Retention in Black & White: The Effectiveness of Interracial Faculty-Student Mentoring Relationships Concerning the Retention of Minority Populations at Baylor University
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The retention of minority populations plays a significant role in establishing institutional diversity, bringing benefits that are often exclusive to students’ ability to reinforce their cultural competence during the undergraduate experience. Not only is such institutional diversity central to mission of many universities, but also it is now expected from various societal entities. In this thesis, I explored the struggles concerning minority retention in higher education in general and discussed the specific mode of retention known as mentoring. I found that a match of racial identity between faculty member and student had important relationship-enhancing implications. I then explored the minority retention problem at Baylor University, highlighting the important fact of Baylor’s existence as a Predominantly White Institution. After interviewing minority student populations (including soon-to-be graduates and non-retainers) in order to explore the effectiveness of interracial faculty-student mentoring relationships, I found that Caucasian faculty members at Baylor University are an untapped resource and mode of retention as it concerns retaining minority student populations.