Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Coaxum, James

Committee Member 1

Sharp, Carol

Committee Member 2

Strayhorn, Terrell


Black Male Undergraduate Students, Campus Integration, College Persistence, College Retention, First-Generation College Students, Sense of Belonging


First-generation college students; College students, Black


Higher Education


The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of first-generation Black men (FGBM) at a predominantly White institution (PWI). Through using Strayhorn's (2012, 2018) college sense of belonging and Tinto's (1993) student integration model of attrition theories, I examined the overall college experiences of FGBM at a PWI. When first-generation college students enter college, they are faced with academic, social, and financial challenges that make navigating college difficult (Ishitani, 2006). Additionally, Black undergraduate male students are faced with microaggressions, discrimination, alienation, stereotype, and cultural issues when they enroll in college (Harper, 2012; Strayhorn, 2008). These experiences have made navigating college more difficult for FGBM. This study advanced the research by looking at the association between FGBM's sense of belonging on campus and their overall campus integration at a predominantly White institution. The findings of this research indicated that FGBM experienced a sense of belonging on campus; however, most participants felt that their sense of belonging was limited to a smaller community at South Jersey University. This subcommunity was referred to as Black South Jersey University and consisted of many students of color, including Black student population, and social events that targeted Black students. That sense of connectedness to their subcommunity, faculty/staff, and peers enhanced FGBM's campus integration and sense of belonging.