Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Nicholas Brake, Lester Archer, Aaron Hughey, DeShawn Burrell

Degree Program

Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


This dissertation explored how an institutionalized diversity plan impacts perceived academic achievement, sense of belonging, and program completion among African American students. The concurrent mixed-methods methodology followed a single case study design to explore the impact of an institutionalized diversity plan in a Midwest community college. Both quantitative and qualitative data were gathered and analyzed. The results of this study revealed that although diversity and inclusion programs are somewhat effective in higher education, more needs to be done to satisfy the needs of minority students in higher education. According to the findings of this study, most students felt a sense of belonging. The results of the tests indicated that there were no significant trends in any of the time series of retention rate, recruitment, 100% completion rate, and 200% completion rate in the period from 2016 to 2021. These findings demonstrate the significant impact that a sense of belonging can have on the success of a student in school. The study further indicates the importance of having faculty of diverse of backgrounds in an institution, which can also foster a sense of belonging among its students.


African American Studies | Education | Educational Leadership | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology