Date of Award

Spring 3-22-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Dr. Eunyoung Kim

Committee Member

Dr. Joseph Stetar

Committee Member

Dr. Gerard Babo


Bicultural Socialization Experiences of Black immigrant Students


Minority and dominant cultures present a power dynamic that could promote or impede academic achievement for Black immigrant students. Drawing upon bicultural socialization as a conceptual framework, this study explores the predictability of various factors on academic outcomes among foreign-born compared to US-born Black immigrant students. Using a sample of 959 Black students (662 US-born and 297 foreign-born) from the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen (NLSF) conducted in the fall of 1999–2003, the current study examines indicators that inform the integration of Black immigrants into mainstream college environments by disaggregating the Black student population by nativity, to look more closely at variations in educational attainment among this population. Controlling for demographic factors, the results show that interracial relations, campus racial segregation, and commitment to racial diversity were associated with four- and six-year graduation. This study finds that negative racial relations and campus racial segregation are inimical to the diversity rendering of institutional vision for creating a conducive environment and promoting academic excellence. Students’ viewpoints on racial diversity on campus speak volumes regarding how they perceive the world around them.

The theoretical implications are relevant for predicting appropriate outcome measures for a balanced integration culture, improving institutional commitment to diversity, and controlling campus segregation. The findings have implications for preventive interventions addressing the current achievement gap for Black immigrant students while delineating pathways for students, faculty, institutional leaders, and policymakers to promote interactive and interracial campus culture, improve institutional transparency, and evolve strategic plans to close achievement gaps and promote peer/faculty involvement in out-of-class encounters. The findings show that there is a relationship between family income and four- and six-year graduation. Moreover, Black immigrant students appear to be more sensitive to racial segregation. As the level of racial segregation on a campus increases, the likelihood of Black immigrant students graduating within four years decreases. The study views diversity from a heterogeneous perspective, underlines attributes of Black immigrant students that predict dynamics of their adjustment into mainstream culture, and adds to the existing literature on factors impacting their learning educational outcomes. The study presents valuable implications for policy and practice. The explanatory predictors are useful to predict college graduation, promote interactive and interracial culture, enhance institutional climate while helping to develop plans to close achievement gap. It may promote peer and faculty involvement that addresses students’ social and academic needs, extol values of cultural /ethnic organizations on campus and to a large extent, cultivate intercultural relations on campus. Future research should expand research on the black immigrant students at less selective four-year, HBCU’s and two-year colleges where these institutions enroll a large proportion of black students in order to explore how these institutions serve the needs of black immigrant students and how their bicultural socialization contribute to college completion. It should compare US-born immigrant black students with other significant pool of black immigrant students from other regions and their adaptation patterns in college and adding GPA or academic/cognitive factors in future research for a more robust model.

Keywords: foreign-born/US-born Black immigrant students, bicultural socialization, achievement gap, college graduation, integration into mainstream culture.