Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Daniel C. Robinson


The purpose of this study was to examine the retention and graduation rates for 125 black students who had enrolled as freshmen at Iowa State University in 1984. The study examined student history data from the university's data base and information on the college experience at Iowa State, based on telephone interviews with 95 former students. The study identified factors associated with black students who graduated and those who withdrew from Iowa State University;Information obtained from the Iowa State University data base determined that black students who graduated had higher ACT scores, high school rank, and grade point averages, than had the students who did not graduate. Generally, out-of-state students were more successful than were Iowa residents. The ACT scores were significantly greater for males as compared to females. The total ACT scores for males who graduated exceeded those of females who graduated or who withdrew. Females who graduated had higher average scores than females who withdrew; the significance level was also greater than that for males. Interestingly, the out-of-state subjects who graduated had significantly higher ACT composite scores than did the out-of-state subjects who withdrew;The second phase of the study involved a telephone interview with each former student to secure information about his or her experience at Iowa State University. Two major areas identified as significant factors of the students' likelihood of success included involvement in campus organizations and activities, and positive interaction with faculty and staff. The major reason for Iowa State University's high black student dropout rate, as cited by former black students included the following: lack of social and cultural outlets; small amount of black faculty, staff and students; and racial discrimination.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Elaine Patterson Walker



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

175 pages