Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




African American undergraduate students face numerous challenges in higher education including adjusting to college-level work, a new environment, increased responsibilities, building new relationships, and experiences with discrimination. The dissertation study examined whether cultural climate, racial identity, and mentoring relationships predicted academic success for African American undergraduate sophomores attending four-year colleges and universities. The researcher analyzed these constructs using data from the 2012 national data set of the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL) survey, an instrument containing over 400 items and scales measuring student demographic information, pre-college knowledge and experiences, college experiences, and educational outcomes. Results of a hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that cultural climate was the only significant predictor of GPA. This research has implications for higher education faculty and staff seeking to improve the academic achievement, retention and persistence of African American college students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.