Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




College of Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Sheena Kauppila

Second Advisor

Suzanne Horn

Third Advisor

Deborah Conner


The existing retention literature focuses on White students and non-White students in predominantly White institutional (PWI) environments. Furthermore, prevailing literature tends to concentrate on varying factors that influence these students to be retained at their respective institutions. Retention factors in differing contexts, such as historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), have been studied to a much lesser degree. Moreover, even fewer studies exist on how the campus environment at 2-year HBCUs influences retention or departure. Using a qualitative case study methodology, this study explores how the institutional environment of a rural southern 2-year technical HBCU influences the retention of racial minority students. Additionally, this study examines how the institutional environment contributes to factors that influence retention, such as social integration and sense of belonging.


Alternative author name: Meaghan Avery Isgett