White institutions (PWIs) (Monroe, 2021). Individuals from minority populations at colleges around the state are banding together on social networks to demand changes in different aspects of university education to develop a similar educational structure. The requirements for transformation may seem to impose fiscal pressure on the methodical ideologies of normalcy on academic campuses in the United States. However, these pressures are appropriate because they allow supervisors to implement strategic priorities on campuses that will strengthen those diversity initiatives. The results showed that each training organization tries to prevent such consequences to improve the general atmosphere of equality in educational institutions.

Summary of Research Papers

“Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy in Higher Education”

The article under review aims to investigate the practical application of culturally sensitive techniques in education to the arrangement of the environment in which each student feels included and appraised. The focus of the study is the set of principles inherent in the Black Lives Matter movement as a pedagogical framework for teaching at an educational facility with both majority and minority students. The study’s constructs of interest include diversity, intersectionality, and their relevance to culturally sustaining pedagogy (Cole, 2017). In particular, the question of how the issues concerning the black community are addressed in media and communication is at the center of the scholar’s inquiry. It is qualitative research that uses the method of a case study pertaining to “the author’s experiences teaching at two majority-minority colleges in Greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA” (Cole, 2017, p. 736). Moreover, the study shows how leadership might adjust the culturally sustaining practices toward advancing equity and equality in the learning environment. The general research question posed by the scholar is as follows: How can the principles of the Black Lives Matter movement be applied to culturally sustaining pedagogy?

This descriptive case study involved the students of two minority-majority colleges. The qualitative findings observed in the course of teaching at the colleges and implementing the principles of diversity and intersectionality were described from the perspective of their effectiveness in enhancing “college teaching to make it more diverse and inclusive” (Cole, 2017, p. 736). Thus, the measurements were implicit and validated by the extent of positive communicational and educational results obtained by the students and the facilities in general as the aftermath of the pedagogical framework application. The study showed that the deliberate and systematic implementation of a culturally sustaining pedagogical framework using Black Lives Matter yields substantial qualitative improvements in the students’ perception of their identity and the identities of others in a diverse society.

“Diversity Leadership Under Race-Neutral Policies in Higher Education”

This research aims to discover more about the experiences of multicultural administrators who manage bridge programs that attract underrepresented students of color. Race-neutral policies and initiatives aim to broaden the notion of diversity by focusing on factors other than race to target groups (Jones, 2014). The main objective of this article is to consider various perspectives of higher education in the USA.

There is one overall question that this research attempted to answer. Under race-neutral rules and procedures, how do MAAs deal with and negotiate their obligation to maintain and advance campus diversity goals? The conceptual framework for this study focuses on the skills recognized as necessary for student affairs practitioners aiming to become effective change agents to investigate how MAAs have responded to this new era of race neutrality.

Two men and two women were among the four participants, all of whom were people of color. Their ages varied from 33 to 45, and they had all spent at least five years at their respective schools (Jones, 2014). The transcripts from the interviews were used to perform analysis, which included both thematic and open coding. Regarding recruitment and retention initiatives, including bridge programs, the interviews revealed that race neutrality made it difficult to increase and foster diversity at PWIs. Moreover, three of the four respondents predicted that race neutrality would eventually suppress past recruiting students of color. One of the effects of the new race-neutral standards appears to be a greater awareness of how colleagues perceive diversity programs. Managing change successfully appears to be an expected component of all MAAs’ responsibilities. This study shows that MAAs can withstand external challenges such as policy and financing changes.

“School Factors Contribute to the Underachievement of Students of Color”

This article examines the components that contribute to students of color’s low academic performance and suggests strategies that competent leaders may employ to create a school atmosphere that will improve education. Satisfying the academic demands of a culturally and linguistically diverse youth population is one of the most pressing challenges confronting the educational community (Smith, 2005). It is evident that both socioeconomic and educational variables cause poor and minority children’s underachievement. This article examines how these factors affect Black children’s academic progress and offers suggestions for how school administrators may better meet the needs of students of color in their schools. The main research question is the following: What factors affect the academic performance of Black students?

The testing results in CST English/Language Arts and math scores were selected to measure academic performance. Students were divided into categories corresponding to their racial and ethnic origin. Thus, Black, Asians, Hispanic, Whites, and students experiencing economic difficulties were picked (Smith, 2005). The total number of people was calculated to determine the level of academic malfunction and the percentage and number of students below the proficiency level.

When Black students accept negative thoughts, they are at risk of becoming stigmatized. This is the possibility of being perceived through the lens of a negative stereotype. Acceptance of racial stereotypes can harm grades, test scores, and academic identity (Smith, 2005). When talented Black college students fail to perform as well as their White peers, it is typically due to the danger of preconceptions about their ability to achieve rather than a lack of preparation or aptitude. People of the majority White culture believe that their accomplishments are based on merit and character (Smith, 2005). This sense of entitlement or privilege leads to a misunderstanding that not all Americans have the same chance to enjoy their inherent rights, and many “privileged” individuals believe that everyone has the potential to succeed.

“Student Retention Through the Lens of Campus Climate, Racial Stereotypes, and Faculty Relationships”

Different academic hurdles have been identified as legitimate reasons why African-American students’ turnover rate at PWIs continues to climb. This study aimed at answering a particular question (Love, 2009). What is the link between university environment, cultural prejudice, teacher connections, and student retention among African-American students who attend primarily white universities? There was a quantitatively significant positive association between African-American students’ assessments of student persistence and campus atmosphere, cultural prejudice, and faculty interactions at a largely white college.

Campus atmosphere (t54) = 3.526) was shown to be substantially and favorably connected to student engagement, whereas racial stereotypes (t54) = -2.207) were found to be considerably and adversely related to student engagement. For campus atmosphere (p =.028) and cultural stereotypes (p =.042), the massive amounts for African-American students at PWI dropped below the p.05 significance level. Faculty correlations were not statistically significant (p =.200). Racial preconceptions (p =.939) and faculty connections (p =.633), on the other hand, were not significantly predictive of HBCU graduates (Love, 2009). The campus climate was close to statistical significance (p =.056). Campus atmosphere was the most important predictor of student persistence for students at the PWI and the HBCU.

Multiculturalism initiatives must be developed and implemented effectively for students to succeed. The current study will contribute to the development of change at PWIs in terms of African-American students and academic engagement. Institutional leaders will use the study data to demonstrate why African-American students joining their schools and universities should not feel disconnected or exposed to racial injustice.

“Where Did They Go: Retention Rates for Students of Color at Predominantly White Institutions”

Universities have made considerable progress in recent decades to remedy historical offenses that resulted in high retention and transferring percentages among minority students. Despite college’s attempts to be accessible, racist behavior persists on campus. According to research, the racial atmosphere on campus influences the retention of students of color in college (McClain & Perry, 2017). This report answers the following question: What variables impede graduation rates among minority students at PWIs?

The researchers study the situation through the analysis of a past case. James Meredith became the University of Mississippi’s first African American student. Meredith was refused entrance to the institution many times before enrolling owing to what was called bureaucratic faults. He was admitted to the institution with the help of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and President John F. Kennedy (McClain & Perry, 2017). Meredith was faced with hostility from students, state police, and Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett. Many United States marshals, army forces, and regular army personnel were dispatched to secure Meredith and keep the peace. Meredith was kept under 24-hour guard by federal marshals for the following academic season. The student earned a degree in political science at the University of Mississippi with tenacity and dedication. Finally, during the last few decades, the university’s racial environment has made significant strides toward making minority students feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Despite numerous attempts, a few still seek to carry on the tainted heritage of previous generations.

“The Neglected College Race Gap”

For many decades, the discourse about fairness in university education has centered on the significant poverty and lack of access for racial minorities. There is also a growing realization that education is not enough; racial minorities are likewise far less likely to graduate. The question of the paper is the following: What is the likelihood of black and white persons becoming accepted to and graduating from for-profit universities and public establishments?

Using national data on the types of qualifications students receive, this study discovers that, compared to white participants, racial and ethnic minorities graduate students are far more likely to have joined for-profit universities and far less likely to have attended four-year public or nongovernment establishments (Libassi, 2018). While public four-year universities grant 39 percent of academic qualifications to white students, public four-year institutions award just around 30 percent of qualifications to minority students (Libassi, 2018). White students have a higher proportion of diplomas from corporate, non-profit four-year colleges.

This brief analyzes college completions data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for all courses at all institutions in the United States to comprehend the disparity among whites, blacks, and Latino college graduation rates in America. The author divided the overall number of project completion in each category by the total number of points issued to individuals of that race to compute the proportion of each ethnic community’s certifications that happen in each area, level, and major investigated (Libassi, 2018). According to the findings of this study, there are significant discrepancies in the types of institutions where graduates of various races finish their studies.

“Keys to the Survival of Predominantly White Institutions”

Over the last few decades, there has been a significant improvement in student achievement in minority areas. Asian/Pacific Islander scholars had the highest rate (93 percent), followed by white kids (89 percent), Hispanic students (82 percent), Black students (80 percent), and Indian Indigenous students (74 percent) (). These statistics indicate that children of color are narrowing the university graduation rate disparity with white students, contrary to popular belief. The question of the article is the following: What is an alternative for predominantly white institutions?

This research also points to an alternative for PWIs, particularly those under economic danger of collapse. Their doors can stay open if they start prioritizing recruiting in underserved areas of color right away. These colleges are likely to discover many talented, committed students who are eager to enroll. Students will require enough financial support and a feeling that the school is friendly, tolerant, and devoted to multiculturalism.

“Thriving in Students of Color at a Predominantly White Institution”

The study aims to answer the following question: What challenges do students of color face while enrolling at predominantly white institutions? The investigator researched a minor faith-based liberal arts college in the Midwest for this study. The school has roughly 1,900 pupils, with 12 percent of color and 88 percent of white students (Trotman, 2019). The 45 minority students who took the questionnaire were divided as follows: 21 (46.7 percent) were male, 23 (51.1 percent) were women, and 1 (2.2 percent) did not specify. 35.6 percent of the respondents identified as “Asian-American/Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander,” 24.4 percent as “Latino / Hispanic,” 13.3 percent as “International students,” 6.7 percent as “African American/Black,” 2.2 percent as “American Indian / Alaska Native,” and 17.8 percent as “Other” (Trotman, 2019). The findings indicate that, as students of color participate in college life, their general notions of prospering may change. Engaged learning and academic determination variables are characteristics of academic thriving.

“How to Create Inclusive Environments for Black Students”

Rising numbers of minority students in mainly white university education facilities in the United States are frequently cited as proof of their dedication to racial equality and diversity. Nonetheless, Black enrollment at top schools and universities has been continuously low over the previous two decades (Richards, 2019). The author tries to answer a particular question in their research. What are the best ways to fight black exclusion on college campuses?

By going beyond mere numerical diversity, mainly white establishments may create more appropriate terms for Black students. Alternatively, they should concentrate on the nuanced mechanics of university inclusion, as well as the degree to which students feel they belong and are properly supervised and encouraged (Richards, 2019). Overall, predominantly white institutions need to train people to discuss racial problems, establish brave and safe spaces, and promote anti-discrimination and harassment policies.

“Academic Focus on Hispanic Students in Predominantly White Institutions”

First-generation Hispanic children confront a variety of problems as they traverse school without the benefit of expert guidance. Latino learners are grossly unprepared for college because of their migratory origins and lack financial and academic assistance. This study tries to answer a significant question (Torres, 2018). To what extent federally funded programs in predominantly white institutions have provided Hispanic students with a welcoming learning environment?

Predominantly white colleges have prioritized equitable opportunity for Minority students. Nevertheless, the usefulness of these materials for learners is debatable. The findings indicate that the activities of colleges remain murky as to whether they are doing so to achieve enrollment targets or because they are interested in creating an efficient pathway to assist student gets their diplomas (Torres, 2018). This research is divided into three key techniques that have been used to improve the achievement of minority students. College Assistant Migrant Program and TRiO are federally supported initiatives that allow institutions to give academic aid to undergraduates, such as by appointing mentoring and tutoring (Torres, 2018). Graham, a participant in two TRiO Programs, Upward Bound and McNair, claimed that she did not experience the same cultural differences as her colleagues since she had already been educated to juggle a demanding workload.

Analysis and Synthesis of Findings

Overall, the review of the articles was rather beneficial and significant since it allowed to gain valuable insights and new information about the topic. For example, Cole’s (2017) article provides the researchers with the necessary knowledge about the practices that help enrich and improve culturally sustaining pedagogy. The results of this descriptive case study serve as a solid background for building an integrative and systematic framework enhancing the college environment for a diverse student population. The study is a valuable source of evidence on the effectiveness of media and communication context integration into education to enhance inclusion and diversity. The approach of cultivating supporters within the institution who can give financial, political, and social support is perhaps essential. While this study demonstrates that MAAs are good at anticipating and adapting to change, it also illustrates how state and institutional leaders may be more supportive of leaders and programs that play a crucial role in attracting and maintaining underrepresented students of color.

People from the dominant culture may not see the need to reconsider how others are treated, especially if it does not affect their own entitlements or advantages. One of the most challenging issues schools confront is white privilege and systemic racism (Smith, 2005). It is common for white students to harass, discriminate, and humiliate persons of other nationalities, which has negative effects on the latter’s experiences. Such concerns and the obstacles in a culturally diverse setting require educational leaders to have the knowledge, skills, motivation, and capacity to handle them. Many institutions have discovered that bringing in an outside expert to discuss these concerns with organization members lays the groundwork for open communication and problem-solving. Additionally, it is rather valuable that several studies offer valuable and practical ways to reduce White privilege.

The study results will be used by institutional officials to underline why African-American students joining their particular universities and colleges should not feel alienated or exposed to racial injustice but rather welcome an academic world that appreciates and encourages diversity. Furthermore, institutional leaders and politicians may apply social theoretical approaches to achieve successful change to improve educational purpose, vision, curriculum, and teaching methods. This will assist the educational system in recognizing the importance of diversity programs for students, instructors, and support staff to fulfill the needs of Minority students.

The current study involved an analysis of a variety of approaches to the promotion and establishment of inclusion and diversity in schools and on university campuses with the help of different initiatives. The assessment of the existing research has shown that although the majority of educational institutions exhibit their commitment to racial diversity and equality, there still exist certain problems. Studies show that many universities remain predominantly white, while the black students demonstrate steadily low enrollment rates (Richards, 2019). Such a factor can potentially contribute to the lack of equality among students based on their skin color in certain institutions.

Despite the fact that certain progress in terms of inclusion and diversity is visible in the sphere of higher education, some people of color continue to face discrimination and other difficulties during their studies. Such a situation manifests itself in the presence of issues such as stereotypes which, schools, nevertheless, are attempting to resolve (Monroe, 2021). It is clear that there is also a necessity for skilled educational leaders possessing proper expertise to solve the existing problems. Finally, when talking about gaps in the literature, it may be noticed that there is a lack of information regarding the influence of the relationship between white and black students on the latter’s academic performance. Thus, it is possible to formulate the following research question: “How does relationship between white and black students affect the latter’s academic performance?”

Discussion of Implications of Findings for Organizational Leaders

The best recommendation, in my opinion, would be to help the elderly generation with the addiction that times are changing. Previously, people were mistakenly perceived to be unequal, but many grew up at that time and continue to think so. According to Brooks (2017), “when my white professor told me that she was there to colonize me, to say that I was shocked would be an understatement” (p. 103). Thus, in order to avoid such situations, educational leaders must offer diversity training to people of past generations who often occupy high positions in the universities’ hierarchies. Thus, the general atmosphere for minorities during learning will improve, which will only positively impact learning.

Universities should also be aware of the many ways in which students of color may be deterred from pursuing specific degrees. One technique that has been demonstrated to discourage black and Hispanic students from choosing specific lines of study is varying tuition prices. Thus, universities must design special programs promoting enrollment among minority students, including lower tuition costs. Additionally, university representatives should visit schools in the areas with the majority of minority students and tell them about the opportunities to receive higher education.

Despite the university’s attempts to be accessible, racist behavior persists on campus. According to researches, the racial atmosphere on campus influences the retention of students of color in university. Thus, universities have to create zero-tolerance policies against any kind of discrimination on campus, especially targeted against students of color. A stressful environment may impede the performance of minority students at PWIs, therefore universities have to devise programs helping such students to adapt to the life of the campus, including free psychological therapy sessions.

The previous section mentioned that there is a gap in the literature related to the relationships between white and black students and their effects on the college experiences and underrepresentation of the latter. Thus, universities themselves have to answer the question of “What are the ways to strengthen the relationships between students of different nationalities so that these relationships positively impact the underrepresentation of minority students?


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Richards, B. N. (2019). How to create inclusive environments for black students on predominantly white college campuses. Scholars Strategy Network.

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ChalkyPapers. "Retention of Black and Hispanic Students at White Institutions." April 5, 2023.