Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Fred J. Galloway, EdD; Robert Donmoyer, PhD; Cheryl A. Getz, EdD


African Americans, campus climate, demographic factors, gender, intra-racial gender gap, minority & ethnic groups, perception, predominantly white institution


For the last decade, the attainment gap in college graduation rates between Black males and females has continued to grow, despite the best efforts of researchers interested in identifying both its causes and suggesting possible policy remedies. Although much of the work has focused on the search for cognitive differences between African American males and females, there has been little, if any, research on the different ways that Black males and females may perceive their campus climate. In an attempt to broaden the literature in this area, this study examined the perceptions of 366 undergraduate African American students at a predominately White institution regarding three specific dimensions of campus climate - the amount of institutional support received, the level of social integration, and the student's level of self-efficacy. After constructing a series of indices for each of the dimensions as well as an overall index for each respondent, multiple regression analysis was used to determine the extent to which gender and other demographic factors may have contributed to the students' perceptions of institutional support, social support, and self-efficacy. The findings from the study revealed few differences in the ways that Black males and females perceived the campus climate at the institution under study; in fact, the only significant difference was in the area of social support where males felt more supported than females. However, the results of the regression analysis revealed that demographic factors played a significant role in explaining the student's overall perceptions of campus climate, as well as why some students felt more socially supported and self-efficacious than others. Specifically, age, gender, marital status, campus employment, membership in sororities, fraternities, and the Black Student Association were all significant predictors of social support, while the student's collegiate grade point average was the only predictor for self-efficacy. Recommendations for future research include examining the perceptions of intra-racial groups at private four-year institutions as well as community colleges; testing for differences in campus climate between White institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities; and expanding upon the qualitative component of this dissertation to include a more nuanced discussion of individual students.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access